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Forward: Teleco/Cabe REg. & Free speech
TELECOM REFORM, REPUBLICAN-STYLE Sen. Larry Pressler (R-SD) has
proposed a telecommunications reform plan that would drop all cable TV
rate regulations; allow local phone and cable competition and
cross-ownership in one year; ease foreign ownership restrictions; and
allow local phone companies to compete in long distance in three
years. A formal counter proposal is expected from the Democrats
February 14, and it's expected that there will be objections to most
of the provisions outlined in Pressler's bill. (Investor's Business
Daily 2/2/95 A4)
For those that don't know I have my Master's in Interactive
Telecommunications, and have long looked at cable and teleco from
several angles including freemarket and cypherpunk viewpoints.
While there is a lack of detail here, I strongly endorse anything that
lets cable and phone companies compete. They have largely the same
customer base (although telco's have a larger % of the base), but the
cable companies are in a better opportunity to over PCS,
higher-bandwidth networking, and video on demand.
What we have to watch out for is FCC regulation. It is well excepted
that the FCC can censor commercial speech (cig. ads), and individual
speech (the 7 dirty words), in the "public" interest.
Cable and Teleco are FCC regulated. If they provide the network of
the future, as opposed to UUnet-Microsoft (for example), we might
have to be careful..
The "model" of interactivity most "thinking" people endorse is one
that is two way. The FCC does really monitor what you say on the phone
(although who knows about the NSA ;)... If you can in the brave new
Telco/Cable future send as well as receive.. and send in
broadcast-like mode... are you subject to content approval from the
We should strongly endorse this move by. Sen. Pressler as it will
get us broadband to many homes in 5 to 7 years, but we have to
remain concerned about our freedom to speak not matter if that is
one on one, or to a large group!
Harry S. Hawk [email protected]
Product Marketing Manager
PowerMail, Inc. Producers of MailWeir(tm) & PowerServ(tm)