The FCC's push to regulate the Internet is creating allies from competitors. Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg, certainly no fan of the cable industry, delivered some very cable-friendly comments when addressing the Economics Club in Washington, D.C.
"The FCC has proposed basically an unimaginative and overbearing set of rules" that "will cause uncertainty in the marketplace, create disincentives for investment" and generally slow the U.S. telecommunications industry, he said. Besides opposing the FCC action, Verizon and other providers would like Congress to step in and take charge with a new Telecommunications Act.
That desire is self-serving, according to Karl Bode, writing in Broadband Reports, because Verizon and its allies "know that they'll be the ones writing it. As such, they'll ensure that the FCC is all but toothless when it comes to actually protecting consumers, and they'll also ensure that any pro-consumer language in any Act rewrite is chock full of loopholes."
Speaking of loopholes and the FCC (what a segue!) DirecTV is sounding alarms that a merged Comcast-NBC Universal could develop an "online loophole" to stream exclusive NBC content to Internet subscribers. The satellite provider used the MSO's "terrestrial loophole" that keeps Philadelphia sporting events off satellite services as an example of what might happen.
"Our concern is Comcast using the NBC programming that it would own to be anti-competitive in the pay TV market," said Stacy Fuller, DirecTV's VP-regulatory affairs.
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