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May 2005

  • "Supremes Hint at Brand X, MGM Decisions," Telecom Policy Report, May 30, 2005.
    "The legal give-and-take of the case in both directions has prompted Senior Fellow Randolph May of The Progress & Freedom Foundation to remark that the whole case provides further evidence that Congress should revise the national communications laws to be in sync with modern converged marketplace realities. 'The Brand X case demonstrates why Congress needs to pass a new communications law with a market-oriented regulatory paradigm,' says May. May wants the justices to uphold the FCC in the Brand X case, but the PFF under President Ray Gifford appears much more interested in seeing a broader regulatory reform or regulatory framework under new law; as such, the PFF is sponsoring an initiative called the Digital Age Communications Act (DACA) as a model for Congress to consider (TPR, Feb. 2). The PFF suggests the determination whether to regulate would rely on antitrust principles and would focus on whether service providers possess enough market power to harm consumers. "
  • "700MHz Spectrum Worth $28 Billion," United Press International, May 27, 2005.
    "'I think the estimate is a pressure point for Congress to move up legislation' advancing broadband technology, Patrick Ross, a spokesman for The Progress and Freedom Foundation, told UPI."
    "In the past, federal auctions of American airwaves, especially for cellular communication, have been a 'win-win situation for both the government and consumers,' said Ross, whose group is a conservative think tank in Washington focusing on digital technology. "
  • "Time for a Truce in the Spanish-American War," Budget & Tax News, May 27, 2005.
    "An October 2003 commentary by the Progress and Freedom Foundation noted the Spanish-American War tax prices up to 140,000 low- and moderate-income Americans out of Internet access. The Progress and Freedom Foundation is a market-oriented think tank that studies the digital revolution and its implications for public policy."
  • "Opponents: Conditions Needed to Rein in Pending Telecom Mergers," Communications Daily, May 26, 2005.
    "Progress & Freedom Foundation Pres. Ray Gifford called the transactions 'fairly unremarkable,' saying the only condition that might make sense is to require spinoff of metropolitan fiber networks owned by AT&T and MCI. 'These mergers are not that big a deal,' Gifford said."
  • "Cable, Phone Companies Duke it Out for Customers," USA Today, May 23, 2005.
    "Adam Thierer, a senior fellow at the Progress & Freedom Foundation, says such high-minded ideals no longer serve community needs."
  • "Philly's Controversial Wi-Fi Plan," Wireless Week, May 15, 2005.
    "It's that plan and the city's approach to the entire project that drew criticism from some analysts who questioned how the city could inject itself, with a publicly funded network, into a competitive market. 'The business plan projects that Wireless Philadelphia will be able to offer wireless broadband access to everyone, everywhere in Philadelphia, at a cost lower than competitive broadband offerings such as DSL and cable modems,' says Thomas Lenard, senior fellow and vice president of research at the Progress & Freedom Foundation in a paper on the feasibility of municipal networks released the day after Wireless Philadelphia's RFP went out."
    "Lenard contends that a publicly funded competitor has no clue how to handle a growing competitive service market and that such efforts are doomed to failure. He cites Marietta, Ga.'s $35 million loss on its municipal Internet access company, FiberNet, last year as an example of how cities try to serve the public but can't keep up with competitive pressures. The city's intentions may be good, he says, but with the low-cost access market it's trying to address, it probably won't provide services efficiently or effectively."
  • "FCC/Capitol Hill," Public Broadcasting Report, May 13, 2005.
    "Adam Thierer of the Progress & Freedom Foundation said since FCC rules don't regulate violence over broadcast TV, it will be hard to define family-friendly content. 'This is a particularly troubling piece of government nanny-ism,' Thierer said. He said DirecTV once tried to offer a family-friendly tier but had to dump the platform for lack of subscribers. "
  • "The Broadcast Flag Matter: Piracy Starts at Home," Online Reporter, May 13, 2005.
    "The Progress & Freedom Foundation says that overturning the FCC mandate brings these questions to the fore:
    • Should Congress mandate a broadcast flag, and explicitly grant the FCC the necessary rulemaking authority?
    • Is the FCC the appropriate body to address copy-protection devices?
    • How does the court ruling impact the FCC's rulemaking authority?
    • Should Congress extend that authority, or should it seek to create a new forward-looking regulatory framework?
    • What can Congress and the FCC do in the interim to speed the transition to digital TV? "
  • "PFF Analyst Warns Against Muni Broadband," Electricity Daily, May 6, 2005.
    "Who should provide broadband access to telecommunications services, private-sector firms or regulated public utilities? Progress and Freedom Foundation analyst Adam Peters suggests that all regulated utilities are problematic, and municipal and cooperative utilities in particular, are a major problem"
    "In testimony to the House Small Business Committee on Wednesday, the free-market think tank analyst said utility participants in broadband over power line technology may be able to cross-subidize the service. The remedy, he said, is state regulatory oversight."
  • "Industry Opposes Cities' Internet Service," Miami Herald, May 5, 2005.
    "The Progress & Freedom Foundation, a pro-business think tank, concluded in a 2004 study that municipalities entering the telecom business were putting their residents at financial risk."
    '''Despite their advantages, none of these networks are covering their costs without being subsidized,' the study found."
    "It also found that it was common for cities to invest millions of dollars in building their own cable or fiber-optic networks to provide broadband service for their own use as well as for residents and businesses."
  • "Telecom Notes," Communications Daily, May 5, 2005.
    "In testimony for the hearing, Adam Peters of the Progress & Freedom Foundation said APPA claims that of 2,000 community-owned public power utilities, 621 offer broadband services. Peters said the argument that broadband is a public good fails where that service is already available. 'These networks are private goods and should be supplied by private entities, with the possible exception of high-cost, rural areas,' he said. Peters said municipal entrants into the broadband market may have several advantages over private sector competitors, such as unfettered access to rights-of-way and exemption from antitrust laws and PUC regulation. The risk of cross-subsidy would be enhanced, Peters said, with utilities able to use ratepayer or tax dollars to help raise capital, Peters said. "
  • "New Offensive in Indecency Fight," Hollywood Reporter, May 5, 2005.
    "'In a free society, different people will have different values and tolerance levels when it comes to speech, and government should not impose the will of some on all,' said Adam Thierer, TV Watch member and senior fellow and director of the Center for Digital Media Freedom at conservative-leaning Progress & Freedom Foundation . 'To protect the First Amendment and our heritage of freedom of speech and expression from government encroachment, editorial discretion over content should be housed in private, not public, hands.' "
  • " PFF to FCC: Let Public Safety Sell/Lease Spectrum," TelecomWeb, May 2, 2005.
    "According to comments submitted to the Federal Communications Commission from the Washington, D.C.-based Progress & Freedom Foundation, 'The soundest approach for protecting public safety through spectrum is to give public-safety officials more flexibility with existing allocated spectrum, including the ability to lease that spectrum to others.' Writes Senior Fellow Tom Lenard, the FCC should make sure public-safety spectrum is being used in the best-possible manner before it assigns more."


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