National Broadband Plan Has Goal to Study Harder

That’s not an Onion headline. But after perusing a few key sections of the officially released National Broadband Plan I learned that the FCC recommendations involve either more study or vague posturings on important policy debates that have been raging since dawn of time: broadening the universal service fund (USF) to include VoIP carriers (see weakly worded Recommendation 8.10), wholesale access and pricing (see tepid Recommendation 4.7), openness of mobile devices (no recommendations that I can find), and the overall question of whether we have a competitive broadband market (for what it’s worth, Recommendation 4.2).

Verizon Blinks

As we all know, Verizon went public on Tuesday with its agreement to allow Skype’s VoIP application to run on its network. There are still a few gotchas for Verizon subscribers who want the service, but in the world of telecom this is momentous. Faced with the FCC’s proposed rules for net neutrality and a new fifth principle of non-discrimination, Verizon (along with AT&T) has relented.