Cool Rules for the FCC: In the Lion’s Den

Check The Register for my write-up of the FCC hearing.

Testifying as an expert witness on bandwidth management at the FCC’s field hearing in snowy Cambridge this Monday was a heady experience. The hearing took place in a cramped corner of the Harvard Law School, a building that was already decorated with pickets, banners, and reporters when I arrived. Gingerly stepping through the snow in my California sailing shoes enabled me to avoid the protesters and find my way into the hallowed Ames courtroom. The room itself was full of buzz, and packed with a heavily Comcast-friendly crowd thanks to the cable giant’s exploitation of the first-come, first-seated rule. Comcast had gamed the hearing’s seating rules, hiring place-holders.

The composition of the crowd wasn’t apparent until Comcast VP David Cohen got an overly enthusiastic round of applause at the end of his prepared remarks, but pretty much only then. They didn’t hiss and boo – unlike the free-speech-loving neutralitarians who replaced them. I was invited to present an afternoon session.

It gets better, as I propose a decision-making framework.

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