Risking Another Frontline Disaster

Risking Another Frontline Disaster

Summary: The Wall Street Journal says in an editorial that FCC chair Kevin Martin is about to screw things up again on the public wireless Internet front. The first time around Martin tried to rig the D block auction to hand 700MHz spectrum over to Frontline Wireless, formed by former commissioner Reed Hunt.

The Wall Street Journal says in an editorial that FCC chair Kevin Martin is about to screw things up again on the public wireless Internet front. The first time around Martin tried to rig the D block auction to hand 700MHz spectrum over to Frontline Wireless, formed by former commissioner Reed Hunt. No private party wanted to play with Frontline under the restrictions the FCC put in place, the Journal says, and the auction crashed and burned.

Now its time for a new auction and this time the FCC wants to require the winner to offer free wireless Internet that filters out porn. Apparently the Journal wants these auctions to happen with no regulations, continuing the lack of public Internet infrastructure, but they do have a point on the question of whether Martin is rigging this auction for another favored player.

It just so happens that Mr. Martin's proposed auction seems tailor-made for the business plan put forward by M2Z, another politically connected Silicon Valley start-up looking to enter the wireless broadband telecom market. M2Z is backed by the venture capital outfits Kleiner Perkins, Redpoint Ventures and Charles River Ventures. It's also backed by Democratic Representatives Anna Eshoo of California and Ed Markey of Massachusetts, who've introduced legislation that would require the FCC to auction this spectrum to a company with a business plan that looks a lot like . . . M2Z's. Ms. Eshoo's district is home to Kleiner Perkins and Redpoint; Mr. Markey's is home to Charles River.
The Journal says these rules would result in an auction providing less revenue to the Treasury than an unrestricted auction. A suitable sentiment for the newspaper of corporate America.
The FCC's goal should be to reallocate government spectrum for commercial use in the most efficient way possible and for the highest possible yield for taxpayers. Auctions are the best vehicle for achieving this objective, but only if they're open and unencumbered, not rigged to favor the politically connected.
What the Journal forgets is that the FCC -- unlike corporations -- have a higher duty than maximizing shareholder return. The duty is to form policies that create solid telecom infrastructure and enable innovation, education and competitiveness. If it's a backroom deal, I'm suspicious. But I'm more suspicious of the sentiment that the free market will deliver what's needed if only the government sells off public resources without restrictions in exchange for handful of gold.

Topics: Government US, Government

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  • Natural monopoly

    Sounds like a natural monopoly. Regulate it as such.
  • RE: Risking Another Frontline Disaster

    Seems like another non-elected regulator and two elected pols are gaming the system for their "constituents" benefit, at the expense of "the people." Also seems like the WSJ believes everything must revolve around profit maximization. I cannot say that I'm surprised by either situation. I also must say that it's just plain sad when money, in or out of politics, rules lives.
  • RE: Risking Another Frontline Disaster

    a) 80% of H-1B and L1 visa holders are average Joes. Even many of them do have any skills at at all. They just come to USA through some bogus[bodyshops] company. Many of them use fake degree or certificates from India. H-1B rule just need a degree certificate from any country in the world. That is really weired.

    b) There is no skill check for these H-1B applicants. Anybody with a degee in sociology or psychology or accounting, etc can get a H-1B as a Software Engineer or Oracle DBA. And also he may not know anything about Java or Oracle DBA. It is just a way for him to get an H-1B visa and get a job. Then he may start learing technologies in the job. We need to filter these people out.

    More issues and more clearly:


    1. 70% H-1B visa holders are not skilled.

    2. 80% H-1B visa holders work in Bodyshop business (and sub-contracting).

    3. H-1B visa holder is used to replace American Citizens in many cases.

    4. Right now, the employers do not put Ad in the newspapers for IT openings. They hire H-1B as contractors and then hire them as employee later.

    5.There are no TEST/Skill test to verify the skill.

    6. Anybody with a degree certificate(real or fake) can apply for H-1B visa.

    7. H-1B program has created a huge Labor Contracting business in USA.

    8. H-1B visa holders train their wife and put them into IT jobs who does not have any skills. These women do not have any skills and sometimes they do not have H-1B visa. There are thousands of examples in Silicon Valley or Dallas.

    9. This programs H1/L1/J1/L2/H2 visa programs brought over 12 million people mainly from India into USA.

    10. 25 million people came from Pakistan as Afghan Refugee in the 1980s. With their kids now it is 100 million.

    11. L1 and L2 visa holder can apply for H-1B.

    12. TCS brings people with L1/L2 visa. Then they apply for H-1B and leave TCS. This is a continuous process of Indian immigration into USA (loop hole used by Attorneys).

    13. American college kids are not able to get into IT due to influx of H-1 visa holders and big Indian companies bringing thousands of L1/L2 people from India.

    14. It has created a huge labor contracting business in USA which is hurting US workers to find a good paying job and support their family. Which mean americans are getting poor day by day.


    1. Suspend all H-1B visa program (no new visa) for next five years.

    2. No H-1B visa transfer should be allowed for now.

    3. H-1B visa should go to End Clients only.

    4. H-1B visa should not go to Staffing company and Indian Bodyshops like TCS, Infosys.

    5. TCS, Infosys, Convansys, Whipro, must hire US citizens and train them for the job.

    6. No renew of H-1B visa unless they pass Skill Test mentioned in LCA and resume.

    7. Corporations should post all job Ads in national newspapers every week and hire US citizens and train them with new skills.

    8. Suspend all L1 visa program until fraud is fixed.

    9. L1 visa must be issued by name not blanket.

    10. DOL and USCIS must work together to make sure that only "Skilled" people can come
    with H-1B visa.

    11. Anybody can have a degree certificate in any country. That does not mean that he is a skilled IT professional or Engineer. That can not be enough to issue a visa.

    12. L1 and L2 visa holder should not be able to convert to H-1B. This is one big problem.

    13. Indian companies(bodyshops) should be investigated vigorously for their H-1B hiring practice.
  • RE: Risking Another Frontline Disaster

    1396 What does your rant have to do with the story?