Rick Boucher, a Democratic Congressman from Virginia, has become one of the more knowledgeable Democrats on tech issues over the last several years.
He was introduced to Freedom2Connect by Jonathan Askin.
Askin – I need some serious solutions about getting our message to Congress. Who was at the House hearing on the Barton bill? You missed a wonderful moment in Congressional history. There are a couple of people in Congress who actually know technology and are comitted to deploying the Internet and realizing its promise. We are fortunate to have one of those handful. That’s Rick Boucher. He wasn’t always on the page of the CLECs, but things have changed because of Moore’s Law and IP technology. I perhaps have moved closer to him.
We need to build a mutually virtuous cycle.
Opening statements on the Barton bill are due at 5.
Tomorrow is the full mark up. A lot of people like the Bells pay people to line sit, and go really early in the morning.
We are marking up a total telecommunications bill.
Note: The Network Neutrality language Boucher discussed on Tuesday was voted down 23-8 by the committee on Wednesday. It will not be part of the final bill, which now moves to the full House.
Boucher: The biggest potential problem is the current network neutrality language, which is a net minus from the status quo.
When this is done it moves to the full committee after a two week recess, with the promise it will be on the House floor in May. By mid-May this will have been debated and passed in the House. The Senate is on a somewhat different track.
The bill creates a national franchiise for multichannel video providers seeking to enter the Cable TV market as competitors. First on for this will be the telephone companies. For telephone companies this is a have-to case. Cable is well positioned to carry three valued services – cable, broadband Intenret, and telephony. It’s a tougher lift for telphone companies to compete with that bundle. “that consumers want to have.”
Research is now being done to do video switching and deliver cable in the home, offering several channels at once with rapid switching. From the consumer standpoint it seems a lot like the cable TV experience, with potentially even better quality. From a technical standpoint they have a solution. Verizon has announced a fiber to the home project. I think Verizon is doing the right thing, and it will not have capacity constraints.
All of them face a common problem. Verizon has 10,000 local franchising authorities in its service territory. It would need 10,000 franchises. Verizon tried for two years to get franchises, and were getting 15 a year.
A change is necessary, and I support this change. I think there’s a broad consensus this change should occur.