by Rick Grams
November 10, 2004
Just today the Federal Communication Division (FCC) has ruled that information delivered over Internet Protocol (IP) infrastructure is exempt from local and state regulations. In effect, by spending money on a project that has yet to be sufficiently publicized and verified we are witnessing the high probability that a "virtual" revenue loss will take place due to the unknown effects of federal regulation.
Why is this important? Let's say a person who subscribes to GCI Internet service (and accumulating Alaska airline miles) decides to buy a product from Linksys (now owned by Cisco) and subscribes to one of the Linksys partners for Internet telephone service at $35 per month. Please re-read that last sentence. Hopefully you will notice that KPU is no longer in the picture. A person can now have telephone service without the need for KPU services! Today's ruling from the FCC makes that a viable (and legal) option.
The subject regarding the City government moving into the realm of Digital Television Services as a competitor to a commercial entity is certainly a question of ethical judgment. One has to wonder, is KPU seeking this for the benefit of the community? How do we know that government funds are not being used to "squash" the competition? Where is the body of oversight?
Additionally, with the growth and continued expansion of the Internet, combined with a Windows XP Media Center PC or laptop running a program called Ctube I can watch any one of over 1500 channels without the need for GCI cable or a satellite dish.
I'd recommend that KPU figure out how to get into the Internet Telephone game (aka Voice over Internet Protocol) to provide better communication and emergency services in lieu of becoming an entertainment provider through television. Or expand the Ketchikan services to allow for a 3 meg Internet connection at competitive prices.
I've been checking Sitnews daily to see if there would be a response provided as requested by Mr. Rice on Oct 26. Unless I have missed it there has not been one provided.
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.