Sidecut Reports is In the House in Aspen — Policy, Policy, and Spectrum!

August 21, 2011

ASPEN, Colo. — Four years? Has it really been FOUR YEARS since we’ve been here in Aspen to talk telecom?

Apparently so, since our last communique from this posh mountain resort town, when we tracked down then-Google CEO Eric Schmidt, has a date of 2007. How time flies. But thanks to our good friends at Light Reading, Sidecut Reports is back in Aspen to cover the traditional summertime telecom policy event, now run by the Technology Policy Institute since the Progress and Freedom Foundation is no more. But it’s a heavyweight lineup this year — two FCC commissioners, one former FCC chairman, policy uber-guy Blair Levin, Verizon’s Tom Tauke, our old pal Joe Waz (ex-Comcast), PayPal founder Peter Theil — the list goes on and on. And Harold Feld is in the house to start fires and raise ruckus! We can’t wait.

While you will have to tune in to Light Reading for what we hope will be exhaustive old-school event coverage (yes that means we are ready to throw down on anyone else here with a media badge), you can always come back here to Sidecut Reports for the TPI Aspen after-party, where we’ll toss in some rumors, innuendos and people-watching, like seeing ace C/Net tech/policy writer Declan McCullagh on our flight out of SFO today.

I’ll bet Declan flew into Aspen. Sidecut went the land route, renting a car and going overland through Vail and Glenwood Springs to this haven of skiing and music and just wonderful folks. There are lots of nice restaurants here too but our late-night meal tonight is peanut butter sandwiches and Mama’s Little Yella Pils in a can. Peanut butter because I can’t eat it at home due to a nut allergy in the house; and cold beer in a can because that is how I roll.

Check back tomorrow night for another Aspen update.

The Top 10 Net Neutrality Influencers

August 20, 2008

Since we couldn’t make it to Aspen this year to participate in the expected discourse on one of our favorite topics — network neutrality — we here at Sidecut Reports humbly offer our “Top 10″ list of net neutrality influencers, the people leading the debate into 2009, what we are calling Phase II of the net neutrality deliberations.

With no further ado, the drumroll please:


The movers and shakers in the net neutrality debate, as of August 2008:

1. Jim Cicconi, AT&T — Still the man with the most pawns and the best grasp of the board.

2. Kevin Martin, FCC Chairman — A lame duck, but with a few big quacks left.

3. Rick Whitt, Google — Looks like Phil Mickelson, and his company plays policy like Phil — sometimes a champion, sometimes hitting from behind the concession stand and off a tree. Capable of major victories, but still not Tiger-solid.

4. Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass. — Driving the House Bus. A big bus but not a tank.

5. Joe Waz, Comcast — I get knocked down, then I get up again… just like another famous fighter from Philadelphia?

6. Ben Scott, Free Press — Riding the big wave of momentum. How long can the Silver Surfer stay afloat?

7. Lawrence Lessig, Stanford – Always effective as the lone voice storming the castle; can he compromise if he is on the other side of the ruling walls?

8. Tom Tauke, Verizon – Maybe not even the real source of power at Verizon but a former congressman who knows which strings to pull. Can pull hard with Ivan Seidenberg behind him.

9. Blair Levin, Stifel, Nicolaus — If not the next FCC commissioner, he will know who it is before anyone else (and will explain why to Wall Street).

10. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. — First he has to win. Then Reed Hundt’s troops can take over.

Honorable Mention: Tim Wu, Columbia Law School; Kyle McSlarrow, NCTA; Eric Schmidt, Google; Walter McCormick, USTA; Chris Libertelli, eBay/Skype; Gigi Sohn, Public Knowledge; Jessica Rosenworcel, Senate Commerce Committee; Jonathan Adelstein, FCC; Phil Weiser, University of Colorado; Preston Padden, Disney.

Need to know more about net neutrality, or why such leading influencers think that 2009 will be a big year for possible passage of net neutrality legislation? Then order our Sidecut Report on Net Neutrality, which contains complete analysis of the recent FCC decision, as well as a net neutrality timeline and interviews with all the top players in the debate.