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05 January 2017
| James Pearce
Donald Trump has named two more advisers to his landing team for the Federal Communications Commission as he prepares to take the US Presidency later this month.
Republic Wireless co-founder David Morken and Aalborg
Universtiy professor Roslyn Layton will join the FCC transition
team, which will help set policies at the telecoms
Morken is currently CEO of Bandwidth.com, an OTT messaging
and voice provider that offers APIs for integrating
communications services into smartphone apps and enterprise
solutions. It offers voice over IP services (VoIP), which can
connect to Sprint’s network when WiFi is
Unlike previous appointments made by the President-elect,
Morken is not an outspoken opponent of net neutrality, which
has been a
bane of contention between the FCC and telecoms operators
after the regulator brought in
strict rules last year.
Trump has previously appointed candidates with connections
to the telecoms industry, including Jeff Eisenach, who had
worked with Verizon; and Mark Jamison, who was part of
Sprint’s lobbying team. Both had expressed
opposition to net neutrality rules brought in by outgoing FCC
chairman Tom Wheeler,
who will step down later this month.
Layton has expressed views on the FCC’s net
neutrality rules more in line with Trump’s,
however. Layton, who like Eisenach and Jamison is a contributor
to the American Enterprise Institute, warned that the
FCC’s decision to place restrictions on Internet
Service Providers (ISPs) after years of no regulation could
stunt growth in the sector.
She also advised that the FCC should have adopted softer net
neutrality rules, as it had offered no economic evidence to
support its stance.
Countries with hard rules (Netherlands, Chile, and Slovenia)
have experienced a decline their respective edge provider
innovation since adopting hard rules," Layton wrote on June 14,
2016. "It is no surprise Google and Netflix, which lobby
heavily for the rules, have increased their market share
particularly in countries with hard rules."
"Regulatory agencies need to be at an arm’s
length from politics, make evidenced-based assessments, and
ensure that decisions about critical industries do not amount
to the handing out of political favours," Layton wrote on Sept.
Trump is due to be sworn-in as the 45th President of the
United States on 20 January, and
Verizon has already announced plans to upgrade its network
to handle the expected uplift in traffic in Washington during