Ms. Buyer is a regular columnist for the THE BULLETIN of the Bar Association of Erie County and is a contributor to No Jitter. Previously, she has written numerous commentaries on telecommunications law for other legal and telecommunications publications including, among others, The Daily Record, Communications Convergence and Computer Telephony. Her articles cover a broad range of topics highlighting current telecommunications issues including federal and state telecommunications policy, litigation, wireless technologies, spectrum policy, FCC initiatives, and industry consolidation. Martha Buyer has also contributed to the ABA Journal Report.

Friday
Dec152017

A Comment on Today’s Net Neutrality Decision

I do not now, nor have I ever, belonged to a political party.  I have never missed voting in a November election, and have happily and easily voted for both Republicans and Democrats.  I share this only to put what follows in context. The FCC’s horribly partisan decision on the Net Neutrality rules put in place in 2015 is exactly why, although I have opinions on political issues, I’ve never committed to one party or the other.  I can’t remember ever being as disappointed as I was today in the position taken by the majority commissioners (Chairman Pai and Commissioners O’Rielly and Carr) that hurts consumers in ways that are far removed from the insular bubble that is Washington, DC.

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Friday
Dec012017

Net Neutrality - Why This Battle Is So Critical

Every time I get a junk fax, I file a complaint with the FCC. Last week, when I received the most recent “too good to be true” offer, I went to file another one, and the first thing that I noticed is that across the top of the FCC’s complaint homepage is a banner providing a short cut to the place where the FCC is taking comments on its proposal to roll back net neutrality rules,  the Obama-era Open Internet Order that the agency is poised to dismantle before year end.  Even the way that the act has been titled, “The Restoring Internet Freedom Act”  is offensive to those of us who believe that while we may be sufficiently lucky to enjoy the benefits of them,  there remain many greater goods than shareholder return.

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Monday
Oct022017

Changing Broadband Definitions

It’s hard to imagine that this is a political issue, but it’s a very hot one!
 
It’s a question that’s almost as old as the one about the chicken and egg.  If too many kids are failing a test, is the test too hard, or are kids not working hard enough, or not being taught sufficiently well, to master the material necessary to pass?  Across the spectrum from education to business to sports, and now to internet access, this question is asked thousands of times when, for any number of reasons (some of them even good reasons), defined benchmarks are missed. 

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Wednesday
Sep202017

Hurricanes and Spoofers

Aggressive telemarketers—or marketers in general—have a long, successful history of seizing opportunities and running with them.  In fact, this is what all good marketers always intend to do regardless of industry.  Certainly those marketers have relied on (and often exceeded the boundaries of) the ever-evolving rules established by the Telecommunications Consumer Protection Act (TCPA,  47 U.S.C. 227), signed into law in 1991 by President George H. W. Bush.  You’d likely be accused—at least in this industry—of living under a rock if you’d never heard of  or been affected by it, either when the landline rang at dinnertime, or when your mobile device received calls or texts from unidentified or familiar-looking numbers trying to offer you a vacation, free money, or home repair services.

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Wednesday
Aug022017

Telephony Elegy for Rural America

AT&T, Verizon looking to change rules for copper infrastructure retirement
Earlier this summer, I read J.D. Vance’s eye-opening book Hillbilly Elegy. A memoir about growing up in a poor and unusual family in Southeastern Ohio, this story raised much larger questions for me in terms of how we, as American society, support communities where economic and other associated challenges (unemployment, crime, drugs, among other systemic problems) make breaking the cycle of poverty difficult.

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