With the election of a new president and new Democratic majorities in Congress, the era of corporate influence is over in Washington, D.C. Or, at least that what I had heard. According to our old friend Tim Carney, I may have been mistaken:
A telecommunications company has confirmed for this columnist that its vice president for policy—who is also an Obama donor and a former lobbyist—is advising Barack Obama’s transition team on telecom policy.
Obama’s transition team, which has failed to disclose this executive’s involvement, happens to have proposed a significant change in telecom policy that will profit that very company, called Clearwire.
By pushing to delay the long-scheduled transition of television broadcasting from analog signals to digital signals, president-elect Obama is directly aiding Sprint and its partner Clearwire while hurting Verizon.
It turns out that there is more to this digital TV transition than just those endless commercials advising old people that their 1953 RCA with rabbit ears isn’t going to be able to function on its own anymore. Additional props go to Julian Sanchez at Ars Technica for breaking and updating the story.