The U.S. Federal Communications Commission unanimously decided in August to eliminate a rule that required the regional Bell operating companies to make their still-developing broadband networks available to rivals at discounted prices. Reversing a longtime stance, the FCC no longer maintains that offering consumers broadband services on attractive terms requires there to be competing providers of digital subscriber line, or DSL, service.

The Baby Bells had complained that having to open their networks to DSL rivals at prices set to guarantee the commercial viability of the competitors, while at the same time maintaining the networks themselves, discouraged them from investing in system upgrades that would allow them to compete effectively against cable companies. The Bells also complained that cable companies were exempt from the common carrier rules that the FCC enforces. A U.S. Supreme Court decision in June, called the Brand X ruling, affirmed the agency's classification of cable companies' broadband offerings as data services, meaning that the cable companies do not have to open their networks to competitors.

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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