WASHINGTON, June 23, 2014 - The Federal Communications Commission announced that its open meeting on July 11 will center on closed captioning of internet protocol-delivered video clips, the Connect America Fund’s rural broadband expansion, and modernizing E-Rate to deliver digital learning.
Tom Wheeler explained more about the E-Rate modernization plan in a blog post on Friday, June 20. The agency is set to contribute $2 billion over the next two years toward Wi-Fi network upgrades in schools and libraries in addition to the fund's $2.4 billion budget.
The stated goal is to connect 10 million students and discourage spending on older technologies like dial-up phones and pagers.
"Today, three out of five schools in America lack sufficient Wi-Fi capability needed to provide students with 21st Century educational tools," said Wheeler. "As currently structured, E-Rate in past years has only been able to support Wi-Fi in 5 percent of schools and 1 percent of libraries. Last year, no money was available for Wi-Fi."
"The new plan will make E-Rate dollars go farther by creating processes to drive down prices and increase transparency on how program dollars are spent. And it will simplify the application process for schools and libraries, making the program more efficient while reducing the potential for fraud and abuse."
Wheeler also said the free market had "failed" to provide basic broadband "to more than 15 million Americans" in rural areas. At a House Judiciary Committee hearing Friday, congressional Republicans said that the FCC has no business arbitrating over net neutrality, the National Journal reported. They think the task should actually be delegated to the Federal Trade Commission instead.
The FCC regulates communications networks while the FTC focuses on malicious business practices that harm competition and consumers.
"I believe that vigorous application of the antitrust laws can prevent dominant internet service providers from discriminating against competitors' content or engaging in anticompetitive pricing practices," said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican, according to National Journal.
Democratic legislators disagreed, according to Bloomberg. They argued that FTC antitrust regulation is too narrow and neglects non-economic values like free speech.
“We need a regulatory solution to address potential threats to net neutrality and must allow the FCC to do its job,” said Rep. John Conyers, of Michigan, according to Bloomberg.
The Guardian reported reported that the National Security Agency's bulk data collection will continue at least three more months following the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court's approval of a Justice Department request on Thursday, June 19.
The Justice Department and director of national intelligence, James Clapper, said in a joint statement that extensions of the program are necessary since Congressional legislation specifying NSA parameters hasn't yet passed.
"Given that legislation has not yet been enacted, and given the importance of maintaining the capabilities of the Section 215 telephony metadata program, the government has sought a 90-day reauthorization of the existing program," said the joint statement, according to the Guardian.
- Smart Cities Connect to Hold 2020 Global Event Honoring 50 Smart Projects
- Broadband Roundup: More on the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, 5G National Advocacy, and Policy Hackers
- Panelists on NTIA Broadband Webinar Say Smart Buildings Boost Civic Resiliency and Public Health
- Dynamic Spectrum Sharing Subject of Debate at Senate Commerce Committee Hearing on the Future
- FTC Settlement with YouTube Has Creators Upset and Worried About FTC Approach to Children’s Privacy
Signup for Broadband Breakfast
China2 months ago
Prakash Sangam: China’s Huawei Clones Are Greater Threat to National Security than Huawei
Open Access3 weeks ago
UTOPIA Fiber: A Model Open-Access Network
Broadband's Impact3 months ago
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Praises Agency’s Work in Promoting High-Speed Internet at ‘Broadband Heros’ Event
Open Access2 months ago
UTOPIA Fiber Announces Partnerships with Morgan, Utah, Idaho Falls, and Other Cities
Broadband Mapping & Data3 months ago
Broadband Data From Providers Needs to be Checked With Data From Users, Say Panelists at Mapping Event
Education2 months ago
State Educational Technology Officials Say Better Broadband Necessary for Pedagogy and Equity
FCC2 months ago
As Next Year’s C-Band Auction Looms, FCC Officials Reflect on Innovation in Spectrum Auctions
FCC1 month ago
Telephony Industry Rises to the Challenge of Robocalls, With Legislation, Regulation and Enforcement Close Behind