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Federal Agencies

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Pai Announces Broadband Advisory Group to Propose Model City Ordinances

WASHINGTON, January 31, 2017 – Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai on Tuesday announced the formation of a new federal advisory committee that would seek to accelerate deployment of high-speed broadband nationwide, and to close the digital divide, by providing a model approach to deployment for municipalities. “Access to broadband is increasingly critical for all… Keep Reading

An Open Letter to Donald Trump From Adrianne Furniss of Benton Foundation About National Broadband Strategy

EVANSTON, Illinois, January 30, 2017 – Benton Foundation CEO Adrianne Furniss on Monday sent the following letter to to President Donald Trump and leaders both in Congress and at the Federal Communications Commission. She wrote: Just as ten years ago when Benton Foundation Founder Charles Benton called on then-President George W. Bush to develop a national broadband… Keep Reading

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai’s First Action is Approving Connect America Fund Dollars to New York State

WASHINGTON, January 26, 2017 – In his first substantive action since being named to his position on Tuesday, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced approval of the petition by New York State’s broadband program to access the Connect America Fund. The agency’s full press release is below: FCC VOTES TO EXPAND BROADBAND DEPLOYMENT IN… Keep Reading

White House Issues Executive Orders on Infrastructure, But Broadband Not Specifically Mentioned

WASHINGTON, January 24, 2017 – President Trump signed several executive orders Tuesday designed to expedite energy and infrastructure projects. Although high-speed broadband internet services are not specifically mentioned in the orders, one of them, “Expediting Environmental Reviews and Approvals For High Priority Infrastructure Projects,” (bolded below) could have an impact on projects that include broadband. The full… Keep Reading

FCC

Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai, in Statement, Confirms Appointment as Agency Chairman

WASHINGTON, January 23, 2017 — In a statement released on the web site of the Federal Communications Communications, and emailed to reporters at 4:48 p.m. ET, Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai, a Republican announced his selection as Chairman of the agency, a nominally independent agency whose chairman is designated by President Donald Trump. Pai said:… Keep Reading

Broadband Data Geeks Rejoice: Public Comment Opens for Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey

Broadband Breakfast Insight: The National Telecommunications and Information Administration is continuing its efforts to ensure good-quality broadband data, even as broadband policy remains undertain under the incoming presidential administration. These steps will ensure a good foundation. Building Our Next Internet Use Survey January 09, 2017 by Rafi Goldberg, Policy Analyst, Office of Policy Analysis and… Keep Reading

FCC Releases Video of Webinar from its ‘Connected Health’ Discussion

Broadband Breakfast Insight: This was an excellent webinar discussion probing connectivity, and helping government, non-profit and industry users to visualize data about connectivity. Think of this as the kind of activity that the National Broadband Map was designed to achieve. -> Mapping Connected Health County by County Webinar, a webinar of the Federal Communications Commission… Keep Reading

FCC

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to Step Down

WASHINGTON, December 15, 2016 – Eliminating any doubt, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler on Thursday announced his impeding resignation: Today, Chairman Tom Wheeler, after more three years at the helm of the agency, announced he intends to leave the Federal Communications Commission on January 20, 2017. Chairman Wheeler issued the following statement: “Serving as F.C.C. Chairman… Keep Reading

Statement from FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler Regarding DC Circuit Decision to Uphold FCC’s Open Internet Rules

WASHINGTON, June 14, 2016 – Today, the DC Circuit upheld the FCC’s Open Internet rules. The following statement can be attributed to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.  “Today’s ruling is a victory for consumers and innovators who deserve unfettered access to the entire web, and it ensures the internet remains a platform for unparalleled innovation, free expression and… Keep Reading

Community Broadband Center Leaders to Gather in Silicon Valley for AnchorNETS and NTIA Event on November 16-17

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California - Local broadband institutions seeking to leverage high-speed connectivity for the benefit of their broader communities will benefit from attending the inaugural AnchorNETS conference here on November 16 and 17.

Sponsored by the Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition, the AnchorNETS conference is being hosted in conjunction with the federal government's BroadbandUSA initiative on Tuesday, November 17. The AnchorNETS event will be keynoted by former Gov. Pat Quinn, the Illinois Democrat responsible for completion of a nearly $100 million, four-year project to install 1,000 miles of fiber-optic infrastructure throughout Illinois. “Governor Quinn's role in bringing together state, federal and local resources, from private and public sectors, in the pursuit of improved digital literacy and internet connectivity to Illinois anchor institutions is a model for all public officials," said John Windhausen, executive director of SHLB Coalition. Former Illinois Governor Pat Quinn [More...] Keep Reading

FCC/IP Transition

At Urging of Competify Coalition of Telecom Competitors, FCC Launches Inquiry of Broadband Business Services

WASHINGTON, October 19, 2015 - The Federal Communications Commission on Friday announced that it had launched an investigation into the broadband pricing plans of local exchange carriers AT&T, CenturyLink, Frontier and Verizon Communications for so-called "special access services" of business data. A coalition of competitive carriers and non-profit organizations dubbed Competify has been urging the inquiry, and praised Friday's order by the agency's Wireline Communications Bureau. Competify_Illustration_09122015-e1442430516826
"The incumbents use inherently anticompetitive lock-up plans – which only an entity with immense market power could impose – to charge businesses and anchor institutions excessive access rates that harm competition, restrain the deployment of competitive facilities, and impede the transition to next-generation services," according to a statement released by the group. [More...]

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White House Launches ‘Smart City’ Initiative That Links Broadband Connectivity to Urban Solutions

WASHINGTON, September 16, 2015 - A movement to make cities "smart" by using the power of broadband and information technology processing power is reaching critical mass, with the White House on Monday announcing a comprehensive initiative to support municipal efforts. Coinciding with the Smart Cities Week conference here this week, the White House released a 4,000-word summary of more than $160 million in federal research investments, leveraging more than 25 technology collaborations with local communities. The goal of these efforts? Tackling such key challenges, in the words of the White House, as "reducing traffic congestion, fighting crime, fostering economic growth, managing the effects of a changing climate, and improving the delivery of city services." "Advances in science and technology have the potential to accelerate these efforts," read the White House statement. "An emerging community of civic leaders, data scientists, technologists, and companies are joining forces to build 'Smart Cities' – communities that are building an infrastructure to continuously improve the collection, aggregation, and use of data to improve the life of their residents – by harnessing the growing data revolution, low-cost sensors, and research collaborations, and doing so securely to protect safety and privacy." The launch of White House Smart Cities Initiative [More...] Keep Reading

Pell Center Report Emphasizes Continuing Role in Broadband for State Entities

WASHINGTON, September 16, 2015 - State broadband entities and commissions continue to plan an important role in fostering economic development and digital learning, according to a recent report from the Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy. The report, "State-Level Broadband Policy: A Compendium of Resources and Approaches," catalogs some of the important capabilities and tools of the federal technology program dubbed the State Broadband Initiative of the U.S. Department of Commerce. But the report, by Pell Center Adjunct Fellow Angela Siefer, also advances the discussion about state-level broadband resources by highlighting more recently discussed tools, including eRate funding, telecommunications modernization legislation, and ways to promote local infrastructure partnerships. Angela Siefer [More...] Keep Reading

Former Architect of National Broadband Plan Says That Every City Needs a Broadband Plan

September 14, 2015 - Every city should create a city-wide broadband plan of its own, said the former director of the National Broadband Plan, in wide-ranging speech touting four strategies useful for different types of city broadband plans. Speaking on Friday at the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Officers annual conference in San Diego, Blair Levin of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program and the group Gig-U, said that every city should tackle four key strategies: (1) Getting fiber deeper into neighborhoods; (2) Using community WiFi; (3) Getting everyone online; and (4) Promoting innovative civic applications for broadband. Levin, the former architect of the Federal Communications Commission's broadband plan, crafted from 2009 to 2010, said that the United States was about the 20th country to adopt such a plan for the deployment of high-speed internet. Nearly 150 countries have one now. "With cities, we're where we were with countries in 2010. Several dozen have them," Levin said. "But now, such a plan is becoming table stakes for any city that wants its residents to be part of the 21st Century Information Economy." In his remarks, Levin addressed the pivotal role that Google Fiber has played in spurring the development of Gigabit Networks. Indeed, on Thursday, Google announced upcoming fiber-optic deployments in three new cities: Irvine, Calif., Louisville, Kentucky; and San Diego. He categories the types of cities, and they relative trajectories towards Gigabit Networks, as follows: "The first set of communities is those that either have or are likely to see Google Fiber enter. For these, the starting strategy is pretty simple. Accelerate to the extent possible, Google's entry." Whether or not Google comes, such cities will be well-situated for others, as well. Blair Levin [More...] Keep Reading

FCC Workshop on eRate Funding Shows New Flexibility for School and Library Fiber Builds

June 18, 2015 – Recent changes to the eligibility rules for the Federal Communication Commission’s eRate program open the door for new fiber connections for schools and libraries using agency funds. Among the rule changes were the suspension of the requirement that applicants seek funding for large up front construction costs over several years, the… Keep Reading

Washington Telecom Insiders Focusing on New ‘Broadband Moment’ Through Significant Policy Tweaks

June 8, 2015 – Some are calling it a second “broadband moment.” More than six years after  the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was responsible for more than $7 billion in federal funds being spent on broadband infrastructure, internet adoption and telecommunications mapping, there’s a new level of interest in re-vising the National Broadband Plan,… Keep Reading

Schools, Health and Libraries Conference a Vital Connection for Public Broadband

Schools, Health and Libraries Broadband Coalition Conference WASHINGTON, May 18, 2015 - More than five years after the unveiling of the National Broadband Plan, policy-makers and on-the-ground-advocates seeking to build better broadband networks will convene here this week at the annual conference of the Schools, Health and Libraries Broadband Coalition. The conference, "Enhancing Broadband Through Innovation, Investment and Inclusion," has become the regular Washington gathering point for those engaged in public broadband initiatives. Among the keynote and plenary sessions at this year's conference include addresses by Federal Communications Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, former Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, former Virginia Gov. and Sen. George Allen, plus Mayor Jill Boudreau of Mount Vernon, Washington. Keep Reading

Rural Telecommunications Congress Elects New Slate of Officers: Drew Clark as Incoming President; Jane Smith Patterson as Immediate Past President

AUSTIN, April 16, 2015 - The board of the directors of the Rural Telecommunications Congress voted here on Wednesday to elect a new slate of officers to lead the organization, building upon its work over the last several years. At its annual meeting held jointly with the Broadband Communities Summit here, the Rural Telecommunications Congress unanimously approved as new officers:

  • Drew Clark, President
  • Jason Whittet, Vice President
  • Frank Odasz, Secretary
  • Eric Ogle, Treasurer
  • Jane Smith Patterson, Immediate Past President
"It is a humbling experience to be entrusted with the leadership of an organization with the history and institutional knowledge of the Rural Telecommunications Congress," said Drew Clark, incoming President. [...] Drew Clark, Incoming President, Rural Telecommunications Congress Jane Smith Patterson, Immediate Past President, Rural Telecommunications Congress Keep Reading

FCC/Infrastructure

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler Pokes Finger in Eye of Telecom Incumbents at Broadband Communities in Austin

AUSTIN, April 14, 2015 - The Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission came to Broadband Communities Summit here to metaphorically poke his finger in the eye of the biggest incumbent communications companies. He cited this city as Exhibit A for his mantra of "competition, competition, competition." And one day after the first of multiple legal challenges to the agency's network neutrality rules, Wheeler delivered a full-throated defense of those regulations. Wheeler also defended -- to repeated applause from the crowd -- a vigorous defense of municipalities and to communities' rights to offer broadband internet services. Chairman Tom Wheeler at the Broadband Communities Summit. Keep Reading

Jonathan Chambers of the FCC Says Results of Rural Broadband Experiment Teach Incumbents a Lesson

AUSTIN, April 14, 2015 - The official from the Federal Communications Commission responsible for the agency's unique "rural broadband experiment" on Monday said the experiment was less about learning than about teaching the rural telecom industry that it can do better. Speaking on panel at the Broadband Communities Summit here, Jonathan Chambers, chief of the Office of Strategic Planning at the FCC, said: "I wanted to teach certain people in Washington that we could do better than 4 megabits per second (Mbps) down and 1 Mbps up [in broadband speeds.]" [...] Jonathan Chambers, Chief, Office of Strategic Planning, FCC Keep Reading

Important But Overlooked NTIA Report Highlights Best-Practices for Public-Private Partnerships on Gigabit Networks

April 13, 2015 - Attention on the significance of community-based Gigabit Networks rose dramatically when President Obama included an announcement about the importance of community broadband networks in his State of the Union address in January, and in remarks in Cedar Falls, Iowa, one week before the speech. 5500700478_c9b5bc8f9a_oAt the same time, the White House also released a report of its own on community-based broadband solutions, which highlighted the growing demand for Gigabit Networks, and also focused on some of the laws that restrict municipalities' involvement in broadband. Somewhat overlooked in the process, however, was an important report released on January 14 by the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration. In a blog post that day, NTIA Administrator Larry Strickling recapped the investments of the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program: Upgrading 113,000 miles of fiber, and connecting 25,000 community anchor institutions. The Commerce Department also released an important 16-page report, "BroadbandUSA: An introduction to effective public-private partnerships for broadband investments,"  that bears re-examination. [...] Keep Reading

NTIA Announces BroadbandUSA Effort to Assist Communities with Broadband Plans

Editor’s Note: The following blog post was published by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration of the Department of Commerce on January 14, 2015. See BroadbandBreakfast.com’s take on the significance of these report at http://broadbandbreakfast.com/2015/04/important-but-overlooked-ntia-report-highlights-best-practices-for-public-private-partnerships-on-gigabit-networks/. Over the past five years, we at NTIA have seen first-hand through our broadband grant program the power of broadband to… Keep Reading

AT&T Settles with FCC for $25 Million in Landmark Privacy and Data Breach Agreement

Cattanach_Robert (640x427)Editor's Note: On Wednesday, the Federal Communications Commission announced a $25 million settlement with AT&T for data breaches including  the releasing of thousands of customer records, including names, phone numbers and some Social Security numbers. BroadbandBreakfast.com welcomes commentaries and opinions on this and other subjects from a multitude of viewpoints. WASHINGTON, April 8, 2015 - The FCC’s settlement with AT&T sets another benchmark for data breach enforcement, with several important developments. First, it demonstrates the continuing encroachment of the FCC into areas once thought to be the exclusive domain of the FTC.  This is a classic data breach enforcement action that typically would have been prosecuted by the FTC until most recently. [...] Keep Reading

FCC to Put Its Legal Weight Behind Preemption of State Laws That Limit Community Gigabit Networks

February 3, 2015 – The Federal Communications Commission will put its legal weight behind a petition that would preempt laws in North Carolina and Tennessee  that restrict the ability of community broadband networks to expand operations. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler will urge his fellow commissioners — and is expected to obtain support from a majority… Keep Reading

White House Supports Growing National Movement of Local Leaders for Gigabit Networks

WASHINGTON, January 14, 2015 – The White House on Tuesday announced efforts to end laws that harm broadband competition, several steps to support a growing national movement of local leaders for Gigabit Networks, plus new federal funding and a new initiative to support community broadband. The announcements came on Tuesday in advance of an anticipated… Keep Reading

FCC/Universal Service

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, in Press Call with Sen. Markey, Proposes $1.5 Billion Increase in E-Rate

WASHINGTON, November 17, 2014 – Federal Communications Committee Chairman Tom Wheeler and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., on Monday proposed increasing the $1.5 billion cap to the E-rate portion of the Universal Service Fund. Schools and libraries, who would benefit from such an increase, have been calling for it for years now. Despite requests for E-rate… Keep Reading

FCC/Rural Utilities Service

Press Release: Rural Broadband Experiments Draw Interest from Almost 200 Applicants

Experiments Explore Expansion of Robust Broadband in a Time of Technology Transitions WASHINGTON, November 12, 2014 – The Federal Communications Commission’s experiment exploring how to expand robust broadband in rural America in the most cost-effective way has attracted almost 600 project bids from 181 applicants, representing nearly $885 million worth of projects. In total, the 181… Keep Reading

Orwellian Symbolism of Barack Obama, Seeking to Classify Broadband as a Utility, in China

Editor’s Note: With the announcement of President Obama’s desire to classify broadband as public utility, BroadbandBreakfast.com welcomes commentaries and opinions on the subject from a multitude of viewpoints. November 12, 2014 – During President Obama’s official visit to China Monday, the White House issued a statement of support of government regulation of the Internet with… Keep Reading

Broadband Data/Fiber/NTIA/Wireless

Attendees at Connect Michigan Conference Want Rural High-Speed Broadband

WASHINGTON, October 29, 2014 – Small business owners, teachers, librarians and representatives broadband industry official gathered at the 2014 Michigan Broadband Conference in the city of Lansing on Wednesday to discuss affordable and innovative ways to enhance Michiganians’ internet access. The conference was hosted by Connect Michigan, a Michigan subsidiary of the non-profit national group… Keep Reading

Press Release: Kirton McConkie Expands New Telecom Practice with Addition of Technology Industry Lawyer Drew Clark

SALT LAKE CITY (Oct. 28, 2014) – Kirton McConkie PC is pleased to announce that Drew Clark has joined as of counsel in the firm’s Telecommunications Practice Group. He joins shareholder David J. Shaw in this new practice area for the firm, which focuses on assisting state and local governments in deploying broadband infrastructure to support economic development. [...] Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: White House and Wheeler Together, Cable Industry Group, and Commentary on NTIA Broadband Report

WASHINGTON, October 20, 2014 – Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler said that he and President Barack Obama agree in their opposition to paid prioritization, Multichannel News reported. Obama stated his objection to the practice during his remarks at an innovation forum in California on October 9. Although the two haven’t discussed it directly, Wheeler… Keep Reading

FCC

Cloud Immigrants, 3D Telepresence and Immersive Reality Chart New Era for Education and Health, Says Pew Report on Gigabit Apps

WASHINGTON, October 16, 2014 – Three-dimensional holograms, immersive virtual reality environments, instant face-to-face meetings that match physical meetings and inch closer to a real-life virtual hug. These are among the technologies made available by Gigabit Networks, according to “Killer Apps in the Gigabit Age,” a report released last week by the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project. “What is striking about the answers in the report is that technologists are way ahead of current reality,” said Lee Rainie, the Director of the Internet Project, in an interview. The report surveyed more than 1,400 experts from academia, tech firms and the industry about their thoughts on the report’s two titular topics: apps and connectivity in 2025. Via: Xbox Culture [more...] Keep Reading

Digital Inclusion/Education/FCC/NTIA

EXCLUSIVE: An Array of FCC Partners on ConnectED Program Strive for Digital Education

WASHINGTON, October 13, 2014 – As technology permeates society, students are growing more comfortable with learning in the technology medium. Whether it’s organizing tables in Microsoft’s Excel, learning design software, or computer programming, there are increasingly fewer excuses to avoid technology. Tech giants like Microsoft, Autodesk, Apple and Prezi are embracing this rapid evolution and… Keep Reading

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