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Federal Agencies

Bob Frankston: It’s Time to Move From ‘Broadband’ to ‘Infrastructure’

The success of the internet demonstrates that we now depend on network operators to assure that services like telephony work. The carriers are pushing back on neutrality because their business model is threatened by a level playing field. We should be encouraging innovative internet-native business models rather than working to preserve an industry threatened by… Keep Reading

Democrats Are Mad as Hell About FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s Proposed Changes to Net Neutrality

WASHINGTON, December 7, 2017 — Tom Wheeler, the Federal Communications Commission chairman under President Obama, wasn’t coy in expressing his feelings about his replacement’s “abomination” of a plan to gut the open internet rules he put in place two-and-a-half years ago. “This is the culmination of a grand plan which started back in 2013,” Wheeler… Keep Reading

New Resource from Institute for Local Self-Reliance on Building Fiber in Rural America

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Once again, the folks at the Institute for Local Self Reliance have produced another standout report on how to get better broadband to those parts of American that are not served by the major incumbents. This report focuses on the role that cooperatives are playing, and can continue to play, in making… Keep Reading

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Tackles Twitter, Not ISPs, on Issues of ‘Neutrality’

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Is everyone having enough fun on this issue of network neutrality/open internet/”search neutrality”/Twitter-fenestration? It’s been a wacky week, and the craziness is likely to accelerate over the next two weeks. Here, CNET’s Marguerite Reardon covers Pai’s Tuesday speech at the R Street Institute in Washington. FCC chairman calls Twitter the real threat… Keep Reading

NTIA Outlines Process and Funding for States Seeking to Opt-out of FirstNet

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: In a significant new development, the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration outlines a process for how states will be able to receive funding to build their own public safety wireless networks that are separate and apart from FirstNet. The far, approximately 35 of the 50 states have opted-in to FirstNet. Colorado and… Keep Reading

The FCC Proposal to Overturn Net Neutrality Leads Congress to Express Support for Internet Rules

WASHINGTON, November 23, 2017 – Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday praised plans by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to roll back the network neutrality rules put in place by his predecessor, but pledged to work towards some sort of legislation that would outlaw blocking and throttling internet content currently… Keep Reading

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Launches His Biggest Battle: Eliminating Net Neutrality Regulations

WASHINGTON, November 21, 2017 – In a move that could further infuriate an already-energized coalition of technology industry power players, consumer advocates, and progressive interest groups, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai on Tuesday unveiled plans to undo the net neutrality rules that put in place in some form or another since the early years… Keep Reading

White House Supports FCC Efforts to Close Digital Divide in Efficient Manner

WASHINGTON, November 21, 2017 — The White House on Friday defended the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to prevent telecommunications service resellers like TracPhone and Simply Wireless from participating in the Universal Service Fund Lifeline program, and to restrict participation in the program to facilities-based providers like AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile. The Lifeline program allows low-income… Keep Reading

FCC Restricts Options Under the Low-Income Consumer Lifeline Program, to Democratic Outcry

WASHINGTON, November 16, 2017 — In a move harshly condemned by Democrats and consumer advocates, the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday voted along party lines to significantly restrict the Universal Service Fund’s Lifeline program, which provides subsidies to enable lower-income consumers to purchase basic telecommunications services. The vote took place during a contentious open meeting… Keep Reading

FCC/Fiber/Infrastructure/Wireless

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Visits Puerto Rico to Assess Communications Infrastructure Recovery Efforts

WASHINGTON, November 7, 2017 — The Universal Service Fund dollars the Federal Communications Chairman has allocated for rebuilding Puerto Rico’s communications infrastructure has helped with rebuilding efforts so far, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai  said on Monday in a statement following his visit to meet with stakeholders across the hurricane-ravaged island. “I was glad to hear… Keep Reading

Is the FCC Preparing to Ready New Preemption Mandates Regarding Wireless Sites?

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: New developments on the preemption front. From an administration that speaks about federalism and devolution of power, we have potentially new centralizing mandates emerging from the Federal Communications Commission. Sneak peek at FCC’s pending preemption of local wireless reviews? | From Steve Blum’s Tellus Venture Associates The Federal Communications Commission might have… Keep Reading

FCC Provides Details for Puerto Rican E-Rate Funding as Chairman Pai Visits Island

WASHINGTON, November 4, 2017 — More than a month after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico’s communications infrastructure, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai on Friday announced that he will travel to the island territory on Sunday to observe the recovery process and assess the pace of efforts to restore communications on the hurricane-ravaged United States… Keep Reading

William Rinehart: Why the Democrats $40 Billion Broadband Deployment Plan Misses the Mark

Democratic leadership in both the House and Senate recently released a plan for broadband deployment that would spend $40 billion in taxpayer money in an effort to get everyone online. Like many other proposals of this nature, however, it lacks in the very specifics that are so important in broadband policy. First, as the Federal Communications Commission… Keep Reading

Mignon Clyburn Blasts FCC Chairman Ajit Pai for Failing to ‘Put Consumers First’

WASHINGTON, November 1, 2017 — After nearly a year in the minority on the Federal Communications Commission, Democratic FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn  told reporters on Wednesday that she has had enough of a Republican majority that “is not putting consumers first.” “The first 10 months [under Chairman Ajit Pai] have been a direct attack on… Keep Reading

Broadband Breakfast to Attend Ammon, Idaho-Next Century Cities Event on Open Access Fiber Networks

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: The long-awaited day has arrived for the “official” launch of the open-access fiber-optic network in Ammon, Idaho. This city of about 14,000 people has been making waves for some time with its unique approach to (a) providing advanced open-access technology and (b) enabling a financing model that leverages an opt-in Local Improvement… Keep Reading

Creatively Tapping the Universal Service Fund to Address Hurricane Maria Damage in Puerto Rico

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is proposing a creative response to repair the damage done by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico by tapping into the Universal Service Fund for necessary infrastructure repairs. A decision on the matter is planned for the agency’s October 24 meeting, but could happen sooner. FCC proposes… Keep Reading

FCC Chairman Appoints New Head to Its Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee

WASHINGTON, September 15, 2017 — Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai on Thursday announced the appointment of wireless broadband advocate L. Elizabeth Bowles to lead the FCC’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee. “[Bowles] has made great contributions to the BDAC and its working groups already, and she brings to the table a combination of talents and… Keep Reading

Infrastructure/White House

Donald Trump Signs Executive Order Designed to Streamline Infrastructure Permitting

WASHINGTON, August 16, 2017 —President Donald Trump on Monday signed a new executive order to streamline the nation’s infrastructure permitting processes.The order, which Trump signed during a ceremony at his New York City residence, will “ensure that the Federal environmental review and permitting process for infrastructure projects is coordinated, predictable, and transparent.” Major infrastructure projects — which… Keep Reading

One Year In, NTIA’s BroadbandUSA Webinar Takes a Break For the Month of August

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: We’ve been enjoying our participation in this webinar series of the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration. It has now run for one year. However, the webinar series is taking a break for the month of August, so don’t expect an event this Wednesday! BroadbandUSA presents a webinar on the… Keep Reading

FCC/Rural Telecom/Wireless

Sens. Gardner and Hassan Introduce AIRWAVES Act, Greeted Positively by All Sides

WASHINGTON, August 2, 2017 — A pair of senators on Tuesday introduced a bipartisan bill which they hope will improve wireless networks in underserved rural areas of the United States. The aptly named Advancing Innovation and Reinvigorating Widespread Access to Viable Electromagnetic Spectrum (AIRWAVES) Act, introduced by Sens. Maggie Hassan, D-New Hampshire, and Cory Gardner,… Keep Reading

FCC/Senate

FCC Nominee’s Failure to Identify Industry Clients Unlikely to Delay Brendan Carr Nomination

WASHINGTON, August 1, 2017 — Omissions in sworn testimony by Federal Commissions Commission Republican nominee Brendan Carr regarding his representation of various telecommunications providers won’t cause any delay in his upcoming confirmation vote, Senate Commerce Committee Ranking Member Bill Nelson, D-Fla, told BroadbandBreakfast.com on Monday. Carr, who currently serves as general counsel to the FCC… Keep Reading

President Trump Remains Committed to Moving Broadband Through Infrastructure Bill

WASHINGTON, August 1, 2017 — President Donald Trump is committed to moving an infrastructure bill this year despite making little legislative progress towards on other policy goals, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Monday. “The President has been very outspoken on the need for a massive overhaul to the country’s infrastructure system,”… Keep Reading

Infrastructure/NTIA/Senate

Verizon Senior Vice President Peter Davidson Questioned on Data and Science at Confirmation Hearing

WASHINGTON, July 28, 2017 – At a Wednesday confirmation hearing for Peter Davidson to be general counsel of the Department of Commerce and others, Senate Commerce Committee ranking member Bill Nelson, D-Florida, said the country needed data-driven leadership. Chairman John Thune, R-South Dakota, introduced Davidson and the other nominees. Davidson was senior vice president of… Keep Reading

Net Neutrality Big Focus of House Oversight Subcommittee Hearing, With Stark Partisanship

WASHINGTON, July 26, 2017 – The official topic of Tuesday’s House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing was reauthorization of the Federal Communications Commission, but the big focus was on net neutrality. “The Commission’s decision in 2015 to reclassify the internet as a public utility was a power grab laced with the irony of suffocating the… Keep Reading

Infrastructure/White House

Pushing Infrastructure Through Executive Order, Trump Creates Advisory Council

WASHINGTON, July 25, 2017 – With Congress heading towards the August recess without any sign of the administration’s promised $1 trillion infrastructure plan, President Donald Trump on Thursday signed an executive order creating a new Presidential Advisory Council on Infrastructure. The advisory council – which will operate under the auspices of the Commerce Department –… Keep Reading

Rural Broadband Focus Increasingly Necessary in Infrastructure Package, Say Blackburn and Panelists at Brookings

WASHINGTON, July 25, 2017 – Rural areas of Tennessee have lost business because they don’t have access to high-speed internet, Tennessee Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn said Monday at a panel on broadband infrastructure hosted by the Brookings Institution. Trump was aggressively pushing new infrastructure, said Blackburn, the chairwoman of the House Energy and Commerce Communications… Keep Reading

FCC’s Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee Holds Second Meeting With Working Group Reports

WASHINGTON, July 21, 2017 – Speaking at a meeting of the agency’s newly-form Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee, Federal Communications Commissioner Michael O’Rielly put forward his view that state and local governments are creating barriers to broadband deployment across the United States. “Broadband deployment remains a top priority of this Commission,” O’Rielly said. “It’s more than… Keep Reading

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Questioned on Net Neutrality, Rural Broadband, During Re-Confirmation Hearing

WASHINGTON, July 20, 2017 – Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai came to his re-confirmation hearing Wednesday with a message that network neutrality regulations were hurting infrastructure investments. The hearing joined Pai, current FCC chairman, with Jessica Rosenworcel, who had been an FCC commissioner until her term lapsed at the end of last year, and… Keep Reading

Trump Administration Spokesmen Support FCC Chairman Pai’s Net Neutrality Reversal

WASHINGTON, July 20, 2017 — Bolstering Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai in advance of his Senate confirmation hearing, the White House late Tuesday said the Trump Administration was committed to Pai’s plans to roll back net neutrality regulations put in place by former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. “The administration believes that rules of the… Keep Reading

With Political Cyberattacks in the Background, Trump Administration Prepares Cybersecurity Review

WASHINGTON, July 6, 2017 — The threat of mass cyberattack has been forcing the Trump Administration to take precautionary steps and boost the profile of cybersecurity. And yet the Trump Administration hasn’t yet assembled a cohesive cybersecurity strategy after five months in office. Trump signed an executive order on May 11, and which the White… Keep Reading

Federal Trade Commission Workshop on Connected Cars Raises Issues of Data Breaches and Privacy

WASHINGTON, July 3, 2017 – Self-driving vehicles could reduce congestion, supplement public transit systems and help the elderly and disabled travel safely, said Jeffrey Massimilla, chief product cybersecurity officer of Product Cybersecurity for General Motors, at a Federal Trade Commission workshop on Wednesday. Maureen Ohlhausen, acting chairman of the FTC, said that most new cars… Keep Reading

Rural Americans Disproportionately Lack Access to Broadband, Says Small Business Committee

WASHINGTON, June 26, 2017 – Among rural Americans, 39 percent lack access to high speed internet compared to only 4 percent of urban Americans who lack access, said Rep. Rod Blum, R-Iowa, at a hearing Thursday on Capitol Hill. He said more needs to be done to get rural Americans service on par with urban… Keep Reading

Better Broadband Data Necessary to Make Overdue Improvements in Universal Service Fund, Say Panelists

WASHINGTON, June 26, 2017 – Without efficient data, the Federal Communications Commission can’t put together a model that shows what the cost would be to cover areas with no wireless coverage, the senior vice president of strategic relations of the broadband company C Spire said at a hearing on Tuesday. The hearing on Capitol Hill… Keep Reading

Trump’s Message to Tech and Telecom: We’ll Eliminate Regulations Hindering Growth

WASHINGTON, June 22, 2017 — President Donald Trump on Thursday told reporters his administration is focused on eliminating regulations that could hinder investment and growth in the technology sector. “My administration has been laser focused on removing the government barriers to job growth and prosperity,” Trump said during the White House’s American Leadership in Emerging… Keep Reading

Agriculture Department Secretary Sonny Perdue Speaks on Trump Administration and Broadband

Editor’s Note: From the press gaggle on Wednesday, June 21, 2017, between White House Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Waters, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, and members of the press, about broadband internet services: PRESS GAGGLE BY DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY LINDSAY WALTERS SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE SONNY PERDUE Aboard Air Force One En Route Cedar Rapids, Iowa… Keep Reading

Trump Administration Officially Announces Broadband as Part of Infrastructure Package

WASHINGTON, June 22, 2017 — President Donald Trump’s announcement that he would add broadband internet access to his $1 trillion infrastructure proposal drew praise from FCC Chairman Ajit Pai despite the lack of details regarding how the Trump Administration would go about promoting more widespread broadband deployment. “I am grateful to President Trump for his… Keep Reading

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