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Category archive

Federal Agencies

The Internet Wonk’s Guide to the Trump Administration’s New American Broadband Initiative

February 13, 2019 - The Trump Administration on Wednesday highlighted the importance of enhancing broadband internet service for America, particularly in rural areas, as it promoted a variety of existing federal initiatives under a new brand, the "American Broadband Initiative." Through the issuance of a new "Milestones Report" by the Agriculture Department and the Commerce… Keep Reading

How Abraham Lincoln’s Belief in Equal Opportunity Animated a Passion for Infrastructure Improvements

Editor's Note: Around the time of Presidents' Day eight years ago, I wrote this piece about the connection between Abraham Lincoln's passion for infrastructure improvements and his belief in equal opportunity. I linked it to the then pressing - and still pressing - need for infrastructure improvements in Rural America. On Abraham Lincoln's 210th birthday… Keep Reading

FCC/Net Neutrality

FCC General Counsel Gets Tough Questions at D.C. Circuit Court’s Net Neutrality Hearing

WASHINGTON, February 2, 2019 — Network Neutrality once again took center stage Friday as the Federal Communications Commission found itself defending its repeal of Obama-era Open Internet rules before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Friday’s oral argument was the most recent of many partisan clashes… Keep Reading

FCC/Press Releases

FCC Releases Tentative Agenda for January 30 Agency Meeting

Editor's Note: The Federal Communications Commission released the following press release, entitled "FCC Announces Tentative Agenda for January Open Meeting": WASHINGTON, January 3, 2019—Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced that the items below are tentatively on the agenda for the January Open Commission Meeting scheduled for Wednesday, January 30, 2019.  Should the current lapse… Keep Reading

The Supreme Court Finally Says It Won’t Reconsider Old Net Neutrality Case

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Talk about finally letting the other shoe drop! On Monday, the Supreme Court, on a 4-3 vote (with two of the conservatives justices recusing themselves) refused to consider the old net neutrality case - the one lodged by the Obama administration, and which put extensive net neutrality regulations into effect. Those rules,… Keep Reading

Phoenix Center Releases Results of Study Documenting Lower Broadband Investment from 2015

US Telecom recently released an update to its U.S. broadband industry capital spending series. Ford’s analysis shows that while the decline in capital spending in 2015 and 2016 stopped in 2017, investment in the telecommunications sector is materially compressed, being about $10-to-$13 billion (or 12-to-15%) below expectations in 2017 with nearly $24-to-$30 billion in investment lost to the Title II drama since 2015. Keep Reading

Social Media/White House

Citing No Evidence, Trump Claims Google Search Results Are ‘Rigged’ Against Him, Repeats Debunked Claim First Made In Russian State Media

WASHINGTON, August 28, 2018 — President Donald Trump on Tuesday accused Google’s search engine of suppressing conservative news stories and other “fair” news stories about him, repeating a discredited claim first made in a debunked Russian propaganda article. “Google search results for “Trump News” shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake New Media. In other words,… Keep Reading

M-Lab Celebrates 10 Years of Broadband Speed Tests, Discusses Work with Schools and Libraries

WASHINGTON, August 16, 2018 - New measures to improve broadband education and access in schools and libraries were among the innovations in broadband data touted on the second day of a conference last week on Measurement Lab. The 10 year anniversary conference was hosted on August 7 and 8 by the New American Foundation, which… Keep Reading

NTIA’s Request for Comments on Broadband Data Spurs Concerns About FCC’s Form 477

WASHINGTON, August 7, 2018 – Many in the broadband industry commenting on broadband availability data exposed the weaknesses of current Federal Communications Commission data – and not only in the data itself but in the process by which it is collected. The Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications Industry Association conducted a request for comments on actions… Keep Reading

FCC Passes ‘One Touch Make Ready,’ Designed to Speed Broadband Deployment, on a Split Vote

WASHINGTON, August 2, 2018 – The Federal Communications Commission voted to pass the new, so-called “One Touch Make Ready” policy, a measure designed to accelerate pole attachment processes for new broadband deployments. At the agency’s monthly open meeting today, the commissioners voted 3-1 to shift the framework for pole attachments to permit “simple” make-ready processes… Keep Reading

While Google and Verizon Favor ‘One Touch Make Ready,’ Comcast and AT&T Want to Drag Heels

WASHINGTON, August 2, 2018 - Google Fiber and Verizon split with AT&T and Comcast over the so-called “One-Touch Make-Ready” policy, with the former claiming that the need for faster deployment speeds make the policy essential, and the other side claiming it oversteps existing rules and jurisdiction for pole attachment regulation. Later on Thursday, the Federal… Keep Reading

U.S. is Falling Behind in Internet Influence to Europe, Russia and China, Cybersecurity Experts Tell Senate

WASHINGTON, July 31, 2018 - The U.S. is falling behind in internet regulation and risks losing the global internet leadership position to the EU, China, and Russia, some internet privacy experts said at a Senate subcommittee hearing on Tuesday. On July 31, the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet held a hearing to… Keep Reading

Rural Electric Cooperatives Pose an Obvious Solution for Deploying Fiber to Rural Areas, Says Former FCC Official

PITTSBURGH, July 31, 2018 - Rural electric cooperatives and not “small cell” deployment powered by 5G networks, may be the solution to closing the digital divide, according to Jonathan Chambers, former chief of the Federal Communications Commission’s Office of Strategic Planning. Speaking at the regional conference hosted last week here by Next Century Cities, a… Keep Reading

For Robust Broadband in the 5G Era, More Local Control May Be Required

PITTSBURGH, July 30, 2018 - Many broadband experts speaking at the Next Century Cities regional summit here said last week that city jurisdiction should take precedence over federal rules in ensuring impactful broadband deployment. The conference highlighted some of these local voices, eager for broadband deployment even as they criticize recent Federal Communications Commission moves… Keep Reading

BroadbandUSA Webinar on Statewide Strategies Highlighted Role of Community Planning, Libraries

WASHINGTON, July 23, 2018 - In rural America, data-driven tools and libraries are heading efforts to expand broadband access, according to broadband policy experts. On July 18, BroadbandUSA hosted a webinar “Statewide Strategies for Rural Digital Inclusion,” discussing state-level measures to extend broadband access to unserved rural areas. Amy Huffman, a research and policy analyst… Keep Reading

FCC Chairman Attempts to Assuage Local Government Anger Against the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee

WASHINGTON, July 12, 2018 – In advance of the Federal Communications Commission’s open meeting on Thursday, agency Chairman Ajit Pai announced a local government representative as the new vice chair of the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee. The announcement may be one more volley in the back-and-forth feud between local governments and the agency over a… Keep Reading

Public-Private Partnerships, Local Involvement Central to Colorado Broadband Success

WASHINGTON, July 9, 2018 - Colorado broadband officials stressed the importance of public-private partnerships in extending broadband access to unserved Americans in rural areas, and expressed doubts that the so-called fifth-generation wireless standard dubbed 5G will be the answer to closing the digital divide. Speaking at a webinar hosted by the Schools, Health, & Libraries… Keep Reading

Smart Agriculture Needs Better Broadband in Rural Areas, Say NTIA Panelists

WASHINGTON, June 26, 2018 – The lack of broadband coverage in rural areas is impeding the agriculture sector from making greater use of “precision farming,” according to experts speaking at a Commerce Department webinar on Wednesday. Speaking at a National Telecommunications and Information Administration webinar on “Smart Agriculture: Increasing Productivity Through Technology” hosted by BroadbandUSA,… Keep Reading

Justice Department Weighs in on Whether Politics Motivated the Lawsuit Against AT&T-Time Warner Merger

WASHINGTON, June 13, 2018 – Was a federal district court judge’s decision to permit AT&T’s merger with Time Warner a victory for the rule or law over politics – or was it instead another defeat for the consumer at the hand of ever-consolidating mega-entities? That question permeated Tuesday’s conference on “Free Speech and Democracy in… Keep Reading

Judge Allows AT&T-Time Warner Merger to Proceed Over Objections of Trump Justice Department

WASHINGTON, June 12, 2018 - A federal district judge on Tuesday ruled that AT&T can proceed with its $85 billion merger with entertainment giant Time-Warner, spurning Justice Department arguments that the allowing the deal to proceed would harm consumers by driving up cable television costs. District Judge Richard Leon flatly rejected the Justice Department’s  contention that… Keep Reading

Democrats Mourn Loss of Net Neutrality, But Industry Supporters Call it a New Day

This article was written and reported by Andrew Feinberg and Heather Heimbach. WASHINGTON, June 12, 2018 - As the Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of Obama-era network neutrality rules took effect Monday, Democrats and net neutrality advocates vowed to continue the effort to use a Congressional Review Act resolution to roll back the new FCC rules.… Keep Reading

Senate Democrats’ Vote Against Net Neutrality Repeal a ‘Political Tool,’ Charges TechFreedom

WASHINGTON, June 11, 2018 – Before the official date on which the Federal Communications Commission’s action changing net neutrality were to go into effect, conservative technology experts slammed a recent Senate vote to restore those Obama-era network neutrality protections “The [Congressional Review Act vote] is purely being used as a political tool, and it is… Keep Reading

ZTE Not Part Of China Trade Talks, Will Not Be Let Off ‘Scot-Free’ If Export Ban Is Lifted, Kudlow Says

WASHINGTON, May 21, 2018 — Finding a way to allow Chinese telecommunications equipment maker ZTE back into US markets is not part of the Trump administration's ongoing trade talks with China and any solution will still punish the company for past actions, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said Monday. Kudlow described ZTE as "part of… Keep Reading

Kudlow Says US Has ‘Always Had A Security Concern’ On ZTE, Trump Reversal Was At Chinese Leader’s Request

WASHINGTON, May 17, 2018 -- National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow on Thursday said President Donald Trump's calls to reverse a Commerce Department order banning the Chinese telecommunications equipment firm ZTE from exporting American products came in response to a request from Chinese president Xi Jinping. "I think the president is responding to a request from President Xi to take another… Keep Reading

FCC Press Release: Wireline Competition Bureau Releases Illustrative Model Results to Aid Preparation of Comments in Response to 2018 Rate-of-Return Reform

SOURCE: The Federal Communications Commission WC Docket No. 10-90 The Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) announces the availability of illustrative model results intended to aid parties that are preparing comments in response to the 2018 Rate-of-Return Reform NPRM.1 In that NPRM, the Commission sought comment on, among other matters, whether to provide a new model offer based… Keep Reading

AT&T CEO Says Hiring Cohen Was ‘Big Mistake’ As Questions On Trump Administration Lawsuit Are Revived

WASHINGTON, May 13, 2018 - AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson on Friday announced that the company was parting ways with the executive responsible for hiring Trump “fixer” Michael Cohen in an apparent effort to grease the skids for the company’s merger with Time-Warner. The revelations of the AT&T payment to Cohen revived questions over whether Trump… Keep Reading

Sanders Won’t Say If Trump Will Sign Bill To Restore Obama-Era Net Neutrality Rules As FCC Prepares For Repeal

WASHINGTON, May 10, 2018 -- White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Wednesday declined to say whether President Trump would sign a bill that would reverse the Federal Communications Commission's repeal of network neutrality rules promulgated during the Obama administration. "We'll keep you posted when we have a specific policy announcement on that front,"… Keep Reading

Blair Levin’s Scathing Takedown of FCC’s Ajit Pai, Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee, and 5G Hype

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: We were present at the Broadband Communities Summit at which Blair Levin gave these remarks; thanks to the Coalition for Local Internet Choice for providing the complete and unvarnished record of this important and scathing speech. Remember that Levin was the former executive director of the FCC's ambitious National Broadband Plan, issued… Keep Reading

White House Announces Artificial Intelligence Summit Gathering Academia, Business and Government

WASHINGTON, May 8, 2018 -- The White House on Tuesday announced it would hold an Artificial Intelligence summit, which will "bring together over 100 senior government officials, technical experts from top academic institutions, heads of industrial research labs, and American business leaders who are now adopting these emerging technologies to benefit their customers, workers, and… Keep Reading

Wireless Infrastructure is One Piece of the Broadband Puzzle for Rural America

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: The role of wireless, which is one key piece of the broadband puzzle for rural areas, will be considered at the New America Foundation on Tuesday at Noon, together with Kelsey Guyselman, policy advisor at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and an array of industry players. Spectrum as… Keep Reading

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Began Testimony Before Senate Committee with an Apology for Company’s History

WASHINGTON, April 10, 2018 – After months of seemingly-unending scandal over his company’s role in the 2018 election, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg began his first of two days of testimony on Capitol Hill Tuesday by making it clear he was well aware of the laundry list of problems with the company he created 14 years… Keep Reading

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