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FCC

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

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

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

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

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 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

White House Will Host 25 Technology Founders and CEOs Thursday to Discuss 5G, Broadband and the Economy

WASHINGTON, June 21, 2017 — The White House on Thursday plans to continue its “tech week” by hosting a group of 25 technology company founders and CEOs to meet with Trump Administration officials on new technologies and promoting economic progress, Deputy Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios said on Wednesday. “Tomorrow I’m very excited for [the… Keep Reading

Before Congress, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Defends 5 Percent Budget Cut and Changes to Net Neutrality Rules

WASHINGTON, June 21, 2017 — Cuts in the Federal Communications Commission budget won’t hinder the agency’s ability to provide services because the agency is entirely funded by fees, Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai told senators on Tuesday during a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing to examine the Commission’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget request. “[W]e have compiled… Keep Reading

How Broadband Mapping Can Help Communities with Chronic Health Conditions

WASHINGTON, June 15, 2017 – The Federal Communications Commission’s Connect2Health Task Force last week announced updates to a broadband mapping platform to allow communities and businesses to better use high-speed internet to help patients with chronic health conditions. “As a famous writer once said, ‘data are just summaries of thousands of stories,’” Michele Ellison, chairwoman… Keep Reading

FCC/People/Press Releases

President Trump Announces Intent to Nominate Jessica Rosenworcel to Federal Communications Commission

WASHINGTON, June 14, 2017 – Ending months of speculation, President Trump announced his intent to nominate Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat, back to her previous role as a Federal Communications Commissioner. The announcement came in a pre-midnight email from the White House. Attempts to get Rosenworcel’s re-nominated at the end of the last Congress faltered in… Keep Reading

There Was Little to Show for Digital Broadband During the ‘Infrastructure Week’ at the White House

WASHINGTON, June 12, 2017 — Despite myriad public events and a soundbyte-friendly title of “Infrastructure Week,” last week the White House was light on infrastructure and nearly empty of plans to build out 21st century digital infrastructure of fiber or wireless broadband. “There’s not going to be a lot of detail at this time,” a… Keep Reading

How Donald Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Departs From Traditional Federal Funding

WASHINGTON, June 3, 2017 — Infrastructure plans in President Donald Trump’s 2018 budget represent a significant break from his predecessor not only in the brick-and-mortar variety, but also in the next generation of infrastructure for the next generation of the American economy — wired and wireless broadband networks. While infrastructure investment under President Barack Obama… Keep Reading

The Net Neutrality Battle Now Continues on Only Two Fronts: At the FCC and in Congress

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai’s take on this may seem inconsistent, but from his perspective, anything that preserves FCC authority will help him preserve his (pending) rule to overturn the reclassification of broadband as a Title II service. Now the contest continues on only two front – the FCC and Congress… Keep Reading

Federal Communications Chairman Announces Widely-Anticipated ‘Net Neutrality’ Speech on Wednesday

WASHINGTON, April 25, 2017 – The Federal Communications Commission announced that FCC Chairman Ajit Pai will speak Wednesday afternoon at the Newseum, at an event hosted by the free-market Freedom Works, to lay out his approach to reversing the agency’s “open internet” order under his predecessor, former Chairman Tom Wheeler. The event will be livestreamed… Keep Reading

Twists in the Broadband Mapping Saga, Plus the Need for Good Data Now, at Rural Telecom Congress

DALLAS, April 18, 2017 – Over the past ten years, broadband mapping has gone through many changes. In the beginning, the Federal Communications Commission collected data about high-speed internet access, but didn’t release any local or granular data collected through its semi-annual forms. Through the efforts of organizations like BroadbandCensus.com (the predecessor to BroadbandBreakfast.com), a… Keep Reading

Broadband News/FCC/Privacy

House Rules Committee Approves Vote on Internet Privacy Measure on Tuesday; All Parties Expected to Weigh In

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: With the House Rules Committee’s decision to press for a House vote on internet privacy on Tuesday, it’s an “all hands on deck” sort of moment, as multiple parties weight into the pros and cons of approving the Senate’s use of the Congressional Review Act to overturn Obama administration privacy rules.  ISPs, Advertisers… Keep Reading

Ajit Pai Comes to Senate Oversight Hearing, Defends his More Limited Vision of FCC Authority

WASHINGTON, March 10, 2017 – Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai defended his very vision of the agency’s role, as compared with his predecessor, during the first Senate Commerce Committee oversight hearing this year. The difference in attitude between Pai and former Chairman Tom Wheeler on broadband deployment highlighted the differences between the two. “High-speed… Keep Reading

Broadband News/FCC/Privacy

Public Knowledge, Benton Foundation and Center for Digital Democracy Oppose FCC’s Reversal on Broadband Privacy

Public Knowledge Files Opposition for Reconsideration to Save Broadband Privacy Rules for Consumers On Monday, Public Knowledge, joined by Benton Foundation and the Center for Digital Democracy, filed an Opposition to Petitions for Reconsideration of the Federal Communications Commission’s Broadband Privacy Order adopted in 2016. We seek to preserve elements of the Order that enable… Keep Reading

Despite Trump Pledge, Congress and FCC Don’t Appear to Have Appetite for Broadband Infrastructure Investment

WASHINGTON, March 8, 2017 – Despite high hopes that President Trump’s campaign promise for a trillion-dollar infrastructure bill would lead to additional investment in high-speed internet access, it appears that broadband deployment and accessibility is taking a back seat in Congress to brick-and mortar projects. At a Senate Commerce Committee hearing last week on improving… Keep Reading

New York State Broadband Funding Provides Dollars in Traditional and Nontraditional Ways

Broadband Breakfast Insight: New York State continues its innovative efforts to provide broadband funding to underserved areas of the state. In addition to funding for traditional and non-traditional telecom companies, the program has received funding from the Federal Communications Commission’s Lifeline Program. $212 Million in Broadband Funding Awarded to 26 Carriers Including FairPoint, Frontier, and… Keep Reading

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

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