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FCC Officials Outline Plans for $100 Million in Funding for Rural Broadband Experiments

WASHINGTON, July 29, 2014 – In a webinar on Thursday, July 17, the Fiber to the Home Council hosted a webinar with Federal Communications Commission officials on a $100 million fund for expanding broadband capabilities to rural communities. FCC officials encouraged companies to apply for the funds, but also cautioning them of the heavy commitment.… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: City Leaders Call For Overturn of Local Broadband Bans

WASHINGTON, July 28, 2014 – City leaders in Wilson, North Carolina,  and Chattanooga, Tennessee, want the Federal Communications Commission to pre-empt state laws that would prevent them from expanding their municipal networks, Broadcasting & Cable reported. With an existing ban in place in North Carolina, Wilson can only serve its municipal network, Greenlight, to residents… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: Battle of the Lobbyists, Holding Comcast Accountable and Satellite Reauthorization

WASHINGTON, July 23, 2014 – Broadband providers are outspending internet search and content firms on lobbying lawmakers and regulators, Recode reported. However, among single companies, Google spent more than any internet provider in both of the past two quarters. ISPs and their trade associations have collectively spent $42.4 million this year. Content creators spent only… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: More Than a Million Comments on Net Neutrality, Plus Seattle Goes Again for Gigabit Broadband

WASHINGTON, July 21, 2014 – More than one million comments were received by the Federal Communications Commission on net neutrality before the Friday night deadline, Reuters reported. The second round of comments will give the public until Sept. 10 to respond. AT&T pitched to the FCC its proposal that “fast lanes” could be regulatorily barred… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: Comcast Seeks Lighter Regulation on Net Neutrality, Mozilla and CCIA Want Heavier Touch

WASHINGTON, July 16, 2014 – Due to an “overwhelming surge in traffic to its website,” the Federal Communications Commission delayed its deadline for comment submissions on net neutrality until midnight Friday, Forbes reported. As of Wednesday, the FCC had received 780,000 comments, thus far. The traffic was enough to crash the site earlier in the… Keep Reading

FCC/Universal Service

In Partisan Vote, FCC Passes a Modified E-Rate Proposal for Spending Funds on Wi-Fi Connectivity

WASHINGTON, July 15, 2014 – The Federal Communications Commission on Friday voted to modernize of its E-Rate program Friday, reallocating funds from technologies considered obsolete to Wi-Fi based connectivity in schools and libraries. However, owing to strong skepticism from opponents over funding, the proposal was scaled back to $2 billion, down from its original $5… Keep Reading

FCC/Universal Service

In Lead-up to July’s FCC Meeting, Agency Laid Groundwork for Supportive Vote on E-Rate Changes

WASHINGTON, July 15, 2014 – In a phone conference on July 1, in the lead-up to last week’s open meeting of the Federal Communications Commission, agency officials discussed Chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposal to modify the E-rate program. The agency seeks to spend more funds on Wi-Fi gap connectivity within schools around the country and maximize the… Keep Reading

FCC Announces Universal Service Fund Strike Force in Effort to Combat Wasteful Spending

WASHINGTON, July 14, 2014 – In an effort to combat ongoing complaints of inefficiency within the Federal Communications Commission’s Universal Service Fund, Chairman Tom Wheeler on Monday announced a strike force dedicated to “rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse.” To be led by Loyaan Egal, a former public corruption attorney with the U.S. Attorney’s Office… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: Internet Giants on Net Neutrality and FCC’s Rural Broadband Launch

WASHINGTON, July 14, 2014 – Some of the world’s leading tech giants, represented by a lobbying firm called the Internet Association, have officially filed their petition for net neutrality. The companies include Google, Facebook, Netflix and Amazon, among others. “The internet’s continued success is not inevitable,” the group wrote. “Broadband internet access providers continue to… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: Dish Network Lobbying, John Thune Criticizes E-Rate, 10 Gigabits Over Copper

WASHINGTON, July 10, 2014 – Satellite TV provider Dish Network is lobbying the Federal Communications Commission to block Comcast’s acquisition of Time Warner Cable, according to National Journal. Charlie Ergen, chairman of Dish, told FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler that “serious competitive concerns” would arise from the deal and that Comcast would effectively control “choke points”… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: Caution on E-Rate, Merger Review Teams at FCC, and a New Akamai Internet Speed Report

WASHINGTON, July 8, 2014 – Federal Communications Commissioner Michael O’Rielly supports modernizing the E-Rate program, but not if it means increasing the “ever growing strain on [the average American’s] pocketbook,” he wrote in a blog post Monday. The solution to increasing the program size, O’Rielly said, is to cut spending to outdated technologies, like long… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: Charter Schools Love E-Rate, Kickstarter CEO on ‘Fast Lanes,’ and Broadband Video Quality

WASHINGTON, July 7, 2014 – As the Federal Communications Commission prepares to vote on E-Rate modernization July 11, some educators are “threatening to derail” the process according to The Hill. These educators have criticized Chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposal for focusing large sums of funding on Wi-Fi while neglecting to increase the overall E-Rate budget. The… Keep Reading

FCC/Net Neutrality

Phoenix Center Roundtable Features Critics of Net Neutrality Urging Fellow Critics to Make Voices Heard

WASHINGTON, July 1, 2014 – At an informal Phoenix Center roundtable on Tuesday, June 24, Federal Communications Commissioner Michael O’Rielly criticized net neutrality and urged fellow critics to take advantage of the FCC’s open comment period on the topic. Comedians like John Oliver of the Daily Show might have a flare for butchering the facts,… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: FCC’s Wheeler Continues Net Neutrality Quest, FCC Wireline Bureau Benchmarks Broadband Data for Connect America Fund

WASHINGTON, July 1, 2014 – Republicans are concerned about the regulation of internet service providers as utilities under Title II of the Communications Act, but Federal Communications Chairman Tom Wheeler said that he isn’t ruling out the section as a legal basis for agency authority. In a letter responding to concerns from House Speaker John… Keep Reading

FCC

Executives at AT&T and DirecTV Defend Their Broadband Merger Against its Critics

WASHINGTON, July 1, 2014 – AT&T and DirecTV have no doubt their merger will actually strengthen broadband, competition and consumer choice, contrary to naysayers. Both companies had to fend off fears of market consolidation in back-to-back hearings on Tuesday, June 24, before the House Judiciary Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee. This proposed merger isn’t like… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: Klobuchar and Lee Question Comcast-Time Warner, Less Rural Wireless, and Mayors Seek Net Neutrality

WASHINGTON, June 25, 2014 – Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Mike Lee, R-Utah, have raised concerns over the proposed Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger in a letter to the Federal Communications Commission, according to Broadcasting & Cable. At issue is the potential for a reduction in outlets for traditional video programming, innovation in broadband, and price… Keep Reading

FCC

Broadband Roundup: More Action on Connect America Fund, FTC versus FCC, NSA Surveillance Continues

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… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: Internet Tax Freedom Act, Report on Broadband Speeds, and AT&T on Gigabit Networks

WASHINGTON, June 19, 2014 – The House Judicary Committee on Wednesday approved the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act this week by a vote of 30-4, according to a press release from the committee. The act banned state-imposed taxation of internet access or discriminatory taxes on e-commerce. Originally enacted in 1998, the bill had previously been… Keep Reading

FCC Releases Latest Report on Measuring Broadband; Gap Between Actual and Advertised Speeds is Closing

WASHINGTON, June 18, 2014 – Most internet service providers are delivering upload and download broadband speeds as advertised, according to the Federal Communications Commission, although there is room for improvement in consistency of speed. In its “Measuring Broadband America” report released Thursday, the FCC said that, on average, ISPs are delivering 101 percent of advertised… Keep Reading

FCC/Net Neutrality

Nipping at Heels of FCC’s Net Neutrality Proceeding, Legislators Introduce Bill Barring ‘Paid Prioritization’

WASHINGTON, June 17, 2014 – Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Calif., on Tuesday introduced a bill, the Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act, that would grant the Federal Communications Commission the authority to bar so-called “paid prioritization” agreements between internet service providers and content providers over the last-mile of a broadband connection.… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: House Communications Committee Seeks Comments from Trade Groups on Telecom Law

WASHINGTON, June 17, 2014 – The House Energy and Commerce Committee put forward an opportunity for individuals and interest groups to offer comment on telecommunications policy, and many individuals and trade groups took advantage of the opportunity, The Hill reported The Telecommunications Industry Association said that in 1996, lawmakers didn’t grasp the manner in which… Keep Reading

Education/FCC/Privacy

Broadband Roundup: Microsoft on Privacy, 11th Circuit on Warrants, and Wheeler on Community Broadband

WASHINGTON, June 12, 2014 – Microsoft is determined to fight a recent U.S. government demand for a user’s emails on company computers in Ireland, The Wall Street Journal reported. “Congress has not authorized the issuance of warrants that reach outside U.S. territory,” Microsoft wrote in its filing with U.S. District Court in Manhattan, according to… Keep Reading

Internet Protocol Transition a Critical Step To Ensuring Public Safety, Say Senate Hearing Witnesses

WASHINGTON, June 11, 2014 – Even the quickest and best-designed networks can succumb to Mother Nature when a hurricane or tornado strikes a community. And when thousands of people dial 911 at the same time, modern-day networks simply aren’t equipped to handle traffic of such tremendous scale. That was the message delivered at a Thursday… Keep Reading

U.S. Broadband Deployment and Speeds are Beating Europe’s, Says Scholar Touting ‘Facilities-based Competition’

WASHINGTON, June 10, 2014 – In spite of press reports to the contrary, U.S. broadband coverage is not falling behind European levels of service, academic Christopher Yoo said on Wednesday at the National Press Club. “It seems like every other week there’s a new infographic or news story that talks about how the U.S. is… Keep Reading

FCC

Electronics CEO Gary Shapiro Says Broadband Should Not Be Regulated as a Utility

WASHINGTON, June 9, 2014 – The head of the leading trade association for the electronics industry on Wednesday weighed in against classifying broadband as a utility and subjecting it to extensive government regulation. Instead, regulators should follow a “minimal harm first” principle, said Gary Shapiro, CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, in a speech at… Keep Reading

FCC Announces Awards for Innovations in Accessibility Communications

ARLINGTON, Virginia, June 9, 2014 – Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler presented the third annual awards for advances in accessibility to innovators of communications technology for disabled people. The awards were presented at the M-Enabling Summit at the Renaissance Arlington Capitol View Hotel here. The awards ceremony and initiative seeks to make possible exchange… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: AT&T Won’t Block Internet, Google and Vodafone Working to ‘Seal Cracks’ in Net

WASHINGTON, June 9, 2014 – In a blog post on Friday, AT&T gave its assurance that paid prioritization was not part of the telecommnications gianits plans. “Not a single [internet service provider] has asserted a desire or right to engage in any of these practices to create ‘fast lanes and slow lanes.’  AT&T certainly has… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: Sprint and T-Mobile Proposal, Mobile Broadband Rising, Media Ownership Rules

WASHINGTON, June 5, 2014 – Another significant telecommunications merger proposition is underway between Sprint and T-Mobile. The Wall Street Journal reported that the acquisition would cost Sprint $32 billion, or about $40 per share in cash and stock. Sprint and T-Mobile are the third and fourth largest wireless operators in the United States, respectively. The… Keep Reading

Cities Need to be Involved in Municipal Broadband Because Their Future Depends Upon Such Networks, Says Panel

WASHINGTON, May 29, 2014 – Four believers in municipal internet access expressed their dismay at the New America Foundation at an increasingly consolidated broadband marketplace – and promoted local government ownership as a remedy. Speaking on a panel of experts on Wednesday at the think tank, they blasted giants AT&T, Comcast, and Time Warner Cable… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: Comcast Blasts Public Utility Regulation, White House to Host Smart Home Expo, and ‘Commercially Reasonable’ Data Roaming

WASHINGTON, May 29, 2014 – Comcast CEO Brian Roberts has defended his company and its proposed merger with Time Warner Cable against critics, reports Re/code. Saying that he could accept “some kind of net neutrality law,” he scorned the idea of reclassifying broadband as a public utility under Title II of the Communications Act, which… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: Data Brokerage Industry in the Hot Seat, Library and Education Group Want More E-Rate Funds

WASHINGTON, May 28, 2014 – The National Journal reported that the Federal Trade Commission released a report charging the data brokerage industry with collecting “troves” of information on nearly all American consumers. The agency urged Congress to push for more transparency. Believing that an invasive collection of personal data could harm consumers, the FTC recommended… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: China’s Tit-for-Tat with America on Cybercrime; FCC Chairman Wheeler Discusses Next-Generation Internet Networks

WASHINGTON, May 27, 2014 – In what appears to be a tit-for-tat on the United States Justice Department’s indictments last week for cybercrime, China has accused the United States of spying on government officials, businesses and mobile phone users, reported the BBC News. “As a superpower, the United States takes advantage of its political, economic,… Keep Reading

FCC’s Wheeler Testifies Before House Subcommittee, Defends Record on Net Neutrality

WASHINGTON, May 20, 2014 – Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler came under heavy criticism during a Tuesday hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, with many members expressing disapproval of the agency’s recent performance, particularly over the issue of network neutrality. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., criticized the agency’s “selective… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: FBI after Chinese Hackers, AT&T after DirecTV, Congress after FCC Chairman Wheeler

WASHINGTON, May 20, 2014 – On Monday, tensions with China over cybersecurity increased as the U.S. Justice Department indicted five Chinese military officers for stealing trade secrets from six United States companies. The Guardian quoted Attorney General Eric Holder as saying, “The range of trade secrets and other sensitive business information stolen in this case… Keep Reading

Building a Legal Case for Net Neutrality Rules, FCC’s Wheeler Hopes Courts Will Look Favorably on His Logic

WASHINGTON, May 19, 2014 – The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the Federal Communications Commission’s last two efforts to enshrine network neutrality. So what makes current chairman Tom Wheeler feel as though he can succeed where two of his predecessors failed? The answers lie in the details of the 85-page order – called a “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” in the legalese of Washington telecommunications bureaucrats – released late on Thursday. At its core, Wheeler aims to regulate broadband providers without having to treat them as regulated entities. [...] Keep Reading

Critics on Both Ends of the FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules, With a Few Supporters in the Middle

WASHINGTON, May 19, 2014 - The Federal Communication Commission's effort to thread the needle on net neutrality with regulations that will withstand legal scrutiny while also satisfying open internet activists led to starkly divided responses to the Thursday measure. In the camp expressing disappointment that agency Chairman Tom Wheeler didn't go further, Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., a member of the Commerce Science and Transportation Committee, said that innovation over the internet in America could unless broadband were to be reclassified as a common-carrier telecommunications service. "Internet access today is like traditional phone service decades ago - we can't live or work without it," Markey said. "We must stop broadband behemoths from setting up fast and slow lanes and picking winners and losers. Start-ups and small business would suffer, slowing our economy and job growth throughout Massachusetts and around the country." [...] Keep Reading

At the Scene of the Federal Communications Commission as the Agency Passes Net Neutrality Rules

WASHINGTON, May 16, 2014 – In a Federal Commissions Commission meeting tinged with protest, the agency voted Thursday to begin a process to re-established certain network neutrality rules after they had been struck down by a federal appeals court in January. On a 3-2 vote, the agency’s three Democrats kicked off a proceeding seeking public input on how to find a solution protecting and promote the open flow of information on the internet that will pass legal scrutiny. Chairman Tom Wheeler retained the support of Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel and Commissioner Mignon Clyburn – even though Rosenworcel said she only “concurred” with the proposal. [...] Keep Reading

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