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Broadband's Impact

While Universal Service Reforms Show Promise, Politics Clouds Fund’s Future

ASPEN, Colorado, August 19, 2015 - In spite of several positive efforts to reform the complex and dated rules that govern the Federal Communication Commission's universal service fund, key decisions surrounding the $8 billion annual fund remain ineluctably political. That was the message shared by panelists, including a commissioner at the FCC, speaking at a session on Tuesday at the Technology Policy Institute's annual forum here. For example, the panelists -- which also include two economists, a cable industry lobbyist and the former director of the National Broadband Plan -- applauded efforts to bring greater economic efficiency to telecom network construction through a system known as a "reverse auction." They also supported efforts to promote broadband adoption by providing income-based vouchers for the purpose of internet services. But decisions about the allocation of funds within the USF -- and the key question of how the fund is to be paid for -- remain political hot potatoes. Embedded image permalink Moderator Scott Wallsten of the Technology Policy Institute, with panelists Mignon Clyburn, James Assey, Blair Levin, Gregory Rosston, and Bradley Wimmer. [more...] Keep Reading

White House Cybersecurity Czar Highlights Escalation Paths for Cyberdefense, Highlights ‘Risk-Management’

ASPEN, August 17, 2015 - The Technology Policy Institute's Aspen 2015 Forum opened here on Sunday night with a focus on the increasing prominence that cybersecurity threats play in core national defense matters. "A greater and greater percentage of the president's daily briefings is taken up with cybersecurity threats," said Michael Daniel, special assistant to the president and cybersecurity coordinator, speaking at the mountain resort here in a question-and-answer session with Alan Raul, a partner and global coordinator for privacy and data security with the law firm of Sidley Austin. Embedded image permalink Michael Daniel, White House Cybersecurity Czar, and Alan Raul, at Aspen. [more...] Keep Reading

Broadband's Impact

Drew Clark: The Year of Community and Municipal Gigabit Broadband

December 18, 2014 - While net neutrality captured Washington policy headlines, the most significant communications development in 2014 was the emergence of new and more viable approaches to building community and municipal Gigabit Networks. A confluence of factors in the worlds of broadband, energy, transportation, manufacturing and civic engagement have underscored the need for next-generation internet networks. Evidence of this gathering momentum behind global Gigabit Cities include the high-profile emergence of public-private financing models and a growing network of high-bandwidth computing applications. This year's fight over net neutrality is not unrelated to the push for Gigabit Networks. The Federal Communications Commission's Open Internet proceeding is a battle over scarcity: The prioritization of traffic on lower-capacity networks. From the D.C. Circuit Court's decision striking down FCC rules in January to President Obama's decision to directly intervene in the new FCC proceeding, it's been an all-consuming public battle. But viewed from the vantage point of the future, the far more significant development will be the emergence of opportunities outside of Washington for high-capacity broadband networks. It’s a world in which cities and municipalities are playing the leadership role. [more...] Keep Reading

California Emerging Technology Fund Helps Bridge the State’s Digital Divide

WASHINGTON, November 19, 2014 – Although some believe that the digital divide is not a problem, there are Americans who have not adopted broadband due to the cost or lack of access. Some states have played an active role in getting their citizens online, and one such organization is the California Emerging Technology Fund, which… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: A Spectrum Efficiency Challenge, Comcast Comments, Verizon Vexes Industry

WASHINGTON, October 7, 2014 – Federal Communications Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel and wireless industry pioneer Marty Cooper took to the opinion page of the San Jose Mercury News to offer their thoughts on the future of wireless spectrum. As they emphasized the importance and centrality of mobile devices and Internet access, the two highlighted the limited… Keep Reading

FCC/Media/Media ownership/Wireless

Broadband Roundup: FTC Against Public Utility Broadband Regulation, Holder Slaps Tech Industry, and FCC Video News

WASHINGTON, October 2, 2014 ­- Federal Trade Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen warned that reclassifying broadband under public utility regulation including in Title II of the Communications Act would put ISPs beyond the legal reach of the FTC, the Washington Post reported. The item was previously reported in Broadband Breakfast. Currently, the FTC is not able to… Keep Reading

FCC/Media ownership/Net Neutrality

Broadband Roundup: Incumbents Defend Data Caps, Comcast Cites Competition for Merger, and Wheeler Seeks Diversity of Media Ownership

WASHINGTON, September 24, 2014 –Verizon Communications and AT&T are urging the Federal Communications Commission to include the use of data caps in the agency’s definition of broadband. Including usage-based pricing in its definition is important because companies that use universal service funds to build networks in rural areas must accept the standards laid out in… Keep Reading

Three Women in Communications Policy Highlight Citizen Participation, Activism and Engagement for Broadband

SPRINGFIELD, Mass., September 22, 2014 – Three of the most prominent women in communications policy on Thursday highlighted the vital role of citizen participation, activism and corporate engagement to ensure a collective high-speed broadband future. “The next six to eight months are perhaps going to be the most important months in the history of communications… Keep Reading

FCC/Net Neutrality

Critics and Supporters of Net Neutrality Trade Claims at Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing

WASHINGTON, September 21, 2014 – At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday, critics of net neutrality warned against the negative impacts of internet regulation while supporters of net neutrality said that practices by major communications demonstrated the need for such protections. Both former Federal Communications Commissioner Robert McDowell and economist Jeffrey Eisenach said that… Keep Reading

FCC/Net Neutrality

Broadband for America and Telecommunications Industry Association Reiterates Opposition to Public Utility Regulation

WASHINGTON, September 18, 2014 – The pro-business advocacy group Broadband for America reinforced its opposition to public utility regulation of broadband providers during a Monday teleconference on net neutrality. Instead, the group said that they support efforts to use Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 as a separate way to enforce open internet… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: California Public Utilities Commission Delays Title II Regulation

WASHINGTON, September 15, 2014 – Set to pass a proposal enduring public utility regulation of broadband providers under Title II of the Communications Act, the California Public Utilities Commission instead put the proposal on hold, reported Multichannel News. The proposal endorsing Title II regulation was believed to have passed on a 3-2 vote on September… Keep Reading

FCC/Net Neutrality

How Internet Companies Are Driving a Public Utility Regulation Approach to Net Neutrality

WASHINGTON, September 12, 2014 – In what would have seemed highly unlikely just a few months ago, growing support for public utility regulation is emerging. Tech companies, politicians, internet service providers, and component makers have started to outline their views regarding their policy approach to the issue of net neutrality. In order to understand the… Keep Reading

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler Promotes Google Fiber’s Impact on Competition and Gigabit Networks

WASHINGTON, September 5, 2014 – Google Fiber has been perhaps the primary driver of the current push toward high-speed internet in the United States, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler said in a speech here yesterday on the future of broadband competition. In an otherwise general speech that failed to mention major communications companies like… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: Rural Providers Want RUS Funding, AT&T Expands ‘GigaPower’, and Potential Surveillance Changes

WASHINGTON, July 30, 2014 – The House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock, Rural Development and Credit held a hearing on coordinating the future of broadband investment. Lang Zimmerman, vice president of Yelcot Telephone Co., a member company of rural broadband association NTCA testified that funding the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service is critical for… Keep Reading

Internet Researcher John Horrigan on How Digital Illiteracy is Eclipsing Digital Divide

WASHINGTON, July 29, 2014 – The internet equity facing the nation isn’t the digital divide, but is digital readiness, according to a panel last month by internet researcher John Horrigon at an event of the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation. According to Horrigan, digital literacy is rapidly overshadowing non-adoption.A half-decade ago in 2009, 83 million… 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: 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

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

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

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: FCC to Police Dispute Between Netflix and Verizon, Michael Powell Defends FCC Chief

WASHINGTON, June 16, 2014 – In the midst of Netflix’s quarrels with Verizon Communications, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler said in a statement Friday that the commission will investigate slowdowns in traffic to ascertain whether there’s harm to consumers. “To be clear, what we are doing right now is collecting information, not regulating. We… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup

Broadband Roundup: Comcast-Time Warner Controversy, Netflix vs. Verizon, and Sprint Merger Woes

WASHINGTON, June 10, 2014 – The proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable continues to stir up controversy. The Computer & Communications Industry Association, whose members include internet giants Google and Yahoo, sent a letter to Sen. Al Franken asking regulators to stop the acquisition as it would give the merged entity “increased incentive… 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

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: House Passes USA Freedom Act to Rein in NSA, But Key Civil Liberties Groups Defect

WASHINGTON, May 22, 2014 – The House of Representatives passed the USA Freedom Act on Thursday in a 303 to 121 vote, according to Ars Technica, instituting changes to the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of American phone records. The goal is to end the practice of gathering records of meta-data about the individuals to which and… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: AT&T-DirecTV Merger and its Impact on the Marketplace

WASHINGTON, May 19, 2014 – AT&T announced that it would acquire DirecTV in a $48.5 billion deal, according to multiple sources. The agreement may allow AT&T to position itself in a way to rival cable firms. AT& would acquire about 20 million of DirecTV’s customers. The Washington Post recounts that the stated goal of the… Keep Reading

Broadband's Impact/FCC

Comcast Connects More Than 220,000 Families Through Internet Essentials Program, Touts Accomplishments at Event with FCC Commissioner

WASHINGTON, September 25, 2013 – Comcast has connected more than 220,000 families to broadband service through its low-income Internet Essentials program during the first two years of the program, the cable giant said Tuesday. “Compared to a year ago we have more than doubled the number of families here in the D.C. area who are… Keep Reading

At the Broadband Breakfast Club, We’ll Explore ‘What Can Gigabit Do for Me?’

May 15, 2013 – Gigabit-level connectivity is all the rage. It seems that everyone is asking, What Can Gigabit Do for Me? More and more companies and communities — from established communications companies to new market entrants — have announced plans for deployment that cross that psychological Gigabit-level threshold. But its also important to ask:… Keep Reading

On Friday, FCC Chairman Genachowski to Announce Departure; Accomplishments Include National Broadband Plan, USF, Wireless Auctions and Wireless Competition

By Drew Clark and Doug Barclay WASHINGTON, March 22, 2013 – President Barack Obama’s law school classmate and friend Julius Genachowski plans to announce his departure from the Federal Communications Commission in a briefing at the agency on Friday morning. Among the key accomplishments during Genachowski’s tenure at the agency include: The issuance of a… Keep Reading

Video of Tuesday’s Broadband Breakfast Club on ‘The President’s and Congress’ New Broadband Agenda’

WASHINGTON, January 17, 2013 — This past Tuesday, January 15th, the Broadband Breakfast Club featured  explication and discussion of the key broadband policy issues projected for debate in Congress in 2013. Highlights included a keynote speech by Representative Anna G. Eshoo (D-California), Chair of the House Sub-Committee on Communications and Technology, followed by discussion among… Keep Reading

With Broadband as Driver for Today’s Consumer Electronics Technologies, Here’s the Top 10 Issues for 2013

WASHINGTON, January 13, 2013 – Starting the New Year off by attending the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas provides a wonderful lens with which to focus on the year ahead in technology. Today, broadband is the driver for almost all of today’s digital technologies. Of the hundreds of examples of digital technologies that I… Keep Reading

How to Tackle Broadband Adoption by the Nation’s Underserved Populations

WASHINGTON, Thursday, July 26, 2012 – Last week, the fourth year of the Broadband Breakfast Club Series came to an end with a timely panel on “Bringing Broadband Adoption to the Nation’s Underserved Population.”  Panelists from the private, nonprofit and state government sectors came together to discuss what can be done to promote broadband usage in… Keep Reading

A New Era for Broadband Use and Adoption? Collaborative Efforts Between Providers and Internet Educators Lead the Way

WASHINGTON, July 23, 2012 – The existence of the Federal Communications Commissions Broadband Lifeline Pilot, and the emergence of national public-private organizations focused on computer training could herald the beginning of a new age of broadband adoption and use, said panelists at the Broadband Breakfast Club last week. BroadbandBreakfast.com released the video of the event,… Keep Reading

Spectrum Bill and Broadband Breakfast Pre Holiday Wrap Up

WASHINGTON December 14, 2011 – The FCC, the Hill and the Telecom industry has been busy over the last couple of weeks. Here is a wrap-up of the most important events. House Passes Spectrum Auction Incentive Bill After a 234-193 vote, the House Payroll Tax Extension Bill incorporated the full version of the Republican Incentive… Keep Reading

Will Consumer-Friendly Smart Meters Pave the Way to Smart Grid Adoption?

November 14, 2011 – When the Federal Communications Commission identified six concrete goals in the national broadband plan, the one specific application highlighted by the agency was energy consumption: “To ensure that America leads in the clean energy economy, every American should be able to use broadband to track and manage their real-time energy consumption.” This goal – tracking and managing energy consumption – is right at the intersection of two trends that will be explored at the Broadband Breakfast Club on Tuesday, November 15: "The Smart Grid and Broadband." Click here to register for this event. Keep Reading

Smarter Cities Need Better Broadband to Realize Their Networking Potential

September 19, 2011 - America’s unique concept of federalism – joint sovereignty between the states and the federal government – sometimes obscures some on-the-ground realities when it comes to the all-important topic of economic growth and development. The simple fact is that cities serve as the engine of life, commerce, culture and sociality. Tomorrow, at the Broadband Breakfast Club event on September 20, 2011, at 8 a.m., we’ll engage on this subject. The discussion will feature Gale Brewer, a New York City Councilmember who has been one of the country’s leading advocates of better broadband. Gail has represented the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and currently chairs the Committee on Governmental Operations, where she has worked to make better use of technology to save money, improve city services, and bring residents, businesses and non-profits closer to government and their communities. Gale Brewer will keynote this event, which is titled, “Making Cities of the Future Smarter Through Broadband.” Keep Reading

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