While Universal Service Reforms Show Promise, Politics Clouds Fund’s Future
August 19th, 2015
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.
Moderator Scott Wallsten of the Technology Policy Institute, with panelists Mignon Clyburn, James Assey, Blair Levin, Gregory Rosston, and Bradley Wimmer.
White House Cybersecurity Czar Highlights Escalation Paths for Cyberdefense, Highlights ‘Risk-Management’
Broadband's Impact, Cybersecurity
August 17th, 2015
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.
Michael Daniel, White House Cybersecurity Czar, and Alan Raul, at Aspen.
Drew Clark: The Year of Community and Municipal Gigabit Broadband
December 18th, 2014
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.
California Emerging Technology Fund Helps Bridge the State’s Digital Divide
Broadband's Impact, Education, Minority, National Broadband Plan, Universal Service
November 19th, 2014
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 […]
Surprise! Everybody Wants Net Neutrality
Broadband's Impact, Expert Opinion, FCC, Net Neutrality
November 13th, 2014
WASHINGTON, November 13, 2014 – Net neutrality has been the hottest topic in tech policy for months. Politicians on the left say their opponents stand foursquare against the tenets of a free and open internet. Politicians on the right that their adversaries are trying to apply outmoded and outdated legislation to cripple the innovative essence […]
Broadband Roundup: A Spectrum Efficiency Challenge, Comcast Comments, Verizon Vexes Industry
FCC, Fiber, Mobile Broadband, Net Neutrality, Wireless
October 7th, 2014
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 […]
Broadband Roundup: FTC Against Public Utility Broadband Regulation, Holder Slaps Tech Industry, and FCC Video News
FCC, Media, Media ownership, Wireless
October 2nd, 2014
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 […]
Broadband Roundup: Incumbents Defend Data Caps, Comcast Cites Competition for Merger, and Wheeler Seeks Diversity of Media Ownership
FCC, Media ownership, Net Neutrality
September 24th, 2014
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 […]
Three Women in Communications Policy Highlight Citizen Participation, Activism and Engagement for Broadband
Broadband's Impact, FCC, Fiber, Gigabit Networks, Net Neutrality
September 22nd, 2014
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 […]
Critics and Supporters of Net Neutrality Trade Claims at Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing
FCC, Net Neutrality
September 21st, 2014
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 […]