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FCC

Trump Administration Turns Focus to Rural Broadband and Dark Fiber at American Farm Bureau Meeting

WASHINGTON, January 8, 2018 – The Trump Administration plans on making increased access to broadband in rural areas a priority as it implements the recommendations of its’ Rural Prosperity Task Force, said National Economic Council Special Assistant for Technology, Telecommunications, and Cybersecurity Grace Koh on Friday. “The White House is very excited about being able… Keep Reading

One Day After FCC’s Net Neutrality Repeal, Focus Turns to Reactions and Responses

WASHINGTON, December 15, 2017 – The Federal Communications Commission’s Thursday vote to repeal the “open internet” rules classifying broadband services as common carriers represents the most significant regulatory shift in the internet in more than a decade. Critics in Congress, at the agency, and even on late-night TV wasted no time in blasting it. These… Keep Reading

FCC/Net Neutrality

FCC Erases Net Neutrality Rules, Now Permits Internet Providers to Block and Throttle Consumers

WASHINGTON, December 14, 2017 – The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday voted 3-2, along party lines, to approve a proposal by Republican Chairman Ajit Pai repealing the “open internet” net neutrality rules classifying broadband internet service providers as common carriers. That leaves Americans without any sort of network neutrality policy or government regulations for the… Keep Reading

Democrats Are Mad as Hell About FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s Proposed Changes to Net Neutrality

WASHINGTON, December 7, 2017 — Tom Wheeler, the Federal Communications Commission chairman under President Obama, wasn’t coy in expressing his feelings about his replacement’s “abomination” of a plan to gut the open internet rules he put in place two-and-a-half years ago. “This is the culmination of a grand plan which started back in 2013,” Wheeler… Keep Reading

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Tackles Twitter, Not ISPs, on Issues of ‘Neutrality’

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Is everyone having enough fun on this issue of network neutrality/open internet/"search neutrality"/Twitter-fenestration? It's been a wacky week, and the craziness is likely to accelerate over the next two weeks. Here, CNET's Marguerite Reardon covers Pai's Tuesday speech at the R Street Institute in Washington. FCC chairman calls Twitter the real threat… Keep Reading

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Launches His Biggest Battle: Eliminating Net Neutrality Regulations

WASHINGTON, November 21, 2017 – In a move that could further infuriate an already-energized coalition of technology industry power players, consumer advocates, and progressive interest groups, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai on Tuesday unveiled plans to undo the net neutrality rules that put in place in some form or another since the early years… Keep Reading

White House Supports FCC Efforts to Close Digital Divide in Efficient Manner

WASHINGTON, November 21, 2017 — The White House on Friday defended the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to prevent telecommunications service resellers like TracPhone and Simply Wireless from participating in the Universal Service Fund Lifeline program, and to restrict participation in the program to facilities-based providers like AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile. The Lifeline program allows low-income… Keep Reading

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

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

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

From Sweden, a Perspective on Why Open Access Networks Are the Right Choice for Communities

BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: A good, basic summary of what an open-access network is, and why cities can benefit through the open-access approach. The best part of this piece is the discussion about why open-access is necessary for Smart Cities. Left unsaid are some of the more innovative approaches to financing open-access networks. Some of these… 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 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

Rep. Marsha Blackburn at Partisan Hearing on Cybercrime: ‘Hackers are Smart, and They are Adapting’

WASHINGTON, June 15, 2017 - Cybercrimes cost the global economy about $450 billion annually, House Communications Subcommittee Chairman Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee, said Tuesday as she cited the 2017 Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report. “Hackers are smart, and they are adapting,” said Blackburn. “McAfee’s 2016 Mobile Threat Report notes mobile devices are quickly becoming the cybercriminals target… 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

During ‘Infrastructure Week’ at the White House, One Wonders: Where’s the Infrastructure?

WASHINGTON, June 6, 2017 — Despite giving this week the title of “Infrastructure Week” at the White House, President Donald Trump and his staff haven’t taken any public actions to make digital infrastructure, such as high-speed broadband, a part of their plans for the much-discussed infrastructure bill. “On infrastructure, the President has said all along… 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

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s Friday Changes to E-Rate May Be the Most Significant of the Turnabouts

Broadband Breakfast Insight: This item from the "Friday news dump" got less attention, but may be the more significant of the measures taken by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai. In addition to overturning aspects of the Lifeline changes made by the Obama-era FCC, he and the Republican majority have also "rescinded" an E-Rate report issued… 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

MOBILE NOW Spectrum Measure, Internet of Things, and FCC Reauthorization Bills Clear Senate Committee

WASHINGTON, January 24, 2017 - The Senate Commerce Committee on Tuesday voted to advance 16 bills, including several with implications for telecommunications policy. The most significant communications-related measure among the bills clearing the committee was the so-called MOBILE Now Act, sponsored by Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune, R-South Dakota and Ranking Member Sen. Bill Nelson,… Keep Reading

FCC

Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai, in Statement, Confirms Appointment as Agency Chairman

WASHINGTON, January 23, 2017 — In a statement released on the web site of the Federal Communications Communications, and emailed to reporters at 4:48 p.m. ET, Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai, a Republican announced his selection as Chairman of the agency, a nominally independent agency whose chairman is designated by President Donald Trump. Pai said:… Keep Reading

Press Releases

FCC Chairman Announces Howard Symons as New General Counsel

WASHINGTON, July 19, 2016 – FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler today announced the departure of Jon Sallet as the FCC General Counsel and his intention to appoint Howard Symons as the next General Counsel.  Mr. Sallet will become the Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Litigation in the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice.  “Jon Sallet has been an… Keep Reading

FCC/IP Transition

At Urging of Competify Coalition of Telecom Competitors, FCC Launches Inquiry of Broadband Business Services

WASHINGTON, October 19, 2015 - The Federal Communications Commission on Friday announced that it had launched an investigation into the broadband pricing plans of local exchange carriers AT&T, CenturyLink, Frontier and Verizon Communications for so-called "special access services" of business data. A coalition of competitive carriers and non-profit organizations dubbed Competify has been urging the inquiry, and praised Friday's order by the agency's Wireline Communications Bureau. Competify_Illustration_09122015-e1442430516826
"The incumbents use inherently anticompetitive lock-up plans – which only an entity with immense market power could impose – to charge businesses and anchor institutions excessive access rates that harm competition, restrain the deployment of competitive facilities, and impede the transition to next-generation services," according to a statement released by the group. [More...]

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Broadband's Impact

Connect Michigan Conference to Gather State and National Broadband Stakeholders on October 20

LANSING, Michigan, October 13, 2015 - Nationally recognized broadband and technology experts will join local leaders, sector champions, and state innovators at the Connect Michigan broadband conference set to take place on Tuesday, October 20. Keynote speakers include Jay Elliot, technology executive and author of "The Steve Jobs Way," and Matthew DelNero, chief of the… Keep Reading

Intellectual Property

Drew Clark: Why a Well-Functioning Intellectual Property System Needs to Strike Down Bad Patents

Editor's Note: This past week, Drew Clark's column in the Deseret News of Salt Lake City, Utah, was on the importance of balance in our patent system. Click here for links to all of his Deseret News columns. ASPEN, Colo. — As with many former mining camps in the Rocky Mountains, this one is best known for winter sports like skiing. But this mountain town has also developed a summertime niche: Hosting policy-makers seeking the cool air refuge from humid Washington summers. This year, the refreshing breeze came in from the new head of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. For nearly 20 years, Aspen in late August has been home to a small but influential gathering of the Technology Policy Institute. It gathers legislators, regulators, lobbyists and academics who seek to shape the course of policy surrounding information and communications technology. 1586118 [more...] Keep Reading

FCC Workshop on eRate Funding Shows New Flexibility for School and Library Fiber Builds

June 18, 2015 - Recent changes to the eligibility rules for the Federal Communication Commission's eRate program open the door for new fiber connections for schools and libraries using agency funds. Among the rule changes were the suspension of the requirement that applicants seek funding for large up front construction costs over several years, the… Keep Reading

Schools, Health and Libraries Conference a Vital Connection for Public Broadband

Schools, Health and Libraries Broadband Coalition Conference WASHINGTON, May 18, 2015 - More than five years after the unveiling of the National Broadband Plan, policy-makers and on-the-ground-advocates seeking to build better broadband networks will convene here this week at the annual conference of the Schools, Health and Libraries Broadband Coalition. The conference, "Enhancing Broadband Through Innovation, Investment and Inclusion," has become the regular Washington gathering point for those engaged in public broadband initiatives. Among the keynote and plenary sessions at this year's conference include addresses by Federal Communications Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, former Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, former Virginia Gov. and Sen. George Allen, plus Mayor Jill Boudreau of Mount Vernon, Washington. Keep Reading

FCC/Infrastructure

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler Pokes Finger in Eye of Telecom Incumbents at Broadband Communities in Austin

AUSTIN, April 14, 2015 - The Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission came to Broadband Communities Summit here to metaphorically poke his finger in the eye of the biggest incumbent communications companies. He cited this city as Exhibit A for his mantra of "competition, competition, competition." And one day after the first of multiple legal challenges to the agency's network neutrality rules, Wheeler delivered a full-throated defense of those regulations. Wheeler also defended -- to repeated applause from the crowd -- a vigorous defense of municipalities and to communities' rights to offer broadband internet services. Chairman Tom Wheeler at the Broadband Communities Summit. Keep Reading

Jonathan Chambers of the FCC Says Results of Rural Broadband Experiment Teach Incumbents a Lesson

AUSTIN, April 14, 2015 - The official from the Federal Communications Commission responsible for the agency's unique "rural broadband experiment" on Monday said the experiment was less about learning than about teaching the rural telecom industry that it can do better. Speaking on panel at the Broadband Communities Summit here, Jonathan Chambers, chief of the Office of Strategic Planning at the FCC, said: "I wanted to teach certain people in Washington that we could do better than 4 megabits per second (Mbps) down and 1 Mbps up [in broadband speeds.]" [...] Jonathan Chambers, Chief, Office of Strategic Planning, FCC Keep Reading

Broadband's Impact

Financing of Public Private Partnerships Focus of Pre-Conference Workshop on Monday at Broadband Summit

AUSTIN, April 10, 2015 - One of the most promising aspects of the revived interest in community broadband networks is the great availability of opportunities for public-private partnerships to build or enhance next-generation internet infrastructure. This year, at the Broadband Communities Summit next week here in Austin, the main conference from April 14-April 16 will be proceeded by a special event, "Financing Fiber Networks," on Monday, April 13, 2015. The program runs from 9:45 a.m. to 5 p.m., and includes panels on "Private Financing Mechanisms," "State and Regional Funding Programs," "Working Lunch and Armchair Interview between Lev Gonick of OneCommunity and Dave Shaw of Kirton McConkie," "Municipal Debt Financing and Public-Private Partnerships," "Thinking Outside the Box," and "Federal Loans, Grants and USF Support." David Shaw, Shareholder at Kirton McConkie David Shaw, Shareholder at Kirton McConkie Lev Gonick, CEO of OneCommunity in Cleveland Lev Gonick, CEO of OneCommunity in Cleveland Keep Reading

FCC to Put Its Legal Weight Behind Preemption of State Laws That Limit Community Gigabit Networks

February 3, 2015 - The Federal Communications Commission will put its legal weight behind a petition that would preempt laws in North Carolina and Tennessee  that restrict the ability of community broadband networks to expand operations. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler will urge his fellow commissioners -- and is expected to obtain support from a majority… Keep Reading

Speaking at Federal Trade Commission, Obama Urges Internet Privacy Legislation for Consumers and Students

WASHINGTON, January 12, 2015 – President Barack Obama on Monday announced that his administration would push for two new pieces of federal internet privacy legislation, one pertaining to consumers and one pertaining to students. He also announced that the Department of Education would offer new tools to help students and teacher help protect their privacy.… Keep Reading

FCC/Universal Service

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, in Press Call with Sen. Markey, Proposes $1.5 Billion Increase in E-Rate

WASHINGTON, November 17, 2014 – Federal Communications Committee Chairman Tom Wheeler and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., on Monday proposed increasing the $1.5 billion cap to the E-rate portion of the Universal Service Fund. Schools and libraries, who would benefit from such an increase, have been calling for it for years now. Despite requests for E-rate… Keep Reading

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