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.
Acting FCC Chairwoman Clyburn Announces Second Wave of First Phase of Connect America Fund
FCC, National Broadband Plan, Universal Service
May 23rd, 2013
WASHINGTON, May 23, 2013 – The Federal Communication Commission will offer $485 million to expand fixed broadband access in rural areas, Acting Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn said on Wednesday. The funding is part of a public and private effort to provide broadband services in areas, predominantly rural, that currently lack adequate access. The money is intended […]
FCC Chairman Genachowski Touts ‘Incentive Auction’ as Big Win from Broadcasting to Wireless Broadband
Broadband's Impact, CES2013, Congress, FCC, Mobile Broadband, Spectrum, Wireless
January 9th, 2013
LAS VEGAS, January 9, 2013 – When President Obama came to office nearly four years ago, the transition to digital television hadn’t yet been completed. Now, airwaves once used by broadcasters have been cleared for use by wireless companies. And the Federal Communications Commission is going forward on the next stage of this transition. The […]
Our Broadband Election – and the Next Chapter of High-speed Internet in America
FCC, National Broadband Plan, NTIA, Rural Utilities Service
November 5th, 2012
November 5, 2012 – In the lead-up to the 2008 presidential election four years ago, then-candidate Barack Obama repeatedly raised the importance of “expanding broadband lines across America” as part of the economic stimulus plan that become the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. During the first year of his administration, many parties honed in on […]
How to Tackle Broadband Adoption by the Nation’s Underserved Populations
Broadband Data, Broadband Mapping, Broadband Stimulus, FCC, Fiber, National Broadband Plan, NTIA, Rural Utilities Service, States, Universal Service
July 26th, 2012
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 […]
Update from the FCC’s July Open Commission Meeting
Broadband Data, Broadband Mapping, Broadband Stimulus, FCC, Fiber
July 23rd, 2012
WASHINGTON, Thursday July 19, 2012. As part of its July Open Commission meeting, the Federal Communications Commission gave an update of its Measuring Broadband America report. This follow-up was the result of further collection of data from the over 7,000 measurement devices given to volunteers around the United States, and to show how the initial […]
Leveraging Funding from Government Programs, Incentives to Share Information and Faster Broadband Speeds are Key to Maximizing Health IT Broadband
Broadband Stimulus, Broadband TV, Broadband's Impact, Education, FCC, Health, Mobile Broadband, National Broadband Plan, NTIA, Rural Utilities Service, Spectrum, States, Tribal Broadband, Universal Service, Wireless
March 23rd, 2012
WASHINGTON, Friday March 23, 2012 – On Tuesday March 20th federal regulatory administrators, state health and broadband officials and private health IT and technology experts met in Washington to discuss “Maximizing US Health IT and Broadband Investment” at BroadbandBreakfast.com’s monthly breakfast and panel discussion. In the session, the speakers agreed that there is both humanitarian and […]
SmartGrid: Moving Toward Regulatory Uniformity
Expert Opinion, National Broadband Plan, Smart Grid, States
November 18th, 2011
Expert Contributors: Stephanie A. Joyce, Esq. and Stephen Thompson, Esq. WASHINGTON, November 18, 2011 – The development of SmartGrid technology, which generally refers to devices that monitor, and possibly control, energy use via telecommunications-enabled devices, is proceeding apace, though not as quickly as many had hoped or anticipated. At the most recent Broadband Breakfast that […]
With AT&T’s T-Mobile Merger All But Dead, It’s Time to Focus on Broadcasters
Congress, National Broadband Plan, Spectrum, Wireless
August 31st, 2011
WASHINGTON, August 31, 2011 – With the Justice Department’s announcement on Wednesday that it will contest AT&T’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile, the attention should now turn to what some consider the deal’s key driver: getting more wireless spectrum into the hands of broadband providers.
Obama’s Third Generation of Broadband Policy and the Universal Broadband Imperative
Broadband Stimulus, Broadband's Impact, FCC, National Broadband Plan, NTIA, Rural Utilities Service, Universal Service
August 22nd, 2011
WASHINGTON, August 22, 2011 – The beauty of the internet has always been the disconnection of content and infrastructure.
Landline phone service was a one-to-one medium. It required the phone company’s infrastructure of wires and switches and telephones. Broadcast television was one-to-many. It relied upon the towers and transmitters of the broadcasters, plus a standard-issue television.
Let alone the fact that today we largely watch televisions connected to wires, and largely talk into mobile phones untethered to Ma Bell’s cords. There is the wealth of many-to-many communication through the multiplicity of applications that make the internet what it is today.
None of this, of course, is new – until one considers Washington’s subsidization schemes.