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.
Broadband Roundup: White House and Wheeler Together, Cable Industry Group, and Commentary on NTIA Broadband Report
Broadband's Impact, FCC, Gigabit Networks, Net Neutrality, NTIA
October 20th, 2014
WASHINGTON, October 20, 2014 – Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler said that he and President Barack Obama agree in their opposition to paid prioritization, Multichannel News reported. Obama stated his objection to the practice during his remarks at an innovation forum in California on October 9. Although the two haven’t discussed it directly, Wheeler […]
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 […]
Broadband Roundup: Battle of the Lobbyists, Holding Comcast Accountable and Satellite Reauthorization
Broadband Roundup, Broadband's Impact, FCC, Net Neutrality
July 23rd, 2014
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 […]
Broadband Roundup: Internet Tax Freedom Act, Report on Broadband Speeds, and AT&T on Gigabit Networks
Broadband Data, Broadband Roundup, FCC, Gigabit Networks
June 19th, 2014
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 […]
Broadband Roundup: FCC to Police Dispute Between Netflix and Verizon, Michael Powell Defends FCC Chief
Broadband Roundup, Net Neutrality
June 16th, 2014
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 […]
Critics on Both Ends of the FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules, With a Few Supporters in the Middle
Broadband's Impact, FCC, Net Neutrality
May 19th, 2014
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.” [...]
Obama Launches Plan for More Efficient Federal Spectrum Use, Trumpets Improvements in Broadband Over Past Four Years
June 17th, 2013
WASHINGTON, June 17, 2013 – President Barack Obama on Friday introduced several new initiatives to facilitate more efficient use of radio-frequency spectrum in order to encourage further development of wireless broadband. In addition to investments totaling to $100 million in the development of spectrum-sharing technologies and advanced communications, Obama also directed federal agencies to make […]
Creating Innovation-Friendly Environment and Promoting Seemless Transition to Internet Protocol Services Discussed at The Cable Show
Broadband's Impact, FCC, IP Transition, Net Neutrality
June 11th, 2013
WASHINGTON, June 11, 2013 – Creating an innovation-friendly environment and facilitating the internet protocol transition were featured as two Federal Communications Commission legal advisers spoke Tuesday at the National Cable and Telecommunications Association’s Cable Show. The panel consisted of Matthew Berry, chief of staff for FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai and Alex Hoehn-Saric, policy director for […]
Congressional Panel at The Cable Show Highlights Spectrum, Net Neutrality, and Universal Service Issues
Congress, FCC, Net Neutrality, Rural Utilities Service, Universal Service
June 11th, 2013
WASHINGTON, June 11, 2013 – Spectrum policy, net neutrality, and Universal Service Fund reforms were among the topics discussed by congressional staffers at The Cable Show panel entitled “Capitol Perspectives: Commerce Committee Staffers on Communications Policy.” The panel, held at the annual convention of the National Cable and Telecommunications Associations on Monday, consisted of eight […]