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Tom Wheeler

Before Congress, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Defends 5 Percent Budget Cut and Changes to Net Neutrality Rules

WASHINGTON, June 21, 2017 — Cuts in the Federal Communications Commission budget won’t hinder the agency’s ability to provide services because the agency is entirely funded by fees, Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai told senators on Tuesday during a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing to examine the Commission’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget request. “[W]e have compiled… Keep Reading

Ajit Pai Comes to Senate Oversight Hearing, Defends his More Limited Vision of FCC Authority

WASHINGTON, March 10, 2017 – Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai defended his very vision of the agency’s role, as compared with his predecessor, during the first Senate Commerce Committee oversight hearing this year. The difference in attitude between Pai and former Chairman Tom Wheeler on broadband deployment highlighted the differences between the two. “High-speed… Keep Reading

Broadband News/Net Neutrality

In Ending Inquiry About ‘Zero Rating,’ FCC Chairman Ajit Pai May Change Rules on Net Neutrality

Broadband Breakfast Insight: A summary article highlighting the various impact from the Friday actions, led by Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai. The big-ticket item highlighted is the end of the inquiry by the FCC under former Chairman Tom Wheeler into “zero rating,” a practice of offering streams and downloads that don’t “count” against a subscribers’… 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

Statement from FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler Regarding DC Circuit Decision to Uphold FCC’s Open Internet Rules

WASHINGTON, June 14, 2016 – Today, the DC Circuit upheld the FCC’s Open Internet rules. The following statement can be attributed to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.  “Today’s ruling is a victory for consumers and innovators who deserve unfettered access to the entire web, and it ensures the internet remains a platform for unparalleled innovation, free expression and… Keep Reading

Former Architect of National Broadband Plan Says That Every City Needs a Broadband Plan

September 14, 2015 - Every city should create a city-wide broadband plan of its own, said the former director of the National Broadband Plan, in wide-ranging speech touting four strategies useful for different types of city broadband plans. Speaking on Friday at the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Officers annual conference in San Diego, Blair Levin of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program and the group Gig-U, said that every city should tackle four key strategies: (1) Getting fiber deeper into neighborhoods; (2) Using community WiFi; (3) Getting everyone online; and (4) Promoting innovative civic applications for broadband. Levin, the former architect of the Federal Communications Commission's broadband plan, crafted from 2009 to 2010, said that the United States was about the 20th country to adopt such a plan for the deployment of high-speed internet. Nearly 150 countries have one now. "With cities, we're where we were with countries in 2010. Several dozen have them," Levin said. "But now, such a plan is becoming table stakes for any city that wants its residents to be part of the 21st Century Information Economy." In his remarks, Levin addressed the pivotal role that Google Fiber has played in spurring the development of Gigabit Networks. Indeed, on Thursday, Google announced upcoming fiber-optic deployments in three new cities: Irvine, Calif., Louisville, Kentucky; and San Diego. He categories the types of cities, and they relative trajectories towards Gigabit Networks, as follows: "The first set of communities is those that either have or are likely to see Google Fiber enter. For these, the starting strategy is pretty simple. Accelerate to the extent possible, Google's entry." Whether or not Google comes, such cities will be well-situated for others, as well. Blair Levin [More...] Keep Reading

Broadband's Impact

Articles from the 2015 Broadband Communities Summit in Austin

Editor’s Note: Below are links to the articles published on BroadbandBreakfast.com about the Broadband Communities Summit in Austin, Texas, from April 13-16, 2015: April 27, 2015 – Financing Public-Private Fiber Networks Becoming a Reality, Say Experts at Broadband Communities Summit April 16, 2015 – Rural Telecommunications Congress Elects New Slate of Officers April 14, 2015 – FCC… 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

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

Net Neutrality

Technology Groups, Members of Congress Laud and Criticize Obama’s Net Neutrality Statement

WASHINGTON, November 12, 2014 – President Obama sparked both praise and anger on Monday when he urged the Federal Communications Committee to classify broadband as a regulated utility under Title II of the Communications Act. With liberals pushing for Title II regulation and with conservatives decrying more regulation, many observers had seen an alternative route proposed… Keep Reading

Intellectual Property

FCC Chairman Wheeler: Internet TV Providers Should Be Regulated Like Cable TV Providers

WASHINGTON, November 4, 2014 – Internet television services like the constantly beleaguered Aereo may soon be regulated like cable TV, if the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission has his way. In a recent blog post, Tom Wheeler stated the possibility of making the rules that govern video content and providers “technology neutral.” If the… Keep Reading

Broadband Data/Fiber/NTIA/Wireless

Attendees at Connect Michigan Conference Want Rural High-Speed Broadband

WASHINGTON, October 29, 2014 – Small business owners, teachers, librarians and representatives broadband industry official gathered at the 2014 Michigan Broadband Conference in the city of Lansing on Wednesday to discuss affordable and innovative ways to enhance Michiganians’ internet access. The conference was hosted by Connect Michigan, a Michigan subsidiary of the non-profit national group… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: White House and Wheeler Together, Cable Industry Group, and Commentary on NTIA Broadband Report

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… Keep Reading

Hearkening Back to Civil Rights Era, Wheeler Discusses Role of Universal Internet Access

WASHINGTON, October 10, 2014 – Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler said Tuesday that access to high-speed broadband is crucial to civic and economic participation in our society, his remarks at the 32nd annual Everett C. Parker Ethics in Telecommunications Lecture. This year’s lecture celebrated the 50th anniversary of Rev. Dr. Parker’s petition to the… Keep Reading

At Schools and Libraries Broadband Conference, Educators Lament Lack of Internet Funding

WASHINGTON, October 10, 2014 –High-capacity internet and networked services are the future of education because they will provide instructors and students with the necessary connectivity and capacity for 21st century educational technologies, said the Indiana state director of Education Networks of America at the Schools, Health and Libraries Broadband Coalition conference here last week. DSC02629~2 [more...] Keep Reading

FCC/Fiber/Weekly Report

Wheeler Addresses Both Wired and Wireless Infrastructure to Enhance Broadband Buildout and FirstNet

October 2, 2014 – On Wednesday, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler addressed the importance of local choice and competition regarding broadband access during remarks at the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors Annual Conference in Minnesota. Wheeler did not make specific comments about recent petitions from two communities–Wilson, North Carolina, and Chattanooga, Tennessee–… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: Standard-Option Encryption, Madison Fiber Build, and the House of Wheeler

WASHINGTON, October 1, 2014 – Smartphones are about to become “NSA-proof,” according to the Washington Post. In the wake of continued stream of information about surveillance by the National Security Agency, Google and Apple are making device encryption a standard feature in their newest software releases in an effort to ease consumer concern about government… Keep Reading

Broadband's Impact/FCC/Fiber

FCC Chairman Wheeler Continues Push for E-Rate Modernization, Targets ‘Rural Fiber Gap’

WASHINGTON, September 29, 2014 – Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler said that the agency was committed to modernizing the E-rate program. He made the statement in remarks at the 2014 Educational Technology Summit here in Washington. Schools and libraries participating in the FCC’s E-rate program must pay the best rates available for high-speed connectivity. He said the… Keep Reading

An Active Debate Over Whether Wireless Broadband Must Also Play Under Net Neutrality Rules

WASHINGTON, September 29, 2014 – Whether or not mobile Internet providers will be subject to the same net neutrality rules as wired broadband providers has become an increasingly prominent factor in the current debate over net neutrality rules. The proposal laid out by the Federal Communications Commission in May would only be applicable to wired… 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

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler Says Title II Reclassification of Broadband On The Table

WASHINGTON, September 18, 2014 – During a House Small Business Committee meeting on Wednesday, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler comfortably discoursed on his years as a small business owner. The hearing covered topics including broadband’s impact on small businesses, that lack of rural broadband competition and network neutrality. The FCC “will continue to orient… Keep Reading

FCC/Net Neutrality

Broadband Roundup: Advocacy Groups Weigh in Pro-and-Con on Net Neutrality

WASHINGTON, September 17, 2014 – A variety of developments on the battle regarding network neutrality: FreePress Tells FCC Title II Ensures Net Neutrality Protections The advocacy group Free Press blasted Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler’s efforts to use Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 as the means to enough to ensure network… Keep Reading

Announcement and Support of Government Could Lead to First State-Wide Gigabit Network in Connecticut

HARTFORD, Conn., September 16, 2014 – Connecticut state and city leaders on Monday announced a nationally-praised effort to build the first all-state Gigabit Network. The mayors of the state’s second- and fourth-largest cities, New Haven and Stamford, joined with state legislative leaders, the state’s Comptroller, and others to seek to create an “open access” fiber-optic… 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

Net Neutrality

Broadband Roundup: Senate Announces Hearings on Open Internet, While House Democratcs Urge FCC to Regulate Broadband, and Popular Web Sites Protest ‘Slow Lanes’

WASHINGTON, September 10, 2014 – The Senate Judiciary Committee announced that it had scheduled a hearing next Wednesday on the best means to protect an open internet. Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said he saw the hearing as an opportunity to hear testimony about his views regarding importance of a free and open internet. Leahy and Rep.… 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

Net Neutrality

Critics at Digital Policy Institute Say Net Neutrality Is a Solution In Search of a Problem

WASHINGTON, July 22, 2014 – As the Federal Communications Commission received more than a million comments on the agency’s push for net neutrality regulations governing the conduct of broadband providers, critics argued on July 15 that net neutrality is a counter-intuitive solution in search of a problem. Moreover, these critics said, “common carriage” regulation under… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: FCC, Congress and Broadband Providers Clash On Municipal Broadband

WASHINGTON, July 17, 2004 – The House of Representatives passed an amendment Wednesday  in a 223-220 vote to prevent the Federal Communications Commission from preempting state laws that forbid municipal broadband networks, the National Journal reported. U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., spearheaded the proposal, according to Ars Technica, on the argument that the FCC has… Keep Reading

FCC/Universal Service

In Partisan Vote, FCC Passes a Modified E-Rate Proposal for Spending Funds on Wi-Fi Connectivity

WASHINGTON, July 15, 2014 – The Federal Communications Commission on Friday voted to modernize of its E-Rate program Friday, reallocating funds from technologies considered obsolete to Wi-Fi based connectivity in schools and libraries. However, owing to strong skepticism from opponents over funding, the proposal was scaled back to $2 billion, down from its original $5… Keep Reading

FCC Announces Universal Service Fund Strike Force in Effort to Combat Wasteful Spending

WASHINGTON, July 14, 2014 – In an effort to combat ongoing complaints of inefficiency within the Federal Communications Commission’s Universal Service Fund, Chairman Tom Wheeler on Monday announced a strike force dedicated to “rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse.” To be led by Loyaan Egal, a former public corruption attorney with the U.S. Attorney’s Office… 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: Charter Schools Love E-Rate, Kickstarter CEO on ‘Fast Lanes,’ and Broadband Video Quality

WASHINGTON, July 7, 2014 – As the Federal Communications Commission prepares to vote on E-Rate modernization July 11, some educators are “threatening to derail” the process according to The Hill. These educators have criticized Chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposal for focusing large sums of funding on Wi-Fi while neglecting to increase the overall E-Rate budget. The… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: FCC’s Wheeler Continues Net Neutrality Quest, FCC Wireline Bureau Benchmarks Broadband Data for Connect America Fund

WASHINGTON, July 1, 2014 – Republicans are concerned about the regulation of internet service providers as utilities under Title II of the Communications Act, but Federal Communications Chairman Tom Wheeler said that he isn’t ruling out the section as a legal basis for agency authority. In a letter responding to concerns from House Speaker John… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: With Aereo off the Air for Now, Alternatives Seek Advantage, and Legislators Advocate for Municipal Broadband

WASHINGTON, June 30, 2014 -Following the Supreme Court’s blow last week against Aereo, the video streaming service has shut down indefinitely as it drags back into the lower courts. Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia wrote a letter to consumers explaining the decision. “We have decided to pause our operations temporarily as we consult with the court… 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

Education/FCC/Privacy

Broadband Roundup: Microsoft on Privacy, 11th Circuit on Warrants, and Wheeler on Community Broadband

WASHINGTON, June 12, 2014 – Microsoft is determined to fight a recent U.S. government demand for a user’s emails on company computers in Ireland, The Wall Street Journal reported. “Congress has not authorized the issuance of warrants that reach outside U.S. territory,” Microsoft wrote in its filing with U.S. District Court in Manhattan, according to… Keep Reading

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