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Agenda for Broadband Census for America Conference on September 26, 2008

WASHINGTON, September 8, 2008 – Many of the nation’s foremost broadband policy-makers and experts will analyze and discuss best practices for improving the collection and sharing of public data about high-speed internet access at the Broadband Census for America Conference in Washington, D.C., on Friday, September 26, 2008.

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Key Academics, State Officials and Broadband Data Collectors to Speak

Embassy of Ireland to Give Luncheon Keynote Address on Publicly-Available Broadband Data

Coverage of the Broadband Census for America Conference

For Immediate Release

WASHINGTON, September 8, 2008 – Many of the nation’s foremost broadband policy-makers and experts will analyze and discuss best practices for improving the collection and sharing of public data about high-speed internet access at the Broadband Census for America Conference in Washington, D.C., on Friday, September 26, 2008.

Panelists at the half-day conference include Rachelle Chong, California Public Utility Commissioner; broadband data pioneer Professor Kenneth Flamm of the University of Texas at Austin; Dr. William Lehr, an economist and broadband expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Jane Smith Patterson, executive director of the e-NC Authority; Indiana Utility Regulatory Commissioner Larry Landis, who is also the state chair of a telecommunications regulatory task force charged with coordinating state efforts to collect broadband data and preparing reports on broadband to Congress; and National Telecommunications and Information Administration Chief Economist James McConnaughey.

Eamonn Confrey, the First Secretary for Information and Communications Policy at the Embassy of Ireland, will present the luncheon keynote: an overview of his nation’s efforts to collect data on broadband service in Ireland through a comprehensive web site with availability, pricing and speed data about carriers.

Also participating on the panels will be representatives from BroadbandCensus.com, the California Broadband Task Force, Connected Nation, Communications Workers of America’s Speed Matters, Public Knowledge, and Virginia Tech’s eCorridors Program.

As policy-makers around the world seek innovative approaches to enhancing and expanding broadband service, they also seek accurate data and maps of the digital infrastructure. Increasingly, experts believe that universal broadband is a crucial ingredient to global economic competitiveness.

These efforts are apparent here in the United States with the Federal Communications Commission’s proposed rules to collect more localized data on broadband service and the U.S. House of Representatives introducing the “Broadband Census of America Act,” which would require a comprehensive national inventory of broadband availability and competition.

The conference will be held at the American Association for the Advancement of Science at 12th and H Streets, NW, and is sponsored by BroadbandCensus.com, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Texas at Austin’s Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law, and the Virginia Tech eCorridors Program.

The event will bring together government officials, academic researchers and other key stakeholders for a half-day conference that seeks to improve our understanding of current practices in broadband data collection and discuss ways of improving and expanding publicly-available data within the United States.

The conference program features the following speakers:

  • Eamonn Confrey, First Secretary, Information and Communications Policy, Embassy of Ireland. Mr. Confrey has confirmed as the luncheon speaker on “Mapping out Broadband for Consumers: The Irish Experience.”
  • Commissioner Rachelle Chong, current Commissioner of the California state Public Utilities Commission and former Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission, will speak on “Section 706 Through the Years: A Perspective from a Serial Regulator.”

The conference will also feature two panel discussions. Panelists scheduled to speak on the first panel, titled “Does America Need a Broadband Census?”, include the following:

  • Art Brodsky, Communications Director, Public Knowledge
  • Drew Clark, Executive Director, BroadbandCensus.com
  • Professor Kenneth Flamm, University of Texas at Austin, coauthor, “Measuring Broadband: Improving Communications Policymaking through Better Data Collection,” (Pew Internet and American Life Project: 2007)
  • Debbie Goldman, Speed Matters Coordinator, Communications Workers of America
  • Larry Landis, Indiana Utility Regulatory Commissioner; also State Chair, National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners-FCC Joint Conference on Advanced Services
  • Mark McElroy, Chief Operating Officer, Connected Nation
  • This panel will be moderated by Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times

Panelists scheduled to speak on the second panel, “How Should America Conduct a Broadband Census?”, include the following:

  • Jeffrey Campbell, Director, Technology and Communications Policy, Cisco Systems
  • Dr. William Lehr, Economist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • James McConnaughey, Senior Economist, National Telecommunications Information Administration
  • Jane Smith Patterson, Executive Director, e-NC Authority
  • Jean Plymale, Virginia Tech eCorridors Program
  • This panel will be moderated by Carol Wilson, Telephony Online.

Click HERE for complete bios and background materials.

The Broadband Census for America Conference will be held at the American Association for the Advancement of Science at 1200 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC. (The building is at the corner of 12th Street and H Street, NW.)

The conference will run from 8:30 a.m. and conclude by 1 p.m., providing ample time for those seeking to make the short commute from Washington to the Telecommunications Policy Research Conference in Arlington, Virginia.

For More Information: Drew Bennett, 202-580-8196, bennett@broadbandcensus.com

Pricing:

  • ACADEMIC (Includes faculty, staff, and students at universities and secondary institutions) – NO CHARGE
  • GOVERNMENT (Includes international, federal, state and local government officials) – NO CHARGE
  • INDUSTRY – $295
  • NON-PROFIT (including individuals) ** – $195;
  • PRESS – NO CHARGE

**Non-profit organizations that feel they could not attend otherwise may apply for a waiver of conference fee.

To place your reservation to attend, please e-mail: conference@broadbandcensus.com. Checks may be made payable to Broadband Census LLC, 1705 Warner Ave., McLean, VA 22101.

Industry Sponsor

CCMI is the industry’s trusted source for communications data, information and applications. Communications service providers and enterprise users rely on CCMI data and training to operate more efficiently, make better decisions and stay abreast of communications technologies and trends. With extensive industry contacts, rigorous quality standards and a veteran staff, CCMI guarantees you get reliable content, world-class service and unparalleled value. For more information, visit http://www.ccmi.com.

Nonprofit Sponsors

The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) is the country’s premier voice in education technology leadership, serving K-12 technology leaders who through their strategic use of technology, improve teaching and learning. CoSN’s membership includes key education technology leaders (often called Chief Technology Officers—CTOs) in leading-edge school districts, as well as policy makers, private sector leaders. For more information, visit http://www.cosn.org or call 1-866-267-8747.

OneWebDay is an Earth Day for the internet. The idea behind OneWebDay is to focus attention on a key internet value (this year, online participation in democracy), focus attention on local internet concerns (connectivity, censorship, individual skills), and create a global constituency that cares about protecting and defending the internet. For more information, visit http://www.onewebday.org.

Research Sponsor

Emerging Media Dynamics is a strategic advisory services practice aimed at helping cable, telco, wireless, satellite, technology and content companies gain an edge in the emerging world of IP media. It provides data-rich, well-informed and up-to-the-minute customized reports, analyses and presentations that decipher, interpret and explain the rush of corporate, technological and policy changes driving the development of cutting-edge communications applications. For more information, visit http://www.emediadynamics.com.

Media Sponsor

The leading publisher in the field of communications law since 1948, Pike & Fischer provides the expert legal analysis that attorneys, engineers, and managers require. Pike & Fischer’s market analysts report the most significant business news and trends affecting the rapidly evolving telecommunications and broadband sectors. Our news, historical data, and on-call research provide the raw materials necessary for sound decision-making. For more information, visit http://pf.com.

Broadband Census for America Conference Details

Location:
American Association for the Advancement of Science
1200 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC
(The building is at the corner of 12th Street and H Street, NW.)

Time:
Friday, September 26, 2008
8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

The Conference Agenda [subject to minor changes]:
8:30 a.m. Welcome to the Broadband Census for America

  • Drew Clark, BroadbandCensus.com
  • Jon Peha, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Brenda van Gelder, Virginia Tech
  • Kenneth Flamm, University of Texas at Austin

8:40 a.m. Keynote Speech: “Section 706 Through the Years: A Perspective from a Serial Regulator,”

  • Commissioner Rachelle Chong, California State Public Utilities Commission

9:10 a.m. Questions for and Answers from Commissioner Chong

9:20 a.m. Panel I: Does America Need a Broadband Census?

  • Art Brodsky, Communications Director, Public Knowledge
  • Drew Clark, Executive Director, BroadbandCensus.com
  • Kenneth Flamm, University of Texas at Austin, coauthor, “Measuring Broadband: Improving Communications Policymaking through Better Data Collection,” (Pew Internet and American Life Project: 2007).
  • Debbie Goldman, Speed Matters Coordinator, Communications Workers of America
  • Larry Landis, Indiana Utility Regulatory Commissioner; also State Chair, NARUC-FCC Joint Conference on Advanced Services
  • Mark McElroy, Chief Operating Officer, Connected Nation
  • Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times (Moderator)

10:30 a.m. Break

10:45 a.m. Panel II: HOW Should America Conduct a Broadband Census?

  • Jeffrey Campbell, Director, Technology and Communications Policy, Cisco Systems
  • Dr. William Lehrer, Economist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • James McConnaughey, Chief Economist, National Telecommunications Information Administration
  • Jane Smith Patterson, Executive Director, e-NC Authority
  • Jean Plymale, Virginia Tech eCorridors Program
  • Carol Wilson, Telephony Online (Moderator)

Noon Luncheon Keynote: “Mapping out Broadband for Consumers: The Irish Experience”

  • Eamonn Confrey, First Secretary, Information and Communications Policy, Embassy of Ireland

12:30 p.m. Questions for and Answers from Mr. Confrey

1 p.m. Adjourn

Program Committee:

  • Drew Bennett, Special Assistant, BroadbandCensus.com
  • Drew Clark, Executive Director, BroadbandCensus.com
  • Professor Kenneth Flamm, Director, Technology, Innovation and Global Security Program, Robert S. Strauss Center, University of Texas at Austin
  • Brenda van Gelder, Director, Virginia Tech eCorridors Program
  • John Horrigan, Associate Director for Research, Pew Internet Project; and Chair, 2008 Telecommunications Policy Research Conference
  • Sascha Meinrath, Research Director, New America Foundation; and President, Ethos Wireless
  • Professor Jon Peha, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Jean Plymale, Virginia Tech eCorridors Program
  • Scott Wallsten, Vice President for Research, Technology Policy Institute

Press Release Referenced:

About the Sponsors

Broadband Census.com:

BroadbandCensus.com is a free web service providing information and news about local broadband speeds, availability, competition and quality of service. Organized by technology journalist Drew Clark as Broadband Census LLC (a Limited Liability Company in the Commonwealth of Virginia), BroadbandCensus.com is independent of all internet providers, receives no funding from carriers, and takes no position on telecommunications policy issues. For more information, visit http://broadbandcensus.com/home/aboutus.

Carnegie Mellon University:

Carnegie Mellon University’s Engineering and Public Policy Department is a unique program within the Engineering College that addresses important problems in technology and policy in which the technical details are of central importance. Areas of focus include information and communication technology policy, energy and environmental systems, risk analysis and communication, and technological innovation and R&D policy. For more information, visit http://www.epp.cmu.edu.

Robert S. Strauss Center:

The Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law at The University of Texas at Austin aims to provide the imagination, leadership and intellectual innovation required to meet the challenges of the 21st century, engaging the best minds in academia, government and the private sector in developing practical solutions to the pressing problems of an increasingly globalized world. The Strauss Center’s Technology, Innovation and Global Security Program supports policy-oriented research and outreach programs on how to sustain innovation and better utilize modern technology to benefit an increasingly international economic and social system. For more information, visit http://www.RobertStraussCenter.org.

Virginia Tech eCorridors Program:

eCorridors is an outreach program of Virginia Tech that was established in 2000. Its activities include telecommunications policy, communications infrastructure, research and other computing applications as well as community networks and economic development in a networked world. eCorridors is a primary means through which government, private sector industry and community stakeholders participate and collaborate with Virginia Tech researchers and IT professionals. For more information, visit http://www.ecorridors.vt.edu.

Drew Clark is the Editor and Publisher of BroadbandBreakfast.com and a nationally-respected telecommunications attorney at The CommLaw Group. He has closely tracked the trends in and mechanics of digital infrastructure for 20 years, and has helped fiber-based and fixed wireless providers navigate coverage, identify markets, broker infrastructure, and operate in the public right of way. The articles and posts on Broadband Breakfast and affiliated social media, including the BroadbandCensus Twitter feed, are not legal advice or legal services, do not constitute the creation of an attorney-client privilege, and represent the views of their respective authors.

FCC

FCC Delays Auction of Citizens Broadband Radio Service Frequences in Light of COVID-19 Pandemic from Coronavirus

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Seal of the Federal Communications Commission

Agency Changes Upcoming Auction 105 Schedule, Postpones Auction 106

Adjustments Made in Light of COVID-19 Pandemic

WASHINGTON, March 25, 2020—The Federal Communications Commission today announced schedule changes for Auction 105 as well as the postponement of Auction 106.
Given the COVID-19 pandemic, these changes were deemed necessary in order to protect the health and safety of Commission staff and to allow parties additional time to prepare to
participate in Auctions 105 and 106.

“Many Americans have had to make tough decisions on how they do business in this rapidly changing environment, and the FCC is no different,” said agency Chairman Ajit Pai. “After consulting agency staff within the relevant Bureaus and Offices, we determined that it was in everyone’s best interest to make these changes. But we remain committed to holding the 3.5 GHz auction this summer and look forward to beginning this important mid-band auction in July.”

For Auction 105, involving the auction of Priority Access Licenses for the 3550-3650 MHz band, the short-form application (FCC Form 175) filing window will now open on April 23,
2020 at 12 p.m. EDT and will close on May 7 at 6 p.m. EDT. Upfront payments will be due June 19.

Bidding will begin on July 23. Interested parties should continue to monitor the Auction 105 website at www.fcc.gov/auction/105 for any future announcements regarding the auction schedule and other important auction information. To read the Auction 105 Public Notice, visit https://go.usa.gov/xdhf4.

The FCC is postponing indefinitely Auction 106, an auction of construction permits in the FM broadcast service that was scheduled to begin on April 28. Auction 106 applicants that
submitted upfront payments may obtain a refund of those deposits after submitting a written request. Additional processes are outlined in today’s Public Notice. A revised schedule will
be announced in a future public notice. To read the Auction 106 Public Notice, visit https://go.usa.gov/xdhfZ.

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Press Releases

Tech Freedom and Other Advocacy Groups Push Back Against Growing Pressure to Modify Section 230

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WASHINGTON, July 11, 2019 – Pushing back against a growing group of critics on the right and the left, the pro-free-market pro-free-speech group Tech Freedom on Thursday released a set of seven principles and online resources designed to “guide conversation about amending Section 230.”

As the principles statement declares: “we value the balance between freely exchanging ideas, fostering innovation, and limiting harmful speech. Because this is an exceptionally delicate balance, Section 230 reform poses a substantial risk of failing to address policymakers’ concerns and harming the Internet overall.”

In its current form, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (and part of the 1996 Telecom Act) holds online content creators responsible for what they publish, while protecting third parties that generate this content from liability.

“Section 230 is the law that made today’s Internet possible. Without it, hosting user-generated content would be impossible. Today’s most popular social websites would never have taken off and the Internet would look basically like cable,” said Tech Freedom President Berin Szóka.

“Making Section 230 protections contingent upon approval of government bureaucrats would be a grave mistake. Regulation must evolve as the Internet evolves, but creating new government powers that would be subject to the whims of whichever party occupied the White House would be bad for all Americans,” said Kevin Glass, vice president of communications at National Taxpayers Union.

The statement also included expressions of support from Prof. Eric Goldman, Santa Clara University School of Law, Sharon Bradford Franklin, director of Surveillance & Cybersecurity Policy, New America’s Open Technology Institute, Emma Llanso, director of the Free Expression Project, Center for Democracy & Technology, Bartlett Cleland, president of the Innovation Economy Alliance, and others.

Some of Tech Freedom’s resources on free speech and Section 230 on its website, including:

  • An op-ed “Some conservatives need a First Amendment refresher”
  • A letter to AG Session “DOJ Inquiry re Tech Companies Bias is Misguided”
  • A blogpost “Reality Check for Trump and Republicans Crying ‘Bias’”!
  • Tech Freedom President Berin Szóka’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on the filtering practices of social media platforms
  • A statement on the passage of SESTA
  • A statement on the takedown of Backpage and its implications for Section 230 and recent sex trafficking legislation
  • Tech Policy Podcast #226: The Fairness Doctrine: Next Generation
  • Tech Policy Podcast #214: Information Intermediaries in a Nutshell

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FCC

Federal Communications Commission Announces $169 Million in Rural Broadband Funding

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WASHINGTON, June 10, 2019 – The Federal Communications Commission on Monday authorized $166.8 million in funding over the next decade to expand broadband to 60,850 unserved rural homes and businesses in 22 states. Providers will begin receiving funding this month. A map of the winning bids is available here.

This funding represents the second wave of support from last year’s successful Connect America Fund Phase II auction. The FCC authorized the first wave of funding in May, providing $111.6 million in funding over the next decade to expand service to 37,148 unserved homes and businesses in 12 states.

To date, the first two rounds of authorizations are providing $278.4 million over the next decade to expand service to 97,998 new locations.  Over the coming months, the FCC will be authorizing additional funding as it approves the final applications of the winning bidders from the auction.

“I’m pleased to announce that the second round of funding starts now for buildout of high-speed Internet service to 60,850 rural homes and businesses, which will bring them to the right side of the digital divide and give them access to the 21st-century opportunities that broadband offers,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.

“Providers will be deploying gigabit-speed connections to the majority of locations for which funding is being authorized today, while nearly 8,000 homes and small businesses on Tribal lands will be getting fixed broadband service for the first time,” he said.

Providers must build out to 40 percent of the assigned homes and businesses in the areas won in a state within three years.  Buildout must increase by 20 percent in each subsequent year, until complete buildout is reached at the end of the sixth year.

The Connect America Fund Phase II auction is part of a broader effort by the FCC to close the digital divide in rural America.

In addition to the funding that will be made available through this auction, the Commission recently provided 186 companies in 43 states $65.7 million in additional annual funding to upgrade broadband speeds in rural communities, and offered incentives for over 500 rural carriers to provide faster broadband to over 1 million rural homes and businesses.

Pai also announced his intention to create the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, which will provide $20.4 billion over the next decade to connect approximately four million rural homes and businesses to high-speed broadband, representing the FCC’s single biggest step yet to close the digital divide.

(Photo by Jim Bradley used with permission.)

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