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Broadband Census Executive Director to Speak at Federal Communications Commission Summit

WASHINGTON, November 3 – Drew Clark, Editor and Executive Director of BroadbandCensus.com, will speak in Silicon Valley on Thursday, November 6, at the summit on broadband data sponsored by the Federal Communications Commission and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.

Drew Clark

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Press Release

Executive Director Drew Clark to Provide Legislative Update on Broadband Data Improvement Act

WASHINGTON, November 3 – Drew Clark, Editor and Executive Director of BroadbandCensus.com, will speak in Silicon Valley on Thursday, November 6, at the summit on broadband data sponsored by the Federal Communications Commission and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.

Clark, the journalist who launched BroadbandCensus.com in January 2008 as a means of providing the public with an objective measure of where broadband is available and which carriers offer it, was invited to speak at the “Broadband Summit: Connecting America.” The joint FCC-NARUC summit is co-located with the Wireless Communications Association Symposium and Business Expo in San Jose, Calif.

Clark will provide a “Legislative Update: Broadband Mapping Bill,” from 12:40 p.m. to 1:10 p.m. He will speak in particular about the Broadband Data Improvement Act, S. 1492, which passed Congress and was signed into law by President Bush on Friday, October 10. He will also address other versions of broadband data legislation.

Clark’s remarks at the conference will be preceeded by FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, FCC Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate, Indiana Utility Regulatory Commissioner Larry Landis, California Public Utility Commissioner Rachelle Chong, Alaska Commissioner Mark Johnson and Iowa Commissioner Krista Tanner.

Ray Baum, Oregon Commissioner and Chair of the NARUC Telecommunications Committee, will also offer an opening statement.

Together with Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Virginia Tech’s eCorridors Program, BroadbandCensus.com organized a conference, “Broadband Census for America,” in Washington on September 26, 2008. BroadbandCensus.com has announced a follow-up conference, “Broadband Census for America: The New Administration,” tentatively scheduled for March 27, 2009.

The purpose of the Broadband Census for America conferences is to bring together government officials, academic researchers and other key stakeholders in industry and the non-profit community to improve the understanding of current practices in broadband data collection and discuss ways of improving and expanding publicly-available data within the United States.

Commissioners Chong and Landis both spoke at the “Broadband Census for America” conference on September 26.

Others speaking at the FCC-NARUC joint summit include: Sharon Gillett, Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Cable; Michael Ramage, Executive Director, Connected Tennessee; Joe Camicia, Chief of Staff, Office of the Chief Information Officer of California; and Susan Walters, Senior Vice President of the California Emerging Technology Fund.

About Broadband Census.com:

BroadbandCensus.com seeks to provide the public with free information about local broadband speeds, prices, availability, reliability and competition. In order to make this information as useful to the public as possible, BroadbandCensus.com believes that the names of the companies that provide broadband – and the speeds and prices at which they actually deliver service – must also be made available as part of any serious effort to map out the state of broadband in America. The content on BroadbandCensus.com is released under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License, meaning that states, local governments and educational institutions may copy and reuse the contents for free.

BroadbandCensus.com has partnered with the Pew Internet & American Life Project, the Benton Foundation, the Consortium for School Networking, Internet2, the Virginia Tech eCorridors Program, the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors, and others, in the quest to make this broadband data public. BroadbandCensus.com also sees itself as an ally and partner of local communities, cities, counties and states in the all-important issue of building good internet access block-by-block.

BroadbandCensus.com is produced by Broadband Census LLC, which is organized as a Limited Liability Company in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Drew Clark is the principal member of Broadband Census LLC.

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

Broadband Breakfast Staff

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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

Masha Abarinova

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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

Broadband Breakfast Staff

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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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