WASHINGTON, August 10, 2010 – The announcement of a joint policy on network neutrality by Google and Verizon has garnered both criticism and support.
Commissioner Michael Copps was the only Federal Communications Commission official to comment: “Some will claim this announcement moves the discussion forward. That’s one of its many problems. It is time to move a decision forward—a decision to reassert FCC authority over broadband telecommunications, to guarantee an open internet now and forever, and to put the interests of consumers in front of the interests of giant corporations.”
Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., former chairman and current senior member of the telecommunications subcommittee, criticized the proposal for its lack of inclusion of wireless services and the lack of consumer privacy protection.
He said: “The proposal also calls for tying the commission’s hands to protect consumers, foster innovation and investment and ensure fair competition and excludes safeguards for other unspecified or differentiated online services. Rather than a proposal from two corporate giants, a public process at the FCC is needed to ensure the preservation of an unfettered Internet ecosystem that will continue to be an indispensable platform for innovation, investment, entrepreneurship, and free speech.”
Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., who represents the district in which Google is based, said: “Consumers, not carriers, should determine which applications they want to use. At the end of the day, Congress and the FCC will decide the rules for net neutrality, not the companies. I remain convinced that net neutrality is necessary to ensure the continued development and innovation on the internet.”
The proposal received support from AT&T. “We’re not a party to this agreement, but will examine it closely. We remain committed to achieving a consensus solution to the net neutrality issue, either with the FCC or with the Congress. In that sense, the Verizon-Google agreement demonstrates that it is possible to bridge differences on this issue,” the firm said in a statement. During the conference call announcing the proposal Google and Verizon mentioned that the proposal was distributed to other ISPs but no other firm was willing to sign on.
The National Cable & Telecommunications Association released a statement which said in part: “It is a positive sign that two companies with divergent views on the need for regulation can reach agreement on this complicated set of issues. We remain focused and committed to exploring a targeted legislative framework that can be applied more broadly across all industry players. The Google-Verizon announcement shows that it is possible for compromise and that we can reach a constructive solution”
FCC Announces New RDOF Accountability and Transparency Measures, Additional Funding
Results of verifications, audits and speed and latency testing for the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund will be made public.
WASHINGTON, January 28, 2022 – The Federal Communications Commission on Friday said that it will implement new accountability and transparency measures, and make public the results of verifications, audits and speed and latency testing for the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund.
The measures are part of a new known as the Rural Broadband Accountability Fund that monitors several universal service high-cost programs.
Additionally announced in a press release, the Rural Broadband Accountability Fund will speed up the FCC’s audit and verification processes.
Audits and verifications are projected to double in 2022 as compared to 2021 and include on-site audits, and a particular focus will be placed on auditing and verifying the largest-dollar and highest-risk RDOF recipients.
The agency also announced that it would commit more than $1.2 billion more to RDOF, the largest funding round for the program to date.
The new funding will bring broadband service to more than 1 million locations through deployments in 32 states, with 23 broadband providers assisting the effort.
Going forward, the commission will deny waivers, it said, “for winning bidders that have not made appropriate efforts to secure state approvals or prosecute their applications.”
All winning bidders will undergo “an exhaustive technical, financial, and legal review.”
Finally, the commission says a list of areas will be published which details where providers have defaulted, “making those places available for other broadband funding opportunities.”
Federal Communications Commission Approves New Provider Transparency Requirements
Broadband providers must now create “broadband nutrition labels” which list pricing and speed information.
WASHINGTON, January 28, 2022 – The Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to require that broadband providers create “broadband nutrition labels” that list information on the pricing and speed of internet service they provide.
The labels mimic food nutrition labels in format and aim to increase transparency of providers in their marketing to consumers.
With their approval at the commission’s monthly open meeting Thursday, Commissioner Geoffrey Starks said the new rules are crucial to consumers being able to find the best deals on broadband service for their personal needs.
Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel praised the label format, saying that it allows consumers to “easily compare” information and that it is “black and white, simple to read, and easy to understand.”
The long-simmering idea was enacted by Congress in the bipartisan infrastructure bill signed by the president on November 15. It directed the FCC to revive the project by one year from the law’s passage.
On Thursday, Joshua Stager, New America’s deputy director for broadband and competition policy at its Open Technology Institute, called the vote “a welcome step forward and a win for consumers.” The think tank began promoting the idea last decade, and it had been endorsed by the Obama administration before being canned by the Trump administration.
Industry group Wireless Internet Service Providers Association said the transparency afforded by the new policy “provides consumers with important tools to make informed choices.”
Additionally in Thursday’s meeting, when the agency tentatively revoked telecom operator China Unicom Americas’ operating authority in the United States, the agency said they had reached out to the Department of Justice for assistance in responding to what they say are potential threats from the China-based company. This inter-agency review is routinely part of determinations involving foreign-owned telecommunications companies.
The agency also updated its definition of “library” to make clear that Tribal libraries are eligible to receive funds under the Universal Service Fund’s E-rate program.
Starks emphasized that the commission’s action represented progress on digital inclusion efforts, but that unfamiliarity of Tribal libraries with the E-rate program remains a problem.
Federal Communications Commission Implements Rules for Affordable Connectivity Program
The agency implemented new rules on the Affordable Connectivity Program, which makes a new subsidy permanent.
WASHINGTON, January 24, 2022 – The Federal Communications Commission adopted rules Friday for its Affordable Connectivity Program that changes and, in some cases narrows, the eligibility requirements for the subsidy to allow for more households to be connected.
An extension of the former Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, which offered discounts to broadband service providers to subsidize connectivity and devices, the new program will make it easier for providers to get in the program by automatically making eligible providers in good standing.
Additionally, the FCC maintains that the monthly discount on broadband service is limited to one internet discount per household rather than allowing the benefit for separate members of a household. “Adopting a one-per-household limitation best ensures that Program funding is available to the largest possible number of eligible households,” the agency said in its report.
To accommodate the volume of eligible households enrolling in the ACP, the FCC allowed providers until March 22 – 60 days after its Friday order is published in the Federal Register– to make necessary changes to ensure that the ACP can be applied to providers’ currently sold plans.
“So much of our day to day—work, education, healthcare and more—has migrated online. As a result, it’s more apparent than ever before that broadband is no longer nice-to-have, it’s need-to-have, for everyone, everywhere,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. “But there are far too many households across the country that are wrestling with how to pay for gas and groceries and also keep up with the broadband bill. This program, like its predecessor, can make a meaningful difference.”
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act transformed the EBB to the longer-term Affordable Connectivity Program by allocating an additional $14.2 billion to it.
- Federal Appeals Court Upholds California’s Net Neutrality Rules
- FCC Announces New RDOF Accountability and Transparency Measures, Additional Funding
- Commerce Vote on Sohn Wednesday, Facebook Abandoning its Crypto Technology, Low EBB Awareness
- Former Federal Trade Commission Chairman Says Biden is Inappropriately Exhorting the Agency
- Federal Communications Commission Approves New Provider Transparency Requirements
- Facebook is Failing Iranians, and Iran’s Leaders Are About to Launch a Censored Internet
Signup for Broadband Breakfast
Broadband Roundup4 months ago
Cox’s Wireless Deal with Verizon Dies, Apple Appeals Epic Games Case, AT&T’s Fiber Investment
Broadband Roundup4 months ago
AT&T Hurricane Survey, FCC Announces $1.1B from Emergency Connectivity Fund, Comcast’s Utah Plans
Broadband Roundup4 months ago
Facebook Changes and Second Whistleblower, Comcast’s Spam Call Feature, AT&T Picks Ericsson for 5G
Broadband Roundup4 months ago
O’Rielly ‘Perplexed’ By Delay in Rosenworcel Decision, China Mobile Domesticating Contracts, AT&T Partners with Frontier
Expert Opinion4 months ago
Mike Harris: Investing in Open Access Fiber Optics is Investing in the Future
Spectrum3 months ago
More Experts Weigh In On Possibility 12 GHz Band Can Be Shared with 5G Services
Artificial Intelligence1 month ago
Henry Kissinger: AI Will Prompt Consideration of What it Means to Be Human
Broadband's Impact4 months ago
Steve Lacoff: A New Standard for the ‘Cloudification’ of Communications Services