Today, the Federal Communications Commission released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Declaratory Ruling to reduce barriers to competitive broadband choices for consumers living in multi-tenant buildings, like apartments. Public Knowledge has long supported efforts to remove barriers to deployment and facilitate greater choice for residents of these buildings.
Today, the Federal Communications Commission voted to approve a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking public comment on the creation of a “Connected Care Pilot” program that would provide Universal Service Fund support to help health care providers defray the cost of broadband service, allowing low-income and veteran patients to access telehealth services. Public Knowledge applauds the FCC for taking this step to learn more about how to make health care more accessible and affordable for vulnerable communities and areas with shortages of health care providers.
Today, the Federal Communications Commission published its 2019 Broadband Deployment Report, claiming that “the nation’s digital divide is narrowing.” Public Knowledge contends that this finding rings hollow with unserved and underserved Americans.
The Federal Communications Commission is required by law (under Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996) to initiate a notice of inquiry and report annually on whether advanced telecommunications capability is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion. This annual broadband report is incredibly important because the findings and conclusions are designed to help Congress and the FCC develop policies that ensure all Americans have robust broadband access. Reports with inaccurate data on broadband availability can skew the findings and prevent unserved and underserved areas from gaining access to broadband. The public has not yet seen the draft 2019 Broadband Deployment Report, but the FCC published a news release about the key findings.
Today, the Federal Communications Commission announced the “Facilitate America's Superiority in 5G Technology (5G FAST) Plan” to ensure the United States wins the race to 5G wireless connectivity. The plan includes the nation’s largest spectrum auction in December 2019 and the promised future creation of a $20.4 billion rural broadband investment fund, “The Rural Digital Opportunity Fund,” to help close the digital divide.