Items tagged "FCC"

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Remember the FCC’s Broadband Privacy Rules? The Motherboard Exposé Takes Us Down Memory Lane

January 11, 2019 Broadband Privacy , CPNI , Data Protection , FCC , Privacy

On Tuesday, Motherboard published an article exposing the jaw-dropping ease of data collection and commercialization practices that can allow a stranger to find a cell phone’s location with just a phone number and $300. Motherboard’s investigation found that telecommunications companies, including T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint, would sell location data with an aggregator, which sold the data to MicroBilt, which then sold it to a Motherboard investigator for “dirt cheap.”

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The Case for Agency Authority

December 20, 2018 Congress , FCC , FTC

One of the first lessons I learned as an advocate at Public Knowledge? “Regulation” and “rulemaking authority” are dirty words in too many parts of Capitol Hill. This is perhaps unsurprising to people who have worked on tech and telecom policy longer than I have. Or, for that matter, to people who work on environmental policy or any number of other issues. Nonetheless, this is my case for why I am pro-agency rulemaking authority, and you should be too.

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Nexstar-Tribune Merger Threatens Our Public Discourse

December 10, 2018 Anticompetitive mergers , Charlotte Slaiman , Competition , FCC , Nexstar , UHF discount

Remember when Sinclair Broadcasting Group tried to buy Tribune Media? That merger would have allowed Sinclair to reach 72 percent of U.S. households — far, far above the Federal Communications Commission’s 39 percent audience cap. Fortunately for consumers, Tribune backed out of the deal after the FCC signaled it was unwilling to approve the transaction as structured.

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How Chairman Pai’s Move to Control Your Text Messages Could Bring More Consumer Protections Tumbling Down

December 5, 2018 FCC , Net Neutrality , TCPA , Title II , TXTSMS

In my last post, I addressed how Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai isn’t really preventing robocalls with his new draft Order to classify both SMS text messaging and short codes as Title I “information services.” Now I will discuss the potential consequences for such a maneuver, and why doing so could send consumer protections tumbling down.

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Chairman Pai Isn’t Stopping Robocalls — He’s Empowering Carriers to Block Your Text Messages

December 4, 2018 FCC , Net Neutrality , TCPA , Title II , TXTSMS

In December 2007, Public Knowledge filed a Petition For Declaratory Ruling asking the Federal Communications Commission to clarify that both SMS text messaging and short codes are “Title II” telecommunications services. Put another way, we asked the FCC to reaffirm the basic statutory language that if you use telephones and the telephone network to send information from one telephone number to another, it meets the definition of “telecommunications service” (47 U.S.C. 153(53)).

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Why Rural Communities of Color Are Left Behind: A Call for Intersectional Demographic Broadband Data

October 19, 2018 Broadband Connects America , FCC , Racial Justice , Rural Broadband Access , Rural Digital Divide

I spent many weekends and summers at my grandmother’s house, a humble home down a long, dirt road outside of the town of Hazlehurst, Georgia. As a teenager and undergraduate student, a time when many of us are far too social, I knew a visit to my grandmother’s house meant an unwanted digital detox. Instead, I enjoyed the tranquility of sitting on the porch as mosquitoes buzzed by or I accompanied my grandmother in the living room as she watched reruns of Bonanza. I found other things to do with my time and not because I enjoyed being disconnected; it was because AT&T’s (during some of those years it was Cingular Wireless) cell reception was non-existent. In 2018, I now have one or two bars that sometimes allow me to make a call or text to a friend when I’m visiting; however, full access to the internet solely with my wireless connection is just not possible.

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The FCC is Preparing to Take Yet Another Hit at Rural America, but It’s Not Too Late to Stop It

October 11, 2018 CBRS , FCC , Spectrum , Spectrum Licensing , Spectrum Reform

The FCC is about to take spectrum away from rural providers and we are making a last minute effort to stop it. Today we sent a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, and we are calling on you to contact Congress. Here’s why:

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FCC Action on Wireless Infrastructure Hamstrings Cities but Won’t Spur More 5G Deployment

September 25, 2018 5G , FCC , Rural Access , Wireless Deployment , Wireless Infrastructure

On Wednesday, the Federal Communications Commission will vote on an Order and Declaratory Ruling it claims will promote deployment of next-generation wireless networks. The crux of the FCC’s action will impose stringent limits on the fees states and localities charge wireless companies to install and maintain small cells in public rights-of-way (ROW) and on other government property. Additionally, the FCC substitutes decision-making by local elected officials with its own on issues ranging from public safety to community aesthetics when a locality considers a wireless small cell application.

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Could a Faster Communications Recovery in Puerto Rico Save Lives?

September 20, 2018 Communications Infrastructure , disaster recovery , FCC

Today, September 20th, 2018, marks the one-year anniversary of the landfall of Hurricane Maria on the American island of Puerto Rico. Hurricane Maria wreaked havoc on the island as it devastated homes and infrastructure, and caused nearly 3,000 deaths.

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Lifeline Awareness Week: In 2018, Protecting Universal Service Is More Important Than Ever

September 14, 2018 FCC , Lifeline

This week is National Telephone Discount Lifeline Awareness Week. The Federal Communications Commission, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, and the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates mark this week to highlight the critical role of the federal Lifeline program. Lifeline provides subsidies to low-income families for basic voice or broadband service, and has been a key component of promoting universal service for over three decades. Universal service and universal access to essential communications tools have been the cornerstone of U.S. communications policy dating to the 1930s.

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