Items tagged "FCC"

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I Live 50 Miles from Silicon Valley and I Can’t Get Broadband Access

September 6, 2018 Broadband Access , Broadband Connects America , Digital Divide , FCC , Rural Access

In Swanton, California, just over 50 miles outside of tech Mecca Silicon Valley, my family can’t get reliable internet. Though affordability remains the number one barrier to internet adoption, we don’t lack connection because of a budget crunch. Instead, we lack access because we live in a rural area and carriers like ours, AT&T, have stopped investing and maintaining internet infrastructure in less populated areas.

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Groups Launch Broadband Connects America Coalition to End Rural Digital Divide

September 6, 2018 Broadband Connects America , Broadband Privacy , Digital Divide , FCC , Rural Access

Today, Public Knowledge Foundation joined 17 other organizations to form the Broadband Connects America coalition. The Coalition is comprised of a wide range of consumer, rural, and social justice organizations committed to closing the digital divide. Coinciding with today’s launch, Broadband Connects America released the Principles to Connect Rural America — five principles to serve as a foundation for policymakers and advocates to promote policies that work to bring broadband to millions of rural Americans.

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Net Neutrality Does Not End Today. We Still Don’t Know When It Will. This Is Unusual.

April 23, 2018 FCC , Net Neutrality , Title II

This is an edited version of a blog post originally published on Harold Feld’s personal blog, Tales from the Sausage Factory, on WetMachine.com.

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Something Strange Is Going on With This FCC Reauthorization Bill, and It Isn’t Good

March 15, 2018 FCC , Legislation

Last week, the House of Representatives approved H.R. 4986 — a bill that, among other things, reauthorizes the Federal Communications Commission and approves the agency’s funding for fiscal years 2019 and 2020. House passage followed an announcement that the bipartisan leadership of the Senate Commerce Committee and the House Energy & Commerce Committee had reached an agreement to support the legislation — framing the bill as reauthorizing the FCC and spurring deployment of 5G wireless networks across the nation.

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The Internet’s “Virtuous Circle of Innovation” Is Starting to Look Like a Spiral of Rate Increases

January 25, 2018 Cable Pricing , Competition , FCC , Net Neutrality

When the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) overturned the net neutrality rules in December 2017, it gave the green light to cable and other Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to make the internet start looking more like cable TV. It’s not news that many people are completely sick of cable, from the skyrocketing rates, to archaic and slow set-top boxes, to bogus fees. By refusing to police ISPs, the FCC has cleared the way for the internet to start looking more like this, as the Comcasts of the world begin to jack up rates and nickel-and-dime the internet like they did with cable. The FCC’s action didn’t just repeal one set of rules, but took away even the basic level of oversight the FCC has had over ISPs for years, under both Republican and Democratic leadership.

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Holiday Handouts: How the FCC Gave Gifts to Sinclair and Lumps of Coal for Consumers

December 22, 2017 Competition , FCC , Media Ownership , Sinclair

It’s the holiday season, and the Federal Communications Commission has been in a giving mood for the largest media companies. Over the past few months, the FCC has adopted a number of items that have relaxed or eliminated rules around media ownership. On their own, these actions allow for the largest media companies to further consolidate, drowning out diverse, independent, and local voices in the marketplace. However, the FCC’s actions have also particularly benefited one broadcast company — Sinclair — and its effort to merge with Tribune.

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No, the FTC CANNOT Have a Ban on All ISP Blocking

December 12, 2017 FCC , FTC , Net Neutrality , Title II

In my last post, took the four most famous net neutrality violations to see how they would come out under the current rules adopted in 2015 v. how they would come out under the regulatory framework following the Federal Communications Commission vote to repeal net neutrality rules, based on the draft Order. To condense the approximately 5500-word analysis: all four incidents are addressable under the 2015 rules. None of the incidents are addressable under the combined Federal Trade Commission and antitrust regime that remains after the vote to repeal the rules, with the exception of Comcast’s deliberate deception about their blocking peer-2-peer protocols in 2007-08.

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Chairman Pai Plans to Put an End to the U.S. Commitment to Universal Service and Affordability

November 16, 2017 Affordable Access , Broadband Access , FCC , Lifeline , Lifeline Modernization

Last year, the Federal Communications Commission voted to modernize the Lifeline program for the digital age to help low-income families, veterans, and children gain access to the internet. This week, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is poised to initiate steps to drastically roll back the program, ultimately leaving millions of Lifeline subscribers and eligible families without a service provider.

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Fewer Voices In Our Communities: The FCC Supports More Media Ownership Consolidation

November 14, 2017 Competition , FCC , Media Consolidation , Media Diversity , Media Ownership

Imagine living in a town where the only local daily newspaper, two of the top four television broadcasters, and some local radio stations are all owned by the same entity. An owner might promote one political ideology or favor particular beliefs, leaving different viewpoints simply unheard. This poses many dangers, and runs contrary to the principles of a country that prides itself on the First Amendment and the benefits of robust public dialogue. This Twilight Zone-esque hypothetical may now become reality when the Federal Communications Commission moves to scrap central portions of its historic media ownership rules at the Open Meeting on Thursday. The current media ownership rules limit any one entity from owning too many of the newspaper, radio, and/or television entities within a local market, in order to ensure viewpoint diversity. These rules are under attack.

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Pai’s Plan to Downgrade Rural America

November 2, 2017 FCC , National Network Upgrade , Rural Broadband Downgrade , Tech Transitions , Wireline

On his very first day as the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai dedicated himself to closing the digital divide and to “work to bring the benefits of the digital age to all Americans.” Sounds promising for America, right? Unfortunately, Chairman Pai hasn’t followed through with this promise. Instead, the Trump-appointed FCC Chairman has rubberstamped the elimination of several policies and protections that are critical to closing the digital divide.

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