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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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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

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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