Items tagged "National Broadband Plan"

Press Release

Updating the National Broadband Plan Marks a Step Toward the Future, But Congress Must Follow Through

May 7, 2020 Broadband Access , coronavirus , Digital Divide , FCC , internet inequality , National Broadband Plan

Today, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, introduced the “National Broadband Plan for the Future Act.” The bill would instruct the Federal Communications Commission to update the National Broadband Plan, as well as study how the coronavirus pandemic has changed the way Americans connect and engage online.

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Comcast’s Very Scary PSTN Filing

February 14, 2013 Broadband Authority , Comcast , Competition , FCC , National Broadband Plan

I’ve been sorting through the various filings at the FCC in the Phone Network to IP transition docket. I single out the 7-page filing by Comcast as the filing that scares the absolute bejeebers out of me.

Why? Because everyone else – no matter what their financial interest or political alignment – paid lip service to the idea that we ought to have at least some kind of regulation. Whether it’s a general nod to a “minimal and light touch regulatory regime” or a specific shopping list, the vast majority of commenters recognized that when you have something as big, complicated and utterly essential to people’s lives as the phone system, you need some kind of basic backstop for people to feel comfortable and to address problems that will invariably come up.

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What Do You Mean The “End of the Phone System?” I Gotta Call Home for Father’s Day!

June 4, 2012 Broadband Authority , Deregulation , FCC , National Broadband Plan , phone transition

A few weeks ago I went to a fascinating gathering of a few dozen academics, policy wonks, and others from the U.S.  and elsewhere to talk about the end of the phone system. While by no means a unanimous consensus, a very solid majority considered the phone system obsolete and ready for the scrap heap. This will come as a surprise to those of you who called home on Mother’s Day or who thanked God for a call center number when your broadband connection went down. But in fact, most of you are probably not using a phone service but a “phone service,” so we are half-way to shutting down the actual phone system anyway.

What is the PSTN and Why Should Anyone Care if We End It?

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Press Release

Public Knowledge Commends Boucher, Praises Stimulus Grants

December 17, 2009 Broadband , FCC , National Broadband Plan , Press Release

The following statement is attributed to Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge:

“We commend Chairman Rick Boucher in his call for the Federal Communications Commission to set ambitious broadband goals. Universal availability at sufficiently high speeds are achievements to which the Commission’s broadband plan should aim. We hope the Commission heeds Chairman Boucher’s advice and thinks in bigger and broader terms as it works through the final stages of its broadband plan.

“At the same time, we were pleased to see the announcement of the first set of broadband stimulus grants. These are the types of projects that will help the Commission achieve the goals that Chairman Boucher suggested. The first wave of grants will help Internet connectivity in rural areas. We look forward to projects that will aid urban areas as well.”

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If Data Caps Lack Clarity, Then Data Hogs = Flying Pigs

February 15, 2012 AT&T , Data Caps , Mobile Communication , National Broadband Plan

AT&T started throttling the cell phones of some of its heaviest data users (sometimes referred to as “data hogs”) a few months ago. Reports from the field indicate that those heavy network using “data hogs” are not that different from anyone else. 

AT&T says it only throttles the smartphones of customers who use “extraordinary level[s] of data usage.”  It turns out that these “extraordinary levels of data usage” on unlimited plans are actually a lot lower than amounts offered by the tiered plan at the same price.  What does this discrepancy mean?

First, the most current definitions of “throttling” and “data hogs:”

Throttling (verb)

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Press Release

Consumer Organizations Request the Improvements in FCC’s Broadband Data Collection

August 11, 2009 Broadband , FCC , Mapping , National Broadband Plan , Press Release

The following statement may be attributed to Harold Feld, Legal Director, Public Knowledge, with regard to the filing of the attached letter from 6 consumer organizations requesting the FCC improve its broadband data collection:

“The improvement to the FCC’s broadband data collection recommended here are critical to creating data-driven policy. As we have learned over the last 8 years, a real National Broadband Plan cannot rely only on data providers voluntarily chose to disclose. Only by collecting detailed data directly from the network providers, covering all aspects of broadband delivery from the ‘first mile’ through the ‘middle mile’ to the ‘last mile,’ can the FCC create a plan that identifies our real weaknesses and develops our full potential.”

The letter is available here.

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Press Release

Public Knowledge Statement on FCC Broadband Workshops

August 11, 2009 Broadband , FCC , National Broadband Plan , Press Release

In response to the announcement by the FCC of the panelists for the workshops on deployment and technology for the National Broadband Plan, Harold Feld, Legal Director, Public Knowledge, issued the following statement.

“It would appear that the FCC has chosen to begin by concentrating on the perspective of traditional industry infrastructure providers. There is no harm in that, provided that the deployment experiences of non-commercial providers, local governments, anchor institutions, and other non-traditional infrastructure and “last mile” providers — as well as the perspective of public interest organizations and academics with appropriate expertise — will likewise receive the same attention.”

“We fully expect that the FCC will include these non-industry providers and these public interest perspectives on the critical questions of deployment and industry structure on future panels.

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Data Caps Are Screwing Things Up

July 14, 2011 Competition , FCC , National Broadband Plan , Wireless , Wireline

The story of Andre Vrignaud may well end up being the template for the soon-to-be-popular genre of “I just hit my data cap and now I cannot access the internet” stories.  The long version is here, but the short version is that Vrignaud got a call from his ISP Comcast last month.  The call informed him that he had hit his 250 GB monthly data cap.  He wasn’t really sure why (he has roommates, they all stream movies and music regularly) but he chalked it up to one of those things.

This month he got another call from Comcast telling him he hit his cap again.  Because this was the second time, Comcast informed him that they were cutting off his internet access for a year.

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AT&T Caps Off Broadband Plan Anniversary

March 20, 2011 AT&T , Data Caps , National Broadband Plan , Network Neutrality

AT&T commemorated the one-year anniversary of the National Broadband Plan in its own, unique way.  It levied bandwidth caps on its customers.  It then told its customers that it was a no-no to use data from their broadband data plan service to connect a Blackberry to a laptop.  Not all data is created equal.  Separate tethering plan required, it seems. That basically sums up the state of broadband in America.

And it bought T-Mobile, further shrinking competition in wireless broadband, further concentrating an already concentrated market.  Now instead of the big four wireless companies, there are the bigger three.

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Why Did The White House Support Reallocating D Block? It’s Smart Politics.

February 2, 2011 FCC , National Broadband Plan , Public Safety , Spectrum , Wireless

The announcement by the White House that it would support reallocating the D Block – the 10 MHz of spectrum left over from big broadcast band auction of 2008 (the 700 MHz Auction) – to public safety use rather than auction it for commercial use defies conventional wisdom on two fronts.

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