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Making the Digital Transition an “Upgrade for All” Again

You can watch Harold Feld and Lindsay Stern present oral arguments for the case discussed below tomorrow at 9 a.m. PDT here. Across the nation, surprised Americans are waking to discover that their copper line — this landmark technology once used to connect America to the telephone system — doesn’t work. These unfortunate Americans are no longer […]

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Pai’s Plan to Downgrade Rural America

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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The FCC’s Plan to Gut Tech Transitions Rules Is Bad for Consumers, Small Businesses and Competition

In April of this year, the Federal Communications Commission began a wireline infrastructure proceeding designed to accelerate broadband deployment. The proceeding contains multiple proposals to remove barriers to broadband deployment and infrastructure, such as reforming pole attachment rates and preempting state and local laws. Buried within these proposals is a plan to eliminate “tech transitions” rules, which outline the responsibilities of phone carriers when they choose to retire copper networks or discontinue service.

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Next on Chairman Pai’s Chopping Block: Tech Transitions

The Federal Communications Commission has been on a bit of a crusade under Chairman Ajit Pai’s leadership so far, taking any steps they can to reverse or undermine Wheeler-era accomplishments, no matter the pushback. While he’s had some success (and is poised to take yet another stab at limiting broadband competition this morning), there’s another item on today’s agenda. Wrapped (somewhat deceptively) in language justifying deregulation with promises of infrastructure deployment, and lumped in with other valuable proposals, is an effort to gut important consumer protections implemented to ensure a smooth path through arguably the largest digital infrastructure project on the horizon: the tech transitions.

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FCC Sets the Ground Rules for Shutting Down the Phone System, Sets the Stage for Universal Broadband

The two Orders the FCC will vote on today probably have more impact on the future of our communications infrastructure than the Title II reclassification of broadband, but like many technical topics, it hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves.

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