Today, Wednesday November 12 2014, the American Enterprise Institute hosted ‘Reforming Lifeline for the broadband era‘ a panel discussing reform of the FCC’s ifeline, a $1.8 billion-a-year program that helps provide baseline Internet services to low-income individuals. FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn delivered a keynote. Panel: Jessica Gonzalez, National Hispanic Media Coalition; Hank Hultquist, AT&T; Blair Levin, Brookings Institution; Scott Wallsten, Technology Policy Institute. Moderator: Jeffrey Eisenach, AEI. Video is below:
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On September 4 2014 FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler delivered a speech “The Facts and Future of Broadband Competition” at 1776 in Washington DC. While currently the FCC defines broadband as a 4/1mbps Internet connection, and is considering raising that to 10/?mpbs, Chairman Wheeler suggested that, given the number of devices in the average home, 25mbps down was “table stakes in 21st century communications”. Deprecating the abilty of DSL or wireless to meet the demand, he outlined the lack of competition in the current marketplace, as indicate in the chart below.
Chairman Wheeler outlined a four point FCC plan to increase competition:
- Where competition exists, the FCC will protect it.
- Where greater competition can exist, the FCC will encourage it.
- Where meaningful competition is not available, the FCC will work to create it.
- Where competition cannot be expected to exist, the FCC must shoulder the responsibility of promoting deployment.
On the topic of net neutrality he affirmed his belief that “minimum service requirements will suffice”, and made no comment about mergers.
Download: word | pdf | text
On April 17 2014 the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) held a public hearing at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, D.C. to examine the need for high-speed broadband in the nation’s libraries. The event coincided with Library Week and also the release by the N.T.I.A. of 3 case studies of the effects of BTOP funding on libraries. The program comprised 3 panels – 1) The Vision: What happens when we get it right? This panel explored innovative practices and partnerships and new strategies that have the potential to serve individuals and communities well. 2) The Data: Panelists explored what we know about broadband connections and services in America’s libraries. What are the metrics that were needed to assess whether sufficient connectivity is in place? What are the metrics that could be used to assess success? 3) Moving Forward: a session for exploring solutions for sufficient connectivity in libraries. Amongst those testifying was FCC Chair Tom Wheeler who is actively pursuing E-Rate reform. Video is below. Closed captions are available.
View at CSPAN: http://www.c-span.org/video/?318935-1/broadband-libraries
On March 16-18 2014 the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) held its 2014 Legislative Conference. In a session on March 17, FCC Chair Tom Wheeler and FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel addressed the education leaders on E-Rate reform. In pursuit of President Obama’s ConnectED Initiative which includes a commitment to connect 99 percent of all students to high-speed broadband within 5 years, last July the FCC launched the reform effort aka E-Rate 2.0. The proceeding has to date garnered 1800+ comments. In her remarks on Monday Commissioner Rosenworcel Chair Wheeler emphasized the urgency of reform noting that, currently, E-Rate does not even cover W-Fi. He said the FCC had identified $2 Billion of funding to spend over the next two years, solely on improving schools and other anchor institutions’ Internet connections. He announced the formation of a USF Special Strike Force to insure “there is adherence to the rules and the people’s money is wisely spent.” Video is below. Closed captions are available.
View on C-SPAN: http://www.c-span.org/video/?318326-2/education-policy
Transcript of Tom Wheeler remarks: http://www.fcc.gov/document/chairman-wheeler-remarks-ccsso-legislative-conference
On Tuesday January 14 2014 the D.C. Circuit Court issued its ruling on the the FCC’s Open Internet rules aka Net Neutrality. The same day new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chair Tom Wheeler issued a brief formal statement, but also posted a lengthy feisty blog post Ensuring an Open Internet Now and for the Future. Two days later he made the same points more concisely as part of his keynote at the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council’s Broadband and Social Justice Summit, which was carried live on C-SPAN. Video is below.
On Tuesday January 14 2014 the D.C. Circuit Court issued its ruling on the the FCC’s Open Internet rules aka Net Neutrality. On Friday January 17 2014 Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee (ICAC) hosted a discussion – D.C. Circuit Decision on FCC Open Internet Rules: Net Neutrality Win or Loss? – in Washington DC. Panelists: Markham Erickson, Partner, Steptoe & Johnson; Russell Hanser, Partner, Wilkinson Barker Knauer ; Matt Wood, Policy Director, Free Press ; and Christopher Yoo, University of Pennsylvania Law School. Moderator: David Sohn, Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT). The event was webcast live by C-SPAN. Video/audio is below. The C-SPAN link includes a transcript and a timeline.
View on C-SPAN: http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/317269-1
Download audio: http://www.netcaucus.org/audio/2014/20140117fccnn.mp3
Twitter: @NetCaucusAC | #netneutrality
On Wednesday January 15 2014 the U.S. House of Representatives Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology held a hearing – #CommActUpdate: Perspectives from Former FCC Chairmen – the first in its Communications Act Update process. Witnesses were Richard Wiley, Reed Hundt, Michael Powell, and Michael Copps. Video is below.
View on YouTube: http://youtu.be/Rzmm5U4-StQ
Transcribe on AMARA: http://www.amara.org/en/videos/DkWhiXz5BdFG/
Background memo: http://docs.house.gov/meetings/IF/IF16/20140115/101648/HHRG-113-IF16-20140115-SD002-U1.pdf
On Wednesday January 8, 2014 DC Legal Hackers hosted #LegalHack Broadband Infrastructure, a meetup to discuss the efforts of city, state, and federal governments to create and maintain maps of broadband infrastructure to improve awareness, choice, and competition in the broadband market. Speakers included Virginia Maloney, Senior Project Manager, New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC); Anne Neville, Director, State Broadband Initiative, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA); Mike Byrne, Geographic Information Officer, Federal Communications Commission (FCC); Greta Byrum, Senior Field Analyst, Open Technology Institute (OTI). Moderator was Julia Pulidindi, Senior Associate, The National League of Cities. The event was webcast live by the Internet Society North America Bureau, video is below.
VIDEO: Communications Safety Net – How Lifeline Connects Families and Communities @NewAmerica #fcc #LifelineWeek
This last week was designated Lifeline Awareness Week. Since 1985, the FCC’s Lifeline program has provided a discount on phone service for qualifying low-income consumers. In 2005, Lifeline discounts were made available to qualifying low-income consumers on pre-paid wireless service plans. Lifeline is part of the Universal Service Fund. In December 2012 the FCC announced it had saved $210m through aggressive fraud elimination, $41m of which was redirected to broadband adoption programs. The future of the program is under consideration by policy makers. On Thursday September 12 2013 more than 80 civic groups wrote to congress urging further support for the program.
That same day, the New America Foundation, along with the National Urban League and others, hosted Communications Safety Net – How Lifeline Connects Families and Communities – an event to bring together advocates and policy makers to discuss the importance of the Lifeline program. FCC Acting Chair Mignon Clyburn delivered a keynote at the event. Video is below.
WEBCAST TODAY: #FCC #Accessibility & Innovation Initiative Speaker Series: Dr. Yevgen Borodin #aiispeaker #a11y
Today. Thursday, September 12, 2013, the FCC’s Accessibility & Innovation Initiative will host Dr. Yevgen Borodin as part of an ongoing Speaker Series. His presentation is called “Improving Accessibility for the General Public.” In this talk, Dr. Borodin will give a historic overview of how we have been “chasing the moving target” on the example of Web accessibility. He will examine the strategies we could have pursued to keep up with the chase. Finally, he will propose a solution that could help us win this race. The talk will be webcast live.
What: Improving Accessibility for the General Public
Where: FCC, Washington DC
When: Thursday, September 12, 2013 10am-Noon EDT | 1400-1600 UTC