Weekly Digest

Critics Get Their Say on Verizon/Cable Spectrum Sale

As we hope Headlines readers well know, on December 19, 2011, Verizon Wireless and SpectrumCo filed an application for the consent of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to the assignment of 122 Advanced Wireless Services (“AWS” -- the 1710-1755/2110-2155 MHz bands) licenses from SpectrumCo to Verizon Wireless. The 122 licenses cover 120 markets.

Weekly Digest

The Oil of the Digital Age

A Michael Rigley video called “Network” recently caught our eye. A caption describing the video reads, “Information technology has become a ubiquitous presence. By visualizing the processes that underlie our interactions with this technology we can trace what happens to the information we feed into the network.” For policy wonks like us, this generally translates into one word: privacy.

Weekly Digest

The Facebook and More

Every week as we consider our round up we weigh delving into the week’s biggest story or shedding light on articles that may have flown below the radar. This week is no different.

American Hate Radio: How A Powerful Outlet For Democratic Discourse Has Deteriorated Into Hate, Racism and Extremism

For over a century we have used the radio waves to communicate with our neighbors. Even today radio remains the primary way that Americans consume media, reaching 93% of the American population on a weekly basis. Radio can be an excellent outlet for news, democratic discourse, community engagement and even life-saving emergency information, and, in many instances, it is just that.

Weekly Digest

A Look at Lobbying in the Wake of SOPA/PIPA

A Look at Lobbying in the Wake of Sopa/PIPA

Last week, we devoted lots of digital ink highlighting the unprecedented online activism that derailed both the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) in the Senate. This week we look at the flip side of citizen engagement: lobbying.

FCC Must Reach Out On Upcoming Changes to Lifeline Telecom Program

By the end of this month, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is expected to issue new rules aimed at reforming and modernizing the low-income Lifeline telephone program. The rules are expected to include many changes to the application process. It will also update the annual check-in which determines continued eligibility for the program.

Whether the FCC succeeds in this effort will depend on whether the reform order includes an extensive education and outreach component to explain the changes. Planning must start now.

Weekly Digest

Biggest Day Ever of Online Protest in English

Daily Headlines readers know we devoted lots of digital ink this week to the ongoing debates over the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) [#SOPA and #PIPA, if you’re Tweeting at home]. Last week, we ended our weekly round-up saying, “The developments on these two bills are likely to be one of the most-watched issues as Congress returns to Washington.” We’re proud to announce we are an early nominee for “Understatement of the Year.”

FCC’s Low-Income Phone Reform Needs to Connect and Tie Eligibility to People, Not Housing

The Federal Communications Commission is poised to reform and modernize the Lifeline phone program that was created to help low-income household afford phone service. The reform and modernization is expected to move the program beyond traditional landline service to better accommodate wireless phone service and to set a foundation to move to broadband access for poor people. Yet, the reform could also discriminate against the very people the program was designed to help.