Amir Nasr

New America Issues Recommendations to FCC on Broadband Labels

New America's Open Technology Institute (OTI) sent recommendations to the FCC on the “broadband nutrition label,” a standardized form that clearly discloses the price and terms of internet service plans. OTI submitted the following comments and recommendations:

Public Interest Spectrum Coalition Opposes FCC “Wi-Fi Tax” Proposal in 2022 Regulatory Fees Assessment

Public Interest Spectrum Coalition (including Public Knowledge, New America, the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society, Access Humboldt, Center for Rural Strategies, Tribal Digital Village, the Institute for Local Self Reliance, and the Schools, Health, Libraries & Broadband Coalition) filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission in response to the FCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on regulatory fees for 2021. The filing outlines why the Commission should reject its flawed and confusing proposal to require unlicensed spectrum users to pay regulatory fees.

5G’s Big Equity Problem

The conversation around 5G usually fails to address how it will likely exacerbate the already deep digital divide.

OTI to FCC: Make the Emergency Broadband Benefit a ‘Rapid Success’

New America's Open Technology Institute urged the Federal Communications Commission to quickly and successfully implement the Emergency Broadband Benefit, a new subsidy to help low-income people pay for broadband service during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will provide $50 per month to qualifying low-income households and $75 in Tribal areas. OTI’s comments made the following recommendations:

How to Revive the FCC’s Lifeline Program: A Blueprint to Build Back Better After Four Years of Neglect and Regulatory War

For the past four years, the Federal Communications Commission's Lifeline program has been dogged by neglectful leadership and repeated attacks from the commission under Chairman Ajit Pai. As the COVID19 pandemic and a persistent digital divide exacerbate income, racial, and geographic inequities, this program has been stifled at a crucial time. In this paper, we review the myriad attacks that Lifeline has endured during the Trump Administration—and build a blueprint for a better path forward.

We Need a Broadband Internet Pricing Equivalent of Nutrition Labels

The Federal Communications Commission does not collect broadband pricing data or analyze the price of broadband access. This is despite numerous studies detailing how cost is one of the biggest barriers to broadband adoption, a stark divide that disproportionately harms Black, Latinx, tribal, and rural communities. The COVID-19 pandemic casts this gap in a grim new light. For the incoming administration, the solution is as close at hand as the nearest jar of pasta sauce or container of ice cream.

The Online Learning Equity Gap

This report profiles the many innovative options that school districts have pioneered to build or extend wireless broadband connectivity out to student households that cannot afford to purchase high-speed internet access at home.

The 5.9 GHz Band

Twenty years ago, policymakers set aside the 5.9 GHz band of frequencies specifically for auto safety and vehicle-to-vehicle radio communications. Unfortunately, the band remains almost completely unused. While Wi-Fi is saturating the band immediately below 5.9 GHz and generating hundreds of billions of dollars in consumer welfare annually, the set-aside of 5.9 GHz for a specific auto industry use case and technology has proven an abject failure.

OTI Says FCC’s Deregulation Order Undermines Public Safety

The record shows extensive opposition to the Federal Communications Commission’s 2017 Restoring Internet Freedom Order and the grave danger it poses to public safety and public health, particularly during the COVID-19 crisis. Public health and public safety officials detail in the record how both officials and the public writ large rely on mass-market retail broadband internet access services (BIAS).

The Homework Chasm

Communities across the nation are working hard to address the issue of connectivity for students. But we need a national approach, not an ad-hoc strategy.