There is an underreported threat looming if Congress doesn’t act soon: 21.5 million households in the U.S. could lose access to an affordable internet. The bipartisan Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) provides monthly subsidies for low-income Americans to get online. And it’s been a great success: the ACP has now connected nearly 60 million Americans to broadband, many of whom have never previously had internet access at home.
In comments submitted to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) concerning a National Spectrum Strategy (NSS)—an initiative that plans to unify federal spectrum strategy and provide a roadmap for future allocations—our coalition is urging the Administration to recognize the value of the 12 GHz band and to call upon other agencies, primarily the Federal Communications Commission, to maximize the 12 GHz band’s usage.
In the past year, the growing demand to open America’s airwaves for 5G and next-generation connectivity has only increased, bringing national attention to spectrum’s role in closing the digital divide and solidifying global telecommunications leadership. Yet, as demand has increased, the availability of much-needed commercial spectrum has waned, putting more pressure on the nation’s spectrum experts at the Federal Communications Commission to identify and unleash different bands — like the 12 GHz spectrum band — for new uses.
The heads of three leading broadband trade associations sent a letter to the White House urging stronger action on universal broadband access. Chip Pickering from INCOMPAS, who represents competitive fiber and fixed wireless builders, Shirley Bloomfield of NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association representing rural providers and Jonathan Adelstein from WIA who counts wireless infrastructure companies members signed the letter calling on the Biden Administration to make “Broadband for All” central to its COVID-19 recovery efforts as infrastructure investment will stimulate education, telemedicin
In a letter sent to the Senate Commerce Committee, INCOMPAS highlights the risks to networks that support small businesses, schools and hospitals during COVID-19’s economic disruptions. The group is calling for an emergency fund to help small business customers who are unable to pay their bills, yet still need access to essential services during the pandemic and the recovery. “Small businesses are the engine of America’s economy. But Main Street simply will not run without broadband and voice communication services,” said Chip Pickering, CEO of INCOMPAS.
In part, the Congressional urgency to act on network neutrality is being driven by INCOMPAS’s strong day in court earlier in 2019. We are petitioners, along with leading consumer groups and states, in the legal fight to overturn the Federal Communications Commission’s controversial decision to end decades of bipartisan net neutrality policy. As we near some critical votes in Congress, it’s crucial not to be distracted or confused by the big Internet service provider’s attempts to muddy the waters on net neutrality. Here’s what to look out for:
[Commentary] How can Republicans get right with network neutrality?
Step One: Know your history: At its heart, net neutrality is a competition issue. From Roosevelt to Reagan, we are the party of competition and should never cede that ground. Net neutrality principles and free trade principles are based on the exact same market theory.
Step Two: Stream Ahead: Americans love streaming and reject cable.
Chairman Pai’s attack on Twitter is like a boxer losing a fight and taking wild and erratic swings. Preventing hate speech and bullying behavior online is not the same thing as allowing cable companies to block, throttle and extort money from consumers and the websites they love. Twitter is an amazing platform for left, right and center. Donald Trump might not be President without it, and Chairman Pai's plan to kill net neutrality will put Comcast and AT&T in charge of his Twitter account.