FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel
Today let’s celebrate the history of Hayleyville (AL)—and the present of 9-1-1 by bestowing honors on some dynamic individuals and organizations: Tamika Greer, Roger Marshall, Cheryl Kagan and the 9-1-1 programs from Monmouth County (NJ); Orange County (FL); and the District of Columbia. They deserve our righteous praise and deepest gratitude. But I believe we celebrate 9-1-1 best by securing its future. I think that means three things:
[Commentary] On our individual phone bills a line item is typically included for 9-1-1 service. It’s a relatively small fee that states and localities charge to support emergency calling services. But too many states are stealing these funds and using them for other purposes, like filling budget gaps, purchasing vehicles, or worse. It’s time for 9-1-1 fee diversion to stop.
Instead of talking about the substance of network neutrality, I want to use it as a launching pad to go big and discuss policymaking in the internet era. I want to talk about shortcomings in our civic infrastructure. Because we need to make some real changes if we want to give the public a fair shot at getting through to those who make decisions in Washington.
In responde to a National Security Council memo urging the Trump administration to consider extraordinary efforts to clear the way for 5G, FCC commissioner responded:
More can be done to address the Homework Gap. Carriers across the country are pitching in by making available low-cost broadband service. Libraries everywhere from Maine to Missouri are loaning out wireless hotspots—and letting students borrow connectivity for schoolwork. Rural school districts are putting Wi-Fi on buses and turning ride time into connected time for homework. Communities are mapping out where free online access is available for student use. These efforts deserve applause. More importantly, they deserve expansion.
[Commentary] Right now, there is a merger waiting for approval in Washington that hits Iowa hard. Sinclair Broadcasting and Tribune Media are seeking approval to combine their television stations. If allowed, this combination would create a national broadcasting behemoth that would change the local character of broadcasting. It would mean a single company could reach 72 percent of the nation’s households by owning an unprecedented 230 television stations.
It is time for the Federal Communications Commission to commit to hearings and a report making clear what worked, what didn’t and what steps we can take to improve our communications vulnerabilities in the wake of Hurricanes Maria, Harvey, and Irma. After all, there’s precedent for this approach. It’s exactly what was done in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy. I know we learned from those events and as a result our communications systems are stronger and more resilient. I bet, there are lessons, too, to be learned here.
So many people rightfully believe Washington is not listening to their concerns, fears, and desires. It saddens me that with the release of this decision rolling back net neutrality, you can add the FCC to the list. In this document, the American public can see for themselves the damage done by this agency to internet openness. Going forward, our broadband providers will have the power to block websites, throttle services, and censor online content. This is not right.
Upon receipt of a letter from New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman stating that it now appears that two million Americans’ identities may have been misused in the Federal Communications Commission record and a separate letter from 18 Attorneys General calling on the FCC to delay its net neutrality vote because of its “tainted” record, FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel released the following statement: “This is crazy. Two million people have had their identities stolen in an effort to corrupt our public record.
In a letter dated Dec 7 that was handed to press but is unavailable on the Federal Communications Commission’s website, the agency refuses to assist New York Attorney General Schneiderman’s investigation into the identity theft of a million consumers in the FCC’s network neutrality record. This letter shows the FCC’s sheer contempt for public input and unreasonable failure to support integrity in its process. To put it simply, there is evidence in the FCC’s files that fraud has occurred and the FCC is telling law enforcement and victims of identity theft that it is not going to help.