Gigi Sohn

How to make broadband affordable and accessible for everyone

Tens of millions of Americans still lack access to affordable broadband, leaving them stranded on the wrong side of the country's stubborn digital divide at one of the worst possible moments in American history. While the Covid-19 crisis is an immense tragedy, it has created an opportunity for Congress to fix this longstanding problem. Several promising proposals already exist, including one in which the federal government would provide a "broadband benefit" in the form of a monthly subsidy to ensure that essential broadband access is affordable for all.

G&T Podcast -- Connectivity in the Time of COVID: Will Congress Ever Close the Digital Divide?

A conversation with former Clinton Administration aide and Federal Communications Commission official David Goodfriend about the possibility of another stimulus bill and what one might include as COVID-19 cases continue to rise. The discussion touches on the importance of including broadband provisions in any new bill, which could mirror the House passed HEROES Act. The political path to a new bill and what might be off the table in the coming legislative battle. 

G&T Podcast: Tip of the Iceberg: How Law Enforcement Surveils Protestors & Communities of Color

On Episode 5 of G&T: Tech on the Rocks, Gigi Sohn talks to Color of Change Campaign Advisor Brandi Collins-Dexter about the history of surveillance of civil rights protestors and communities of color, how sophisticated technologies have made spying ubiquitous and what protestors can do to protect themselves. They also discuss Color of Change's efforts to get Facebook to moderate hate speech and how to ensure that tech companies incorporate civil rights principles in every aspect of their businesses.

The Most Important Privacy Case You've Never Heard Of

One of the most important privacy cases you’ve never heard of is being litigated right now in a federal district court in Maine. ACA v. Frey is a challenge by the nation’s largest broadband Internet access providers to a Maine law that protects the privacy of the state's broadband Internet users.

During the Pandemic, the FCC Must Provide Internet for All

During Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai’s tenure, the number of Lifeline recipients has decreased by 40 percent and the program’s budget has shrunk accordingly. Less than 20 percent of Americans who are eligible for Lifeline take advantage of it. While Chairman Pai cloaks his so-called Lifeline “reforms” as efforts to root out “waste, fraud, and abuse,” the majority of his actions have little to do with maintaining the integrity of the program and more to do with harming its recipients.

Remembering Henry Geller

On April 7, 2020, Henry Geller passed away. Born in Springfield (MA) in 1924, he was raised in Detroit (MI). During a long career in communications policy, he worked at the Federal Communications Commission, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and Duke University’s Washington Center for Public Policy Research. His life's work had a profound effect on US telecommunications; his impact on so many advocates and policymakers is impossible to measure. 

The FCC should let itself do more to keep Americans connected through the pandemic

As the COVID-19 pandemic has forced schools and workplaces to close all over the country, tens of millions of American children have started to attend classes online and tens of millions of American adults are now teleworking from home. This crisis has highlighted how many Americans lack high-speed wired broadband internet at home (approximately 141 million) and specifically how many school-age children are disconnected (as many as 12 million). This digital divide did not happen by accident.

The Not So Good, Very Bad and Really Weird Merger of T-Mobile and Sprint

For those of you unfamiliar with the merger, 17 months ago, in April 2018, T-Mobile and Sprint announced that they would merge in a deal valued at around $26 billion dollars and sought permission from the Justice Department to do so.

Why a T-Mobile/Sprint Merger Would Be Bad for The Public

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has now decided that a handful of promises, made just days ago by T-Mobile and Sprint, puts this $26 billion transaction in the public interest. But these promises are speculative, unsubstantiated, and entirely unenforceable.

Protect Privacy in Maine

I worked on the Federal Communications Commission’s 2016 Broadband Privacy Rules, upon which L.D. 946, An Act to Protect Privacy of Online Customer Personal Information, is based. I urge the Joint Committee and the legislature to pass L.D. 946 without delay. It is common sense legislation that would require broadband Internet access providers operating in the state to protect the privacy of their customers. L.D. 946 would ensure that broadband customers have meaningful choice, greater transparency and strong security protections for their personal information collected by ISPs.