Today’s USTelecom report is the latest in a spate of flawed and deeply conflicted research from internet service providers on the price of their own service. It is curious that USTelecom would rely on third-party surveys rather than get the pricing data directly from its ISP members. If internet service is as affordable as USTelecom claims, ISPs could prove it by disclosing their pricing data to the Federal Communications Commission.
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.
How much do consumers pay for internet service in the United States? The question might seem relatively simple, but the answer has stymied the federal government for years—because no agency collects this data. Throughout 2020, my organization, New America’s Open Technology Institute, published the Cost of Connectivity series to crack open the black box of internet pricing.
New America’s Open Technology Institute recently published The Cost of Connectivity 2020, a new study showing that the cost of broadband service is higher in the United States than in Asia or Europe—and that US consumers are in the grips of a broadband affordability crisis. This research is consistent with our past submissions to the Commission regarding the dismal state of competition in the broadband marketplace, which has all the hallmarks of an oligopoly.
New America's Open Technology Institute sent a letter to the House of Representatives in advance of a hearing on oversight of the Federal Communications Commission, highlighting many failures and lost opportunities over the past four years at the agency, including:
When Verizon throttled firefighters during last summer’s deadly wildfires, the FCC did nothing to help. Without net neutrality rules in place, the agency’s hands were tied and the firefighters were forced to go to the media to plea for help. This is outrageous. We’re heading into another wildfire season, and nothing has changed. Net neutrality hasn’t been restored, and the FCC still lacks the authority to intervene when telecom companies abandon our nation’s first responders. We need Congress to pass the Save the Internet Act.