press release

Sens Merkley and Toomey Call on FCC to Address Identity Theft and Fraud in Public Comments

Sens Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) issued a strong call to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to identify and address fraudulent behavior that has led to potentially two million fake comments being filed under stolen identities on public rulemakings. Though they come from different sides of the aisle, Sens Merkley and Toomey share a personal connection to this issue: Both had their identities stolen to file false comments on the FCC’s net neutrality proposals.

FCC Announces Tentative Agenda for June 2018 Open Meeting

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced that the following items are tentatively on the agenda for the June Open Commission Meeting scheduled for Thursday, June 7, 2018:

Rep Doyle to Launch Discharge Petition to Force Net Neutrality Vote in House

House Communications Subcommittee Ranking Member Mike Doyle (D-PA) joined House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Sen Ed Markey (D-MA) in announcing that, with the passage of legislation to overrule the Federal Communications Commission’s order eliminating Network Neutrality in the Senate, the next step must be passage of this legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

Reps Khanna, Ratcliffe Introduce Legislation for More Efficient Digital Government

Reps Ro Khanna (D-CA) and John Ratcliffe (R-TX) introduced legislation to improve citizens’ interaction with the federal government online, while reducing the cost of assistance from federal agencies.  The 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act (IDEA) will lower federal costs and increase efficiency by digitizing government processes and establishing minimum standards for federal websites, including mobile-friendly interfaces in compliance with the latest security protocols.

Sens Fischer, Klobuchar Lead 61 Senators in Bipartisan Letter to FCC On Rural Broadband Deployment

Senators Deb Fischer (R-NE) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), members of the Senate Commerce Committee, led 61 senators in a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, supporting the advancement and the accessibility of broadband services in rural communities. In the letter, the senators requested more predictable and long-term efficiencies in the FCC’s High-Cost Universal Service Fund, which is responsible for helping meet the Commission’s goal to provide reliable and affordable communications to all Americans.

Documents show Ajit Pai met with AT&T execs right after the company started paying Michael Cohen

AT&T apologized for for its “serious misjudgment” in hiring President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen to provide “insights” into how the new administration would handle issues like net neutrality and AT&T’s proposed merger with Time Warner Cable. Although Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai denied hearing from Cohen, new scheduling documents obtained through FOIA by corruption watchdog American Oversight show Chairman Pai met with with top AT&T executives at a private dinner in Barcelona a month after the company began paying Cohen.

SHLB Commends Bipartisan Group of Senators for Urging FCC to Increase Rural Health Care Funding

A bipartisan group of thirty-one Senators sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission calling for greater funding for the Rural Health Care (RHC) program.

FCC Seeks to Transform 2.5 GHz Band for NextGen 5G Connectivity

The Federal Communications Commission adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to consider updating the framework for licensing Educational Broadband Service (EBS) spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band. The NPRM proposes to modernize and rationalize the EBS spectrum in the 2.5 GHz band to allow more flexible use. The item proposes to rationalize the service areas of existing EBS licenses and to provide additional flexibility to current and future EBS licensees.

FCC Considers Eliminating Broadcaster License Posting Requirement

The Federal Communications Commission  launched a proceeding to consider eliminating various rules that require the maintenance and posting of broadcast licenses and related information in specific locations. The FCC originally adopted broadcast license posting rules in 1930. Over the years, it expanded these rules to apply to new services that were deployed by broadcasters.

Flynn, Manafort, Cohen the Faces of An Epidemic: Shadow Lobbying

[Press release] The news reports that AT& T and Swiss-based drugmaker Novartis paid Michael Cohen, President Trumps personal lawyer, an estimated $1.8 million in 2017should set off alarm bells for the lobbying profession, Congress, and the American people. In 2005, it took the actions of one man, Jack Abramoff, for the American people and Congress to come down hard on the lobbying profession. There was legislation seeking to outright ban lobbyist activities to requiring that they report every move they made. Today however is a different story.