press release

Gov Rick Snyder (R-MI) signs Executive Order to create a roadmap for enhancing statewide broadband access and connectivity

A comprehensive plan to improve access to broadband services in Michigan will be developed under an Executive Order signed by Gov Rick Snyder (R-MI).

House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Examines Legislation to Improve Nation’s Broadband Infrastructure

The House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology examined  25 bills that seek to improve broadband infrastructure across the country. Members engaged with a panel of seven expert witnesses who provided a range of perspectives on this important issue. Chairman Blackburn said, “We wanted to have a very inclusive hearing today to discuss all of the ideas from Subcommittee members on both sides of the aisle to promote broadband infrastructure deployment with a goal of closing the digital divide.

FCC Proposes $18.7 Million Fine Against DataConnex

The Federal Communications Commission proposed an $18,715,405 fine against DataConnex for apparent violations involving the Universal Service Fund Rural Health Care Program. The Florida- and Mississippi-based telecommunications services provider is charged with violating the Communications Act, the program’s competitive bidding rules, and using forged, false, misleading, and unsubstantiated documents to improperly seek funding from the Universal Service Fund (USF).

FCC Proposes to End Paper Filing Requirement for Broadcast Station Docs

The Federal Communications Commission adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that tentatively concludes that the Commission should eliminate the decades-old requirement that broadcasters routinely file paper copies of station contracts and certain other documents with the Commission.

FCC Votes to Establish Office of Economics & Analytics

The Federal Communications Commission voted to create an FCC Office of Economics and Analytics. This new unit will help ensure that economic analysis is deeply and consistently incorporated as part of the agency’s regular operations. The Office of Economics and Analytics will use existing staff resources by bringing into one office FCC economists, attorneys, and data professionals who work on economic analysis, data policy and management, and research.

FCC Takes Final Steps for Next Phase of Rural Broadband Expansion

The Federal Communications Commission took the final actions required to launch its innovative Connect America Fund Phase II auction, which will provide up to nearly $2 billion over the next decade to expand fixed, high-speed Internet service in unserved rural areas. In a Public Notice adopted Jan 30, the FCC scheduled the auction to begin on July 24, set a March 30 deadline for applications to participate, and set out detailed procedures for the auction. The FCC also adopted an Order on Reconsideration resolving all pending challenges to earlier FCC auction implementation decisions.

FCC Improves Wireless Emergency Alerts

The Federal Communications Commission adopted rules to improve the geographic targeting of Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), a system that delivers critical warnings and information to the public on their wireless phones. The updated rules are intended to promote the wider use and effectiveness of this lifesaving service, especially for state and local authorities to convey critical messages to their communities.

House Commerce Chairman Walden Talks 5G, Infrastructure, Net Neutrality & More in State of the Net Keynote

House Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) appeared at the State of the Net conference for a wide-ranging discussion with former Federal Communications Commission Commissioner Robert McDowell on broadband infrastructure, Net Neutrality, 5G, and more. Chairman Walden said, “A government that can’t protect the data of its own employees, I struggle with the notion it’s going to run a complete architecture and network that will be hack-free.

What They're Saying About Chairman Pai's Proposal to Create an Office of Economics and Analytics

American Action Forum Director of Technology and Innovation Policy Will Rinehart: “The FCC needs to be a datafirst organization, and the creation of such an office could help reorient the agency toward more empirically grounded analysis.” (Full Steam Ahead On The FCC’s Office Of Economics And Analytics, Blog, 1/17/18)

Rep Pallone Requests Access to Audits of FCC High-Cost Fund

House Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) sent a letter to Universal Service Administrative Company CEO Radha Sekar requesting the audits conducted during the preceding three fiscal years for both the Federal Communications Commission’s Legacy High-Cost and Rural Health Care programs in order to better understand the potential for waste, fraud and abuse in the programs. The High-Cost Program is by far the largest Universal Service Program, spending $4.5 billion each year. Rep Pallone is requesting that the Universal Service Administrative Company provide: