Chairman Pai Releases Summary of First Year Accomplishments
The Federal Communications Commission released an 8-page document outlining "A Year of Action and Accomplishment" led by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, broken down into the following categories: bridging the digital divide, promoting innovation and investment, protecting consumers and enhancing public safety, transparency and process reforms, and cutting and modernizing outdated regulations.
UN Broadband Commission sets global broadband targets to bring online the world’s 3.8 billion not connected to the Internet
Fifty percent of the world's population is expected to be connected to the Internet by the end of 2019. This leaves the other half – an estimated 3.8 billion people – unconnected and unable to benefit from key social and economic resources in our expanding digital world. In response, the United Nations' Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development has set seven ambitious yet achievable 2025 targets in support of "Connecting the Other Half" of the world's population.
Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development 2025 Targets:
Truth in Broadband: NYC Mayor's Office Issues RFI to Promote Open and Transparent Internet
The Mayor's Office of the Chief Technology Officer for the City of New York released a "Truth in Broadband” Request for Information (RFI) to establish transparency and accountability in how carriers provide internet service to consumers. The goal of the RFI is to gather input from industry and subject matter experts to help implement a system for monitoring the quality and performance of internet service providers.
House Communications Subcommittee Introduces Third Round of Broadband Infrastructure Bills
House Communications Subcommittee Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) announced a third series of bills introduced by subcommittee members on expanding broadband infrastructure in rural America. The bills aim to advance broadband deployment in disaster areas, as well as support innovation and remove obstacles to expansion.
USDA Invests in e-Connectivity to Restore Rural Prosperity by Providing Training and Health Care Services
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing in e-connectivity which will provide virtual access to job training, educational, and health care opportunities for rural communities. USDA is awarding 72 grants totaling $23.6 million through the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program. This program invests in equipment that uses broadband to help rural communities connect to educational and health care services.
FCC Names Shuldiner New Audio Division Chief
The Federal Communications Commission announced the appointment of Albert Shuldiner as Chief of the Media Bureau’s Audio Division. To ensure a smooth transition, current Audio Division Chief Peter Doyle will, on a temporary basis, assume a new part-time role as Senior Advisor in the Division. Shuldiner brings decades of legal experience to the FCC, including positions at DTS, Inc., Ibiquity Digital Corporation, and Vinson & Elkins, LLP. He received a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University.
Lawmakers Introduce Legislation to Increase Broadband Access in Local Communities
Representatives Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), Mike Doyle (D-PA), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), Mark Pocan (D-WI), and Jared Polis (D-CO) introduced the Community Broadband Act, legislation that will empower local communities to ensure their residents have broadband access by preserving the right to provide community-owned service to consumers. According to the Congressional Research Service, twenty states have passed laws that either restrict or outright prohibit local communities from investing local dollars in building their own broadband networks.
Fact Sheet on FCC's Draft 2018 Broadband Deployment Report
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has circulated a draft 2018 Broadband Deployment Report to his colleagues and below are the key findings and additional information:
Chairman Pai Appoints Nirali Patel As Special Counsel
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced the appointment of Nirali Patel as Special Counsel. Patel joins the Office of the Chairman from the Office of Commissioner Brendan Carr, where she has been serving as a Legal Advisor since August 2017.
House Communications Subcommittee Introduces Bills on Broadband Infrastructure and Innovation
A second round of broadband infrastructure bills have been introduced by members of the House Communications Subcommittee. The bills focus on supporting innovation and advancing broadband infrastructure in rural communities.