Robbie McBeath

The House Passed an Appropriations Bill. With a Message for the FCC.

On June 26, the US House of Representatives passed the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act (H.R. 3351) -- an appropriations bill that provides fiscal year 2020 funding for a variety of departments and independent agencies, including the Federal Communications Commission. The massive bill passed with many amendments.

Senate Commerce Committee Oversight Hearing of the Federal Communications Commission

The Senate Commerce Committee held an oversight hearing of the Federal Communications Commission. Some highlights:

FCC, Again, Finds Broadband Being Deployed on a Reasonable and Timely Basis

On May 29, 2019, the Federal Communications Commission released the 2019 Broadband Deployment Report. For the second consecutive year, the FCC concluded that broadband is being deployed on a reasonable and timely basis. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 requires the FCC to report annually on the availability of advanced telecommunications capability (broadband) to all Americans and to determine if broadband services are being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion.

Reactions to the FCC's 2019 Broadband Deployment Report

Here's the reaction to the FCC's 2019 Broadband Deployment Report.

Is T-Mobile+Sprint Gonna Happen?

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has recommended the agency approve T-Mobile’s $26 billion acquisition of Sprint, following a set of new commitments from the companies. Now, all eyes now turn to the Department of Justice to approve or reject the deal to create the “New T-Mobile.” 

Reactions to Chairman Pai's Recommendation for Approval of T-Mobile/Sprint Merger

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced his support on May 20 for approval of T-Mobile’s $26.5-billion takeover of Sprint, following reported concessions made by the two carriers. Reactions:

Sen Amy Klobuchar (D-MN): "T-Mobile has long been a competitive disruptor in the market, bringing down prices and spurring innovation. I don’t think going from four to three major carriers will be good for competition in the long term.”

House Communications Subcommittee FCC Oversight Hearing

As expected, the Democratic leaders on the House Communications Subcommittee used the Federal Communications Commission oversight hearing to hammer FCC Chairman Ajit Pai over policies and actions with which they strongly disagree. In his opening statement, Chairman Mike Doyle (D-PA) said Chairman Pai had yet to explain to Congress or the American people what it was doing about mobile carriers sharing real-time geolocation data. He also slammed the inaccurate and deeply flawed broadband deployment data, old and faulty business broadband data, and warned the FCC not to act on a USTelecom forb

An Update on Broadband Bills in the 116th Congress

While some may be preoccupied with the Save the Internet Act (the net neutrality legislation), it’s not the only broadband bill in town. Here are a few more broadband-related bills to keep an eye on. The ACCESS BROADBAND Act. The Digital Equity Act of 2019. The Measuring the Economic Impact of Broadband Act. The Internet Exchange (IX) Act. The RURAL Act

Want Next Generation Precision Agriculture? You'll Need Rural Broadband.

On April 30, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) unveiled A Case for Rural Broadband: Insights on Rural Broadband Infrastructure and Next Generation Precision Agriculture Technologies.This latest chapter in the Trump Administration’s American Broadband Initiative finds that the deployment of broadband networks and adoption of new agricultural technologies could result in approximately $47–$65 billion annually in additional gross benefit for the US economy. Until now, the interdependency between broadband and next-generation precision agriculture technologies has not been evaluated.

Net Neutrality Bill Clears House of Representatives for the First Time Ever

On April 10, 2019, in a 232-to-190 vote divided along party lines, the House of Representatives voted to approve the Save the Internet Act (HR 1644). In doing so, Democrats made good on a promise that became a rallying cry in many progressive circles during the 2018 election: restore net neutrality.