Todd Shields

Joe Biden Win Could Curb Deals, Revive Net Neutrality in FCC Pivot

A victory by Joe Biden in the Nov. 3 election could usher in an abrupt change in the nation’s telecommunications policy, restoring so-called net neutrality regulation and shifting the Republican drive to rein in social media outlets, among other things. Biden hasn’t talked much about the Federal Communications Commission during the campaign, but his party’s platform is specific. It calls for restoring net neutrality rules put in place under then-President Barack Obama when Biden served as vice president and taking a harder line on telecommunications mergers.

Charter Gets a Little Help From Its Friends In Bid to Raise Fees

Charter Communications has won support from an unlikely roster of organizations as it seeks permission to increase fees for customers that use a lot of data. The Boys & Girls Club of Harlem, for example. The New York youth organization is among scores of civic and local-business groups that have received charitable donations from the company, and have reciprocated by filing statements on Charter’s behalf with the Federal Communications Commission.

Chairman Pai Challenges Twitter After It Warns About President Trump Tweet

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai challenged Twitter over a bellicose posting from Iran’s top leader hours after the company put a warning about glorifying violence on a tweet from President Donald Trump. “Serious question for @Twitter: Do these tweets from Supreme Leader of Iran @khamenei_ir violate “Twitter Rules about glorifying violence”? Chairman Pai said in a tweet. He attached screen shots of May 22 tweets from Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei predicting the eventual elimination of Israel.

Virtual School Leaves Kids Behind, Sparking New Broadband Push

The Covid-19 crisis, by laying bare the so-called “digital divide” at school systems and communities across the country, may achieve what years of lobbying by interest groups has failed to deliver: significant new federal funding to narrow the gap. A growing number of politicians of both parties in Washington are coming to agree.

Once Bankrupt, Tiny Broadband Company Ligado Thrives in the Trump Era

Ligado Networks LLC overcame powerful opposition to its proposed broadband network with some help from inside-the-Beltway figures close to President Donald Trump’s White House. The Reston (VA)-based company prevailed with a costly persuasion campaign overseen by a blue-chip roster of lobbyists and board members.

Trump Campaign’s Threat on TV Licenses May Be Mostly Bluster

The Donald Trump re-election campaign told TV stations they could lose their operating licenses for airing an ad criticizing the president’s actions in the coronavirus crisis -- a challenge that may be more bluster than actual threat. President Donald Trump’s campaign, in a letter on March 25, told stations in five battleground states to stop showing the ad from Priorities USA, a political action committee that supports Democratic candidate Joe Biden. Failure to remove the ad “could put your station’s license in jeopardy” before the Federal Communications Commission, the campaign said.

T-Mobile-Sprint Merger Gets Majority Support at FCC

Apparently, T-Mobile's bid to acquire Spring has received a third “yes” vote at the Federal Communications Commission.  All three Republicans on the five-member agency have voted for the deal, setting in motion procedures that would require agency action by Oct. 9, or Oct. 16 if an extension is requested by a commissioner. Neither agency Democrat has cast a vote, and both have called for delay.

Free Cable for Firehouses Put at Risk by FCC Vote

Cable systems around the US provide towns and cities with public-access channels showing school board and city council meetings, as well as networks like one that keeps New York City’s firefighters connected to the internet. NYC’s information network feeds cable TV and internet service into every fire house in all five boroughs, and also carries public-safety messages The services are provided for free -- but probably not for long.

Small Broadband Companies Claim FCC Win Over AT&T and Verizon

The largest US telephone companies in 2018 asked regulators to kill limits on the rates smaller carriers can be charged for connecting to the giants’ networks. Now the small carriers are claiming they have successfully defended the regulations as the Federal Communications Commission nears conclusion of a proceeding it has acted on in parts.