June 2, 2017 (FCC Announces June Agenda)


SHLB conference wraps up today https://www.benton.org/calendar/2017-06-02

   Facing political crisis, President Trump leans on familiar ally: Fox News [links to Benton summary]
   Sean Spicer Holds Uncharacteristically Short Press Briefings [links to Benton summary]
   President Trump: 'Big story' is unmasking, surveillance during Obama administration [links to Hill, The]

   FCC Announces Tentative Agenda for June Open Meeting - press release
   Supporting our Public Safety Heroes - Chairman Pai blog [links to Benton summary]

   Flawed Study Flunks Test on Municipal Broadband - CLIC
   Communities, Not Telcos, Should Define Success of Municipal Broadband Networks - Craig Settles [links to Benton summary]
   Lifeline Connects Coalition Expresses Concern with USAC Plan for Lifeline Eligibility
   FCC Addresses E-rate, Rural Healthcare Petitions - public notice [links to Benton summary]
   Cross-Departmental Collaboration Increasingly Vital to Digital Inclusion [links to Benton summary]
   Mary Meeker’s 2017 internet trends report: All the slides, plus analysis [links to Benton summary]

   To kill net neutrality rules, FCC says broadband isn’t “telecommunications”
   Telecommunication Policies May Have Unintended Health Care Consequences - Health Affair blog [links to Benton summary]
   Why you should support net neutrality - San Francisco Chronicle op-ed [links to Benton summary]
   Net neutrality activists have already lost, according to these execs [links to Benton summary]

   Pew State of the News Media: Despite subscription surges for largest US newspapers, circulation and revenue fall for industry overall - Pew research
   Pew State of the News Media: Cable News Fact Sheet - research [links to Benton summary]
   Online news outlets employing more women than print, TV [links to Benton summary]
   Jonathan Make: Why the Times is Making a Big Mistake Nixing the Public Editor Role [links to Medium]

   In Trump’s America, Black Lives Matter activists grow wary of their smartphones
   Chairman Blackburn Working on Making Privacy Bill Bipartisan
   How Washington is throwing away its shot at protecting your privacy - press release
   A Counterproductive Privacy Bill - Morning Consult op-ed [links to Benton summary]
   Trump administration approves tougher visa vetting, including social media checks [links to Reuters]
   How the DNC (And RNC) Are Preparing For the Inevitable Next Cyberattack [links to Fast Company]
   Seven reasons parents should care about kids and online privacy [links to Salon]

   Cable giant Charter snubbed a buyout bid from Verizon
   T-Mobile will acquire Sprint, not the other way around, says analyst firm [links to Fierce]

   Harnessing the Potential of ‘Unlicensed Spectrum’ to Power Connectivity - New America [links to Benton summary]
   Parks: 70% of Data Traffic in the Home Carried by Wi-Fi [links to telecompetitor]

   How Twitter Is Being Gamed to Feed Misinformation - Farhad Manjoo [links to Benton summary]
   Got a face-recognition algorithm? Uncle Sam wants to review it [links to Ars Technica]

   Discovery CEO: Cable needs an $8 skinny bundle to compete with Netflix [links to Fierce]
   FCC Announces First AM Revitalization New Translator Filing Window [links to Federal Communications Commission]

   Online news outlets employing more women than print, TV: Report [links to Benton summary]

   Increased demand for government relations support: How the lobbying industry is changing [links to Bloomberg]
   White House IT Director Gets Lobbying Waiver [links to Benton summary]

   White House eyes Bannon ally for top broadcasting post

   AT&T looks to deploy FirstNet, WCS and AWS spectrum as soon as this year [links to Fierce]
   Comcast Gigabit Expansion in Colorado, Oregon-Southwest Washington, suburban Kansas City (MO) and Olathe, Kansas [links to telecompetitor]

   Putin Hints at U.S. Election Meddling by ‘Patriotically Minded’ Russians [links to Benton summary]
   Social media companies doubled hate speech removal: EU report [links to European Commission]

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[SOURCE: Federal Communications Commission, AUTHOR: Press release]
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 22, 2017:
New Emergency Alert System Event Code For Blue Alerts – The Commission will consider a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would amend the Commission’s Emergency Alert System (EAS) rules to add a dedicated event code, “BLU,” for Blue Alerts, so that EAS alerts can deliver actionable information to the public when a law enforcement officer is killed, seriously injured, missing in connection with his or her official duties, or if there is an imminent and credible threat to a law enforcement officer. (PS Docket No. 15-94)
First Responder Network Authority – The Commission will consider a Report and Order that establishes the procedures and standards the Commission will use to review alternative plans submitted by states seeking to "opt-out" of the FirstNet network and to build their own Radio
Access Networks that are interoperable with FirstNet. (PS Docket No. 16-269)
Exemption to Calling Number Identification Service – The Commission will consider a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would amend the Caller ID rules to allow disclosure of blocked Caller ID information to aid law enforcement in investigating threatening calls and continue the
waiver of those rules that is currently in effect for Jewish Community Centers. (CG Docket No. 91-281)
OneWeb Market Access Request – The Commission will consider an Order and Declaratory Ruling that recommends granting OneWeb’s request to be permitted to access the U.S. market using its proposed global non-geostationary satellite constellation for the provision of broadband communications services in the United States. (IBFS SAT-LOI-20160428-0041)
Improving Competitive Broadband Access to Multiple Tenant Environments – The Commission will consider a Notice of Inquiry that seeks comment on ways to facilitate greater consumer choice and enhance broadband deployment in multiple tenant environments such as
apartment buildings, condominium buildings, shopping malls, or cooperatives. The Notice of Inquiry further seeks comment on the current state of broadband competition in such locations and whether additional Commission action in this area is warranted to eliminate or reduce barriers faced by broadband providers that seek to serve the occupants of multiple tenant environments. (GN Docket No. 17-142)
Electronic Annual Notice Declaratory Ruling – The Commission will consider a Declaratory Ruling which would clarify that the “written information” that cable operators must provide to their subscribers via annual notices pursuant to Section 76.1602(b) of the Commission’s rules may be provided via e-mail. (MB Docket No. 16-126)
Modernization of Payphone Compensation Rules – The Commission will consider a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Order that (1) proposes to eliminate the requirement that carriers that complete payphone calls conduct an annual audit of their payphone call tracking systems and file an associated annual audit report with the Commission, and (2) waives the annual audit and associated reporting requirement for 2017. (WC Docket Nos. 17- 141 and 16-132; CC Docket No. 96-128).
Enforcement Bureau Action - The Commission will consider an enforcement action.
benton.org/headlines/fcc-announces-tentative-agenda-june-open-meeting | Federal Communications Commission | Blue Alerts | First Responder Network | Exemption to Caller ID | OneWeb Market Access Grant | Multiple Tenant Environments | Electronic Notice Ruling | Payphone Compensation Rules | B&C
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[SOURCE: Coalition for Local Internet Choice, AUTHOR: Jim Baller, Joanne Hovis]
As with many past industry-supported attacks on municipal broadband, it will take some time for interested readers to dig into the details of the University of Pennsylvania Law School professor Christopher Yoo’s study and fully understand its strengths and weaknesses. That will occur in due course. There are, however, a number of serious problems with this study that leap out at once. For one thing, almost immediately after releasing their report, the authors issued a press release acknowledging that they had “erroneously stated that the bonds used to finance the projects in Chattanooga, TN; Lafayette, LA; and Wilson, NC; call for balloon payments toward the end of their bond terms.” While the authors claim that this error did not affect their financial analysis, one wonders how many other serious errors exist in the study—and how many other times the authors took shortcuts instead of reviewing the full available data. Perhaps if they had contacted the cities at issue to verify the data, they could have caught this mistake in advance. Apparently, they skipped that step as well. A particularly important shortcoming of the study is that the choice of 2010 through 2014 as the study period introduced significant selection bias. Another problem with the Yoo study is that the boldness of its conclusions is undermined by the many caveats and qualifications set forth at various points in the study.
benton.org/headlines/flawed-study-flunks-test-municipal-broadband | Coalition for Local Internet Choice | see the study | see the correction
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[SOURCE: Lifeline Connects Coalition, AUTHOR: John Heitmann, Joshua Guyan]
The Lifeline Connects Coalition spoke with staff at the Federal Communications Commission’s Wireline Competition Bureau on May 26, 2017 to discuss the Universal Service Administrative Company’s (USAC) current plan to require Lifeline subscribers to re-prove their eligibility when they are migrated to the Lifeline National Verifier and the significant burden and confusion that will impose on Lifeline participants. The Coalition said obtaining re-proof of eligibility from Lifeline subscribers is likely to be highly unsuccessful and the overwhelming majority of those de-enrollments would be due to consumers’ failure or inability to respond, not their lack of continuing eligibility for Lifeline.
benton.org/headlines/lifeline-connects-coalition-expresses-concern-usac-plan-lifeline-eligibility | Lifeline Connects Coalition
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[SOURCE: ars technica, AUTHOR: Jon Brodkin]
To make sure the network neutrality rollback survives court challenges, newly appointed Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai must justify his decision to redefine broadband less than three years after the previous change. He argues that broadband isn't telecommunications because it isn't just a simple pipe to the Internet. Broadband is an information service because Internet service providers give customers the ability to visit social media websites, post blogs, read newspaper websites, and use search engines to find information, the FCC's new proposal states. Even if the ISPs don't host any of those websites themselves, broadband is still an information service under Pai's definition because Internet access allows consumers to reach those websites.
benton.org/headlines/kill-net-neutrality-rules-fcc-says-broadband-isnt-telecommunications | Ars Technica
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[SOURCE: Pew Research Center, AUTHOR: Michael Barthel]
Following 2016’s presidential election, some major US newspapers reported a sharp jump in digital subscriptions, giving a boost to their overall circulation totals. The newspaper industry as a whole, however, faced ongoing challenges in 2016, according to new Pew Research Center analysis. Total weekday circulation for US daily newspapers – both print and digital – fell 8 percent in 2016, marking the 28th consecutive year of declines. (Sunday circulation also fell 8 percent.) The overall decline includes a 10 percent decrease in weekday print circulation (9 percent for Sundays) and a 1 percent decline in weekday digital circulation (1 percent rise for Sundays). Total weekday circulation for US daily newspapers fell to 35 million, while total Sunday circulation declined to 38 million – the lowest levels since 1945.
benton.org/headlines/pew-state-news-media-despite-subscription-surges-largest-us-newspapers-circulation-and | Pew Research Center | Newspapers Fact Sheet
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[SOURCE: Washington Post, AUTHOR: Craig Timberg]
As a long-time political activist, Malkia Cyril knows how smartphones helped fuel Black Lives Matter protests with outraged tweets and viral video. But now Cyril is having second thoughts about her iPhone. Is it a friend or a foe? For all of the power of smartphones as organizing tools, the many streams of data they emit also are a boon to police wielding high-tech surveillance gear, allowing them to potentially track movements and communications that activists such as Cyril would rather keep private. Such worries are driving a nationwide push by Cyril and other activists to train members of their movement in the tactics of digital defense — something they say is crucial with an aggressive new president who has displayed little sympathy for their causes.
benton.org/headlines/trumps-america-black-lives-matter-activists-grow-wary-their-smartphones | Washington Post
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[SOURCE: Politico, AUTHOR: Li Zhou]
House Communications Subcommittee Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) says she’s working to get some Democratic Reps on board to the BROWSER Act, her broadband privacy bill that would require both companies like Google and internet service providers to develop opt-in policies for sharing users’ sensitive data. “I’m pleased that some of my colleagues across the aisle are interested in the bill — I am hopeful this is going to be bipartisan, bicameral,” she said without naming names. She also noted that she intends to broach the topic with the Administration as she continues to work with members of the White House on the infrastructure package. “As we move forward with broadband expansion and the infrastructure bill, it will give me the opportunity to talk with [the White House] and seek support for what we’re doing with privacy,” she added. Comcast Senior Executive Vice President David Cohen said the pressure for action on privacy might fade as the FCC moves forward with its net neutrality rulemaking. “I think the fervor for privacy legislation may disappear if the FCC does proceed in four or five months and reclassifies broadband under Title I because then the FTC will again have jurisdiction to enforce privacy against ISPs as well as the internet ecosystem, so then there may be a question of whether any congressional legislation is necessary at that time,” Cohen said. He said whether all web browsing or just certain web browsing history should be deemed sensitive is a discussion that can be had during consideration of the bill.
benton.org/headlines/chairman-blackburn-working-making-privacy-bill-bipartisan | Politico
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[SOURCE: Yahoo, AUTHOR: Rob Pegoraro]
[Commentary] When Congress killed Federal Communications Commission rules that would stop internet providers from selling your browsing history to advertisers, supporters of that move told upset internet users to cheer up. Now, they all said, we could finally protect your privacy everywhere online! Instead of having rules that constrained only internet providers while letting sites and apps have fun with your data, we’d get our shot to develop a comprehensive privacy framework for all these companies. Two months later, something interesting has happened: A new bill by House Communications Subcommittee Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). Blackburn’s BROWSER Act of 2017—as in, “Balancing the Rights of Web Surfers Equally and Responsibly”—would apply an opt-in standard to both providers and sites. And many of the people who had so much to say about online privacy in March have nothing to say about this bill… which suggests it will fare as well as other attempts to write new privacy laws. You’d think this bill would warrant a comment by the trade groups that had supported developing a uniform privacy standard—or the internet providers that had pledged in January to operate by an opt-in standard. You would be wrong. Spokespeople for the 21st Century Privacy Coalition, NCTA, CTA, the Chamber, and Comcast all said they had yet to take a stance on the bill, which has drawn four Republican co-sponsors to date. CTIA did not respond to queries but has yet to post anything about Blackburn’s proposal either.
benton.org/headlines/how-washington-throwing-away-its-shot-protecting-your-privacy | Yahoo
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[SOURCE: New York Post, AUTHOR: Claire Atkinson, Josh Kosman]
Apparently, Verizon boss Lowell McAdam, his company facing slowing sales of mobile phones, made a proposal to acquire cable TV giant Charter Communications in recent months. The offer — valued at between $350 and $400 a share, and well over $100 billion, apparently— was rejected by Charter because it was too low — and because Charter and its largest shareholder, Liberty Media, weren’t ready to sell. Verizon, whose archrival AT&T has moved to expand beyond the wireless world by buying DirecTV and Time Warner, also recently expressed interest in another Liberty Media property, Sirius XM Holdings, apparently. Verizon’s interest in SiriusXM didn’t get as far as a bid.
benton.org/headlines/cable-giant-charter-snubbed-buyout-bid-verizon | New York Post
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[SOURCE: Politico, AUTHOR: Hadas Gold]
The Trump administration’s leading candidate to head the Broadcasting Board of Governors, a position that with recent changes would give the appointee unilateral power over the United States’ government messaging abroad reaching millions, is a conservative documentarian with ties to White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, apparently. Michael Pack, the leading contender for the post, is president and CEO of the Claremont Institute and publisher of its Claremont Review of Books, a California-based conservative institute that has been called the “academic home of Trumpism” by the Chronicle of Higher Education. Pack, a former Corporation for Public Broadcasting executive, and Bannon are mutual admirers and have worked on two documentaries together. Pack has appeared on Bannon’s radio show and wrote an op-ed in March praising Bannon as a pioneer in conservative documentary filmmaking.
benton.org/headlines/white-house-eyes-bannon-ally-top-broadcasting-post | Politico
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