Analysis

The Senate Republicans' gambit to deadlock the FCC failed

Shortly after the election, it appeared that Republicans in the Senate hoped to gum up the Federal Communications Commission and potentially block Biden from filling it out. In early December, the Senate rammed through the nomination of Nathan Simington, a person handpicked by President Donald Trump to serve on the FCC whose selection 

How One Minnesota County Got on Track to Become Most Connected in State

Over the last three years, Le Sueur County (MN) has assembled a task force of citizens, local officials, and business leaders which have succeeded in dramatically improving broadband for thousands of residents who previously had poor or no connectivity.

Public Infrastructure/Private Service Model For 21st Century Broadband Proves Worthy

The emerging model presents a scalable option for communities that lack the expertise or interest to operate networks or act as ISPs themselves but want to own and control the core communications assets in their communities as a means of securing the benefits of broadband internet. Here’s a look at the model’s business case, technical elements and risks.

What Was Donald Trump’s Twitter?

Each of the big social platforms handled the challenges of the Trump presidency in its own unique way, scrambling to address or neutralize various urgent and contradictory concerns from users, advertisers, lawmakers and occasionally the president himself.

The consequences of social media’s giant experiment

The actions of Facebook and Twitter to ban President Donald Trump are protected by Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Act. This is the same Section 230 behind which social media companies have sheltered to protect them from liability for the dissemination of the hate, lies and conspiracies that ultimately led to the assault on the U.S. Capitol on January 6. These actions are better late than never. But the proverbial horse has left the barn.

Connectivity in the Time of COVID

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the necessity of broadband became incontrovertible. Attending school, working from home, visiting a doctor, and accessing government services all relied on reliable broadband connections. For many, bridging the digital divide emerged as an even-more-urgent priority. We’ve tracked the stories that best explain the complexities of the digital divide and the crucial policy responses. Here’s our list. 

Can Twitter Legally Bar Trump? The First Amendment Says Yes

When Simon & Schuster canceled its plans this week to publish Senator Josh Hawley’s book, he called the action “a direct assault on the First Amendment.” And when Twitter permanently banned President Trump’s account, his family and his supporters said similar things. “We are living Orwell’s 1984,” Donald Trump Jr.

In Pulling Trump’s Megaphone, Twitter Shows Where Power Now Lies

In the end, two billionaires from California did what legions of politicians, prosecutors and power brokers had tried and failed to do for years: They pulled the plug on President Donald Trump. Permanently suspending Trump's accounts was a watershed moment in the history of social media.

How Should the Biden-Harris Administration Close the Digital Divide?

The Biden-Harris “Build Back Better” agenda calls for closing the digital divide. The questions now are: how much funding will this initiative secure from Congress, and how will it be distributed? We believe that the answer will be informed by actions that states, cities, and counties take. As spending proposals are released, debated, approved, and then designed as Federally administered programs, the next few months will be a critical period for local governments.

Broadband Boondoggle: Ajit Pai's $886M Gift to Elon Musk

To connect those most in need most often means connecting people to networks that already exist. That’s why it’s important to expose how the Federal Communications Commission’s rush to build new broadband networks has resulted in wasteful spending. Though I believe solving the rural-deployment problem is important, the roots of that problem are different from the root causes of the digital divide that plagues urban areas.