Protecting Americans From Hidden FCC Tax Hikes

The Federal Communications Commission is poised to raise taxes through its Universal Service Fund—a regressive, hidden tax on consumers' phone bills that funds a series of unaccountable, bloated internet subsidy programs. Rather than giving the FCC carte blanche to expand its balance sheet, Congress must reform the USF's structural problems, reevaluate its component programs, and get the FCC's spending under control. Here is my plan to do that. 

President Biden gave $90 billion to red America. The thank-you went to spam.

Poor infrastructure, small number of customers, bottom of the list: That is the story of rural broadband in the United States. The situation is much more than an annoyance for the 7 million U.S. households that still do not have access to broadband internet — 90 percent of them in rural areas. Many times that number are “underserved,” with speeds below 100 mbps, or have high-speed broadband infrastructure but can’t afford service.

New Benton Research Groups To Tackle Critical Broadband Questions

The Benton Institute for Broadband & Society announced two new fellowship cohorts for our Marjorie & Charles Benton Opportunity Fund.  The Equitable Broadband in Urban America Research Group and the Policies, Plans, and Promises Research Group bring together researchers to work independently, but collaboratively on pressing broadband issues. We are excited about a research group model.

What Comcast really means when it talks about ‘convergence’

The message that emerged from Comcast Converge was that everything the company does—mobile, video, sports streaming, security and, of course, broadband—relies on the performance of its network infrastructure. By extension (given the fact that no one has plugged anything into a router to connect to the internet in ages), that means Wi-Fi. The way Comcast is thinking about convergence is probably best exemplified with this statistic: The first NFL playoff game which was exclusively streamed on its Peacock service in January accounted for a whopping 30 percent of all US internet traffic.

The Vital Mission of Ensuring Affordable Connectivity Everywhere

With over 23 million households relying on the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) to financially support their connection to…well, everything…it is jarring to think the program may soon no longer exist. Losing this broadband subsidy program will force families to make hard choices and will likely lead to many losing connectivity altogether.  With the value of a network based upon its ability to connect everyone, this is not a good result for our country. Worse yet, a lack of ACP fu

Protect Internet Access: Extend the Affordable Connectivity Program Today

High-speed internet is vital for all of us to live, work, and connect with one another. In recent years, we have come a long way toward improving internet access and affordability in Wisconsin. However, we are poised to take a major step backwards unless Congress acts to extend the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). As of January 2024, over 22 million households in the US are enrolled and receiving the ACP monthly benefit, including more than 420,000 Wisconsin households.

America’s Spectrum Policy: A Roadmap for Action in 2024

Over the past year America’s spectrum policy faced an unprecedented set of challenges that jeopardize America’s 5G leadership and Americans’ ability to reap all of the economic and geopolitical benefits of a dynamic mobile broadband network and the ecosystems it supports. To overcome those challenges, 2024 must be a year of action for US policymakers if we are to maintain our global competitiveness, meet rapidly increasing consumer demand, and drive the innovation and growth we all want in the United States. Specifically, America’s wireless future hinges on:

America needs the ACP, but fix it before throwing more money at it

Continuation of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) in some form seemed assured, and advocacy and industry groups support it, but opposition is growing. Opponents so far have been concentrating on the obvious:

A Permanent Solution for Connecting Low-Income Families

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) has been a transformative force, connecting over 22 million households, but it's in trouble. This proposal would allow this national commitment to continue uninterrupted, bring greater accountability to Big Tech, and create a stable, permanent source of funding that would safeguard the program from the uncertainties of the annual appropriations process. 

  • Step One: Maintain Connectivity- Congress needs to immediately provide stop-gap funding to keep the program operational while a permanent fix is put in place.

Bidenomics Goes Online: Increasing the Costs of High-Speed Internet

One of President Biden’s top economic objectives is “lowering prices” for high-speed internet. Central to the Biden Administration’s plan to accomplish this goal is the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). ACP is based on a temporary program initiated during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide a subsidy for eligible low-income households. The subsidy is paid directly to participating broadband service providers. Contrary to the President’s intentions,  ACP enrollment is associated with higher monthly charges for fixed broadband internet.