In a joint letter, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai and National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners President Brandon Presley have written to NARUC Commissioners around the US to raise awareness of the federal Lifeline program, which helps eligible low-income consumers access affordable broadband and phone services. Many Americans may be newly unemployed or face other circumstances that make them eligible for Lifeline for the first time. Yet, they may also be unaware either of their eligibility or how to apply for the program.
Connect Americans Now Joined by 46 Organizations in Calling for Congress to Address the Digital Divide in COVID-19 Relief Package
Connect Americans Now (CAN) sent a letter to Congressional leaders, co-signed by 46 organizations, calling on lawmakers to provide funding to eliminate the digital divide for all Americans as part of the next COVID-19 relief package.
On May 12, 2020, Reps Randy Weber (R-TX), Brian Babin (R-TX), Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Roger Williams (R-TX), Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX), and Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) wrote to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to express concerns about the FCC report and order "Transitioning the 900 MHz BAnd to Enable Broadband Deployment" and its potential impacts on the US' refining and petrochemical industries.
On June 1, 2020, Republican Members of the House Commerce Committee wrote to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai in support of the "5G Upgrade Order" which the FCC considered at the June 9, 2020 meeting. "Reducing unnecessary regulatory burdens to promote broadband deployment is a top priority for Congress, and we urge the Commission to approve this Order at your June Open Meeting," the Reps wrote.
On July 21, 2020, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai responded to several Members of Congress regarding a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report entitled "Emergency Alerting: Agencies Need to Address Pending Applications and Monitory Industry Progress on System Improvements". The Report makes three recommendations for executive action — two addressed to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and one addressed to the FCC.
Commerce CommitteeRanking Member Greg Walden (R-OR) and Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) wrote to Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google CEO Sundar Pichai asking several questions related to the companies’ app stores and processes undertaken to vet applications, particularly for foreign sourcing and potential ties to the Chinese Communist Party.
Reps Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) and Don Young (R-AK), along with Sens Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), wrote to the Federal Communications Commission about its COVID-19 Telehealth Program. The lawmakers raised concerns about the FCC’s lack of transparency related to the program and asked several questions about its implementation. They asked FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to answer the following questions no later than July 30:
On June 9, Sens Marco Rubio (R-FL), Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), and Josh Hawley (R-MO) wrote to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, requesting the agency take a fresh look at Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and clearly define the criteria for which companies can receive protections under the statute. Social media companies have become involved in a range of editorial and promotional activity; like publishers, they monetize, edit, and otherwise editorialize user content.
Given the alarming evidence of egregiously high intrastate inmate calling rates and the Federal Communications Commission’s lack of jurisdiction here, I am calling on states to exercise their authority and, at long last, address this pressing problem. Specifically, I implore the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and state regulatory commissions to take action on intrastate inmate calling services rates to enable more affordable communications for the incarcerated and their families.
After the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) recent report about the Federal Communications Commission’s inadequate strategic planning to deploy 5G mobile communications networks nationwide, Sen Michael Bennet (D-CO) wrote to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai with some concerns. Sen Bennet asked for answers to the following questions by July 31, 2020: