Headlines

Benton Foundation provides free, daily summaries of articles concerning the quickly-changing telecommunications policy landscape.

FCC Chief Seeks Broadband Plan to Aid the Poor

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
2

For 30 years, the federal government has helped millions of low-income Americans pay their phone bills, saying that telephone service is critical to summoning medical help, seeking work and, ultimately, climbing out of poverty. Now, the nation’s top communications regulator will propose offering those same people subsidized access to broadband Internet.

White House Presses for Deal on Phone Data Bill

Location:
The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC, 20500, United States
Recommendation:
2

Obama Administration officials intensified pressure on Congress to strike a deal before a June 1 deadline over legislation governing the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of telephone records, arguing that failing to do so would suspend crucial domestic surveillance authority at a time of mounting terrorism threats.

Sen Rand Paul Liberates the iPhone

Location:
Wall Street Journal, 1211 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY, 10036, United States
Recommendation:
1

Sen Rand Paul (R-KY) has fastened his presidential candidacy to restricting the US’s collection of telephone data about terrorist groups, such as Islamic State.

Broadcasters Shop at Home for Shows

Location:
Walt Disney Co., Burbank, CA, 91521, United States
Recommendation:
2

Owning shows is a priority because hits can generate revenue long after they have gone off the air by making money off reruns in the U.S. and internationally. With ownership also comes the ability to decide how a show will be exploited on other platforms such as video-on-demand and streaming services, all of which are increasingly important in capturing viewers and revenue.

Charter-Time Warner Cable deal: We'll get the Dodgers, but what else?

Location:
Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, CA, United States
Recommendation:
2

The real winner of the failed Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal became abundantly clear: It was Time Warner Cable. Whether this is a good thing for anyone else, however, is an open question.

Google and Apple Adjust Strategies on Mobile Payments

Location:
Google, 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA, 94043, United States
Recommendation:
2

The battle for mobile software dominance revolves around two companies: Apple and Google. Now both giants are also going head-to-head in mobile payments, as they prepare to push deeper into digital wallets.

Silicon Valley Races to Make TV the Next Frontier for Apps

Location:
Silicon Valley, Palo Alto, CA, United States
Recommendation:
1

After many misfires, Silicon Valley is once again betting it can transform television—this time by letting TVs run apps as diverse as those on smartphones.

Google Wages Free-Speech Fight in Mexico

Location:
United Mexican States, Mexico
Recommendation:
2

Free-speech advocates are challenging a ruling against Google Mexico that they say would allow politicians and business moguls to abuse the so-called right to be forgotten by wiping out Internet links that cast them in a negative light.

Armed With Google and YouTube, Analysts Gauge Russia’s Presence in Ukraine

Location:
Ukraine, Ukraine
Recommendation:
2

An unusual investigation using publicly available videos, smartphone photographs and satellite images shows that Russia is continuing to defy the West by conducting protracted military operations inside Ukraine, according to an independent report.

The Future of the Patriot Act Depends on the Votes of these 10 Senators

Location:
Capitol Building, E Capitol St NE & 1st St NE, Washington, DC, United States
Recommendation:
2

Ten senators have the future of the Patriot Act in their hands. They will be the ones who can make or break any deal on whether or not to reauthorize or reform the National Security Agency's bulk spying programs -- or to continue down a path to letting the Patriot Act Section 215 language lapse altogether.

FCC Announces Rural Broadband Experiments Support for 15 Provisionally Selected Bids is Ready to be Authorized And Releases Updated Frequently Asked Questions

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
1

The Wireline Competition Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission announces that it is ready to authorize rural broadband experiments support for the provisionally selected bids.

Remarks of FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai at the International Institute of Communications Telecommunications and Media Forum

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
1

Today’s topic—spurring broadband investment and deployment—is critical. That’s because broadband means opportunities for innovation, job creation, and economic growth. To meet this surging demand, the private sector will have to take the risks to invest in and deploy broadband networks. And for the private sector to do this, regulators must adopt policies that welcome that investment and minimize the costs of deployment.

Another Win for Consumers

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
2

Few things rankle consumers as much as unwanted calls and texts. Thanks to the passage of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, consumers can choose which calls they want and do not want. Yet, in order to maintain those protections, we must continue to close loopholes and empower consumers.

Yahoo must face e-mail spying class action: US judge

Location:
U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, 280 South 1st Streeet, San Jose, CA, 95113, United States
Recommendation:
2

US District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose (CA) ordered Yahoo Inc to face a nationwide class-action lawsuit accusing it of illegally intercepting the content of e-mails sent to Yahoo Mail subscribers from non-Yahoo Mail accounts, and using the information to boost advertising revenue.

Bob Schieffer is right. The decline of local media is totally terrible.

Location:
USA, United States
Recommendation:
1

Outgoing CBS anchorman Bob Schieffer spent an hour with NPR's Diane Rehm and reflected on his career. In the process, Schieffer was asked to name the biggest threat to the future of journalism. He said the decline of local journalism.

Wi-Fi’s Problem with LTE Over Unlicensed Spectrum

Location:
USA, United States
Recommendation:
1

The idea is that LTE-Unlicensed (LTE-U) can work in tandem with LTE on licensed spectrum to open larger channels for uplink and downlink.

Verizon says fewer customers are purchasing battery backup for fiber home voice services

Location:
Verizon Communications, 140 West St, New York, NY, 10007, United States
Recommendation:
1

Verizon is finding that as more of its customers migrate over to FiOS or it switches copper customers onto a fiber-based voice connection, more of its customers are increasingly using their cell phones as their voice connection during a power outage.

Google Play revamps its Android apps' age ratings

Location:
Google, 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA, 94043, United States
Recommendation:
1

During the week of May 25, Google Play will revamp the way it rates apps. The Android store will abandon the low/medium/high maturity classifications it has used until now and switch to a system run by an outside body.

Everybody says network TV is dying. Nobody told network TV.

Location:
USA, United States
Recommendation:
1

In 2014, it felt safe to say that broadcast network television was slowly dissipating and those presiding over it were guiding its decline. Then, in early 2015, "Empire" hit -- on the last-place network and changed the equation.

Attorney general: Senate risking ‘serious lapse’ by stalling on NSA bill

Location:
Capitol Building, E Capitol St NE & 1st St NE, Washington, DC, United States
Recommendation:
1

A stalemate in the Senate is on the verge of handicapping American national security officers, Attorney General Loretta Lynch warned. “Without action from the U.S. Senate, we will experience a serious lapse in our ability to protect the American people,” she said.

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