Daily Digest 12/14/2017 (FCC Votes on Net Neutrality Today)

Benton Foundation


Disney Makes Deal for 21st Century Fox, Reshaping Entertainment Landscape

The Walt Disney Company has reached a deal to buy most of the assets of 21st Century Fox, the conglomerate controlled by Rupert Murdoch, in an all-stock transaction valued at roughly $52.4 billion. To complete the integration, a legacy-defining task, Robert A. Iger, Disney’s chief executive, agreed to renew his contract for a fourth time, delaying retirement from July 2019 to the end of 2021. While the merger still requires approval by antitrust regulators — and the Justice Department recently moved to block a big media company from becoming even bigger — the once unthinkable acquisition promises to reshape Hollywood and Silicon Valley. It is the biggest counterattack from a traditional media company against the tech giants that have aggressively moved into the entertainment business. Disney now has enough muscle to become a true competitor to Netflix, Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook in the fast-growing realm of online video. At the same time, the agreement means that one of moviedom’s most historic studios, 20th Century Fox, will be downsized, with some operations folded into Walt Disney Studios or refocused to make films designed for online distribution. Founded in 1935, the Fox studio championed Marilyn Monroe, produced classics like “The Sound of Music,” released the first “Star Wars” movie and, more recently, turned “Avatar” into the biggest ticket-seller of all time.

Sinclair to FCC: News-Lite St. Louis TV Station is Exception

Sinclair Broadcasting has told Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai that it shares Sen Claire McCaskill's (D-MO) frustration with the lack of "traditional local news" on its KDNL St. Louis (MO), but not with the remedy she suggested. That came in a letter from Sinclair group VP of news Scott Livingston to Chairman Pai Dec 12. In a different letter to Chairman Pai, Sen McCaskill had asked him not to let Sinclair own two of the top four stations in St. Louis if the FCC allows Sinclair to merge with Tribune, which also has a top-four station there. "Contrary to Senator McCaskill’s assertion, Sinclair has not 'demonstrated a stunning disregard for local news,' said Livingston of Sen McCaskill's accusation. "In fact, Sinclair has demonstrated exactly the opposite, as evidenced by the more than 2,400 hours of local news, produced each week by in excess of 4,000 news employees located in 79 markets throughout the country. In other words, the lack of local news on Sinclair’s station in St. Louis is the exception, not the norm." Livingston ticked off a list of reasons that local news did not work on the station (see below), and pointed out it had run news at a "significant" loss for years "being forced to discontinue the production of local news to meet our public company fiduciary obligations to our shareholders," then teamed up with another station in the market on news before that relationship ended, then created a news talk show to provide some news in the market. He says that allowing Sinclair to own KDNL and the Tribune station would allow it to combine resources and return traditional local news to KDNL, which would not happen if it could not combine resources. He added he doubted it would happen if anyone else owned KDNL as a stand-alone.

T-Mobile Buys Layer3, Planning Launch of TV service in 2018

T-Mobile is launching a TV service in 2018, becoming the latest company to marry wireless and video. The service will target people who aren't interested in traditional cable and satellite TV packages. T-Mobile promises to address consumer complaints such as “sky-high bills” and “exploding bundles.” The company did not provide details on its upcoming offering, such as how it would differ from existing online TV alternatives from Hulu, YouTube, Sony, AT&T and Dish. The nation's No. 3 wireless carrier said Dec 13 that it bought cable-TV start-up Layer3 TV Inc. to help it roll out its upcoming service. T-Mobile didn't disclose how much it paid for Denver-based Layer3, which is available in five U.S. cities, including Los Angeles.

Net Neutrality

118 House Members’ Letter to FCC: Don’t Kill Net Neutrality

Rep Mike Doyle (D-PA), the Ranking Member on the House Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, announced that he and 117 other Members of Congress had sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission urging the Commissioners NOT to vote on FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s “Restoring Internet Freedom Order” at the Commission’s scheduled meeting Dec 14. Congressman Doyle organized the letter to the FCC urging the Commission to delay its vote on the Restoring Internet Freedom Order – in other words, to not vote on the draft order tomorrow. He announced that if the FCC does vote to adopt the Restoring Internet Freedom Order tomorrow, he would introduce legislation to overturn it.

House Commerce Committee Leaders Head Republican Letter to FCC on Restoring Internet Freedom

House Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) and Communications Subcommittee Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) led a letter signed by over 100 Republican Reps to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on the upcoming vote restoring Internet freedom. The letter reads: “We write today in support of the Federal Communications Commission’s plan to restore Internet freedom by reversing the prior Commission’s decision to regulate broadband Internet service under Title II of the Communications Act, a statutory scheme created for the monopoly telephone carriers of a bygone era. This proposal is a major step forward in the effort to clear the way for the substantial investment necessary to advance our Internet architecture for the next generation and close the digital divide. When its effects are fully realized, more Americans than ever will experience the benefits of telemedicine, distance learning, streaming video, and future innovations made possible by broadband.”

Rep. McNerney Denied Request to Address FCC Open Meeting

Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09) submitted a formal request to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai, asking to address the full Commission at tomorrow’s open meeting. While outside entities have previously been given the opportunity to speak at these meetings – which are open to the public – Chairman Pai has disregarded this precedent and denied the Congressman’s request. [more at the link below]

18 attorneys general ask the FCC to delay net neutrality repeal vote

In a letter sent to the Federal Communications Commission , 18 attorneys general from around the country called on the agency to delay the Dec 14 vote on a repeal of net neutrality protections. The 11th-hour letter, sent by the Oregon attorney general and signed by representatives of 17 states and DC, follows a high-profile press conference from the New York attorney general, who said the FCC had declined to investigate net neutrality comments posted under stolen identities. “As state Attorneys General, many of our offices have received complaints from consumers indicating their distress over their names being used in such a manner,” the attorneys general write. “While we will investigate these consumer complaints through our normal processes, we urge the Commission to take immediate action and to cooperate with law enforcement investigations.” The letter requests an “immediate delay” so investigations can be conducted. “While not all of us may agree on any given policy, we stand together today as prosecutors of fraud and as defenders of the democratic process,” the letter concludes. “It is essential that the Commission gets a full and accurate picture of how changes to net neutrality will affect the everyday lives of Americans before they can act on such sweeping policy changes.”

via Vox

It's Super Hard to Find Humans in the FCC's Net Neutrality Comments

The Federal Communications Commissions' public comment period on its plans to repeal net neutrality protections was bombarded with bots, memes, and input from people who don't actually exist. So, with the FCC declining to investigate its own comments, we decided to undertake an analysis of our own. We confirmed six bots and 11 form letters.

via Wired

Commissioner Rosenworcel Statement on Widespread Identity Theft in FCC Record

Upon receipt of a letter from New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman stating that it now appears that two million Americans’ identities may have been misused in the Federal Communications Commission record and a separate letter from 18 Attorneys General calling on the FCC to delay its net neutrality vote because of its “tainted” record, FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel released the following statement: “This is crazy. Two million people have had their identities stolen in an effort to corrupt our public record. Nineteen Attorneys General from across the country have asked us to delay this vote so they can investigate. And yet, in less than 24 hours we are scheduled to vote on wiping out our net neutrality protections. We should not vote on any item that is based on this corrupt record. I call on my colleagues to delay this vote so we can get to the bottom of this mess.”

FCC's own chief technology officer warned about net neutrality repeal

The Federal Communications Commission's own chief technology officer expressed concern Dec 13 about FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's plan to repeal the network neutrality rules, saying it could lead to practices that are "not in the public interest." In an internal e-mail to all of the FCC commissioner offices, CTO Eric Burger, who was appointed by Pai in October, said the No. 1 issue with the repeal is concern that internet service providers will block or throttle specific websites, according to FCC sources who viewed the message.  "Unfortunately, I realize we do not address that at all," Burger said in the e-mail. "If the ISP is transparent about blocking legal content, there is nothing the [Federal Trade Commission] can do about it unless the FTC determines it was done for anti-competitive reasons. Allowing such blocking is not in the public interest." The warning challenges the FCC's official line on the planned repeal of the net neutrality rules, set for a vote Dec 14. While the agency is poised to scrap the rules preventing internet providers like Comcast and Verizon from blocking or throttling web traffic, the FCC's Republican majority argues consumers won't see a difference online. An FCC official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the internal deliberations, said Burger's concerns have been addressed since his message the morning of Dec 13. The discussion, the official said, is part of the normal back-and-forth process of editing an FCC order.  The official said that some clarifying language was added to the order and that Burger replied the afternoon of Dec 13 to say his concerns were "fully addressed." The official also noted that the CTO was focused on one section of the order and not the part that dealt with the rules. Burger referred a request for comment to the FCC's media relations office.

INCOMPAS to FCC: Delay Vote, Show Item Edits

INCOMPAS is calling on Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to pull the plug on the Dec. 14 net neutrality rule rollback vote after Politico reported that the FCC's CTO, Eric Burger, had issues with it. INCOMPAS members include Amazon, Google, Twitter and Facebook. According to the story, CTO Eric Burger said allowing ISPs to block certain Web sites, as the rule rollback would allow so long as ISPs disclosed it and the Federal Trade Commission did not conclude it was anticompetitive, was not in the public interest. “The discussion is a normal part of the process with meeting items," said Burger. "After I reviewed the relevant sections, I am satisfied the order addressed my question and we also added clarifying language to make the issue clear. I fully support the item.” INCOMPAS was not assuaged: "INCOMPAS, [which] raised the very same, exact concerns in a letter to the FCC, is asking the FCC to delay the vote and release the redline changes to the Order for the public to see."

FCC Chairman Pai Ajit Pai Nears His Biggest Win With Net Neutrality Repeal

The Federal Communications Commission is expected to vote on Dec 14 to dismantle the so-called net neutrality rules, which prohibit internet service providers from blocking or charging websites for higher quality delivery to consumers. It would also dial back the government’s stance that broadband should be regulated like a utility. The three Republican commissioners, including Chairman Pai, have said they will vote for the proposal, which would secure a majority over the two Democratic commissioners. Passing the plan would be the biggest victory in Pai’s eventful 11-month tenure as the head of the FCC, helping secure his reputation as one of the most effective chairmen in decades. Under his leadership, the agency has already opened the door for more media mergers, curtailed a high-speed internet program for low-income families and allowed broadband providers to raise rates to business customers. All of this activity has made Chairman Pai, 44, a former lawyer for Verizon and a longtime government bureaucrat, the target of many angry protests. But Pai’s changes have also won him political accolades and distinction as a high achiever in the Trump administration’s rush to shed regulations. The effects of his decisions have rippled across the industries Chairman Pai oversees. “In every way,” said Mark Cooper, a staff member of Consumer Federation of America, “his decisions are bad for consumers and good for big corporations.”

Net neutrality regulations perfectly fit the FCC's statutory intent

[Commentary] Is it conceivable that Congress created the Federal Communications Commission so that it could identify a risk and then decide that it should take no action to constrain it? The Restoring Internet Freedom order suggests that the FCC doesn’t approve of blocking, but insists that the FCC will do nothing about it if it takes place. The Federal Trade Commission is a great antitrust and consumer-protection agency and its work is vitally important. But it was not designed to be an expert in the way that communications networks operate. For example, suppose a consumer says that a website has been blocked, but the broadband provider says there were just technical problems. Under the draft order, the technologists and engineers and experienced lawyers and the policy advisors who deal with the broad jurisdiction of the FCC, much less the commissioners themselves, would no longer be decisionmakers. The FTC, which has been prohibited from working on common-carrier issues in telecommunications, would have to solve the puzzle. Why bench the experts? The simple fact is that Congress created the FCC as an expert agency, but now the FCC seems poised to say that it won’t exercise its expertise. It is unlikely the FCC will be able to convince a court of appeals that it is free to stop doing its job where there is, as the draft order admits and as the facts clearly demonstrate, an acknowledged risk of harm to consumers and competition. [Jonathan Sallet is a senior fellow at the nonprofit Benton Foundation. He served previously as general counsel at the FCC, where he helped to write the 2015 net neutrality rules and subsequently defended the rules in court.]

No, the Draft Net Neutrality Repeal Does Not “Restore Us To 2014” — And 2014 Wasn’t Exactly Awesome Anyway.

[Commentary] A comparison of the regulatory regime in place on January 17, 2014 (the day after Verizon v. FCC) and the anticipated regulatory regime as it will exist on January 17, 2018, and the Top 3 Ways They Are Totally And Completely Different In Ways That Make Consumers Worse Off. Even if we take the most literal and favorable interpretation of “we are just rolling things back to what they were before 2015” to mean “specifically, we are setting the regulatory way back machine to that magic day of January 17, 2014, the day after the D.C. Circuit in Verizon v. FCCstruck down the FCC’s non-discrimination rule but not the transparency rule,” this statement is still false to fact in 3 fairly important ways:

  1. The FCC Always Asserted It Had Authority To Protect Consumers Online and Present Blocking of Content, Even When It Did Not Have Rules In Place. Pai Is The First FCC Chariman Ever To Reverse This Bipartisan Consensus.
  2. Since The FCC Classified Broadband As An “Information Service” In 2002, Every FCC Chairman – Republican and Democratic – Has Stated That The FCC Will Enforce Consumer Protection Aganst Broadband Providers. The PAI Order Explicitly Reverses This 15 Year Bipartisan Consensus.
  3. There Was Absolutely No FCC Preemption of State Law With Respect To Broadband On January 17, 2014. On January 17, 2018, The FCC Will Preempt Any State Law “Inconsistent” With the “Deregulatory Policies” The FCC Adopts in The Order.

As Millions of Americans Spent Time Commenting on Net Neutrality, Internet Providers Spent $1.12 For Each Comment

Three of the largest internet service providers and their trade association have spent at least $26.3 million on lobbying the federal government since April 1 -- about $1.12 for every public comment filed with the government on a repeal of net neutrality rules. The battle over net neutrality shapes up as another defeat for Americans, who have been outmuscled by corporate money in the nation's capital on issues ranging from climate change to Ajit Pai, the former Verizon lawyer-turned-FCC head, announced that the commission would vote on a proposal to eliminate net neutrality on Dec 14. Between 2008 and early 2017, the three big internet providers -- Verizon, Comcast and AT&T -- and their trade organization, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, had spent $572 million lobbying federal lawmakers on subjects that include net neutrality. Through early July, about 5.6 million public comments had been registered with the FCC.

NHMC Will Challenge the FCC’s Repeal of Net Neutrality Rules That Protect Latinos’ Rights to Speak and Be Heard Online

The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) is prepared to seek judicial review of the Federal Communications Commission’s Network Neutrality repeal to ensure that Latinos and other marginalized communities continue to have access to an open Internet. Carmen Scurato, vice president of policy and general counsel said: “Chairman Pai’s repeal of Net Neutrality rules is a frontal attack on Latinos and other communities of color, who already face substantial barriers in getting online, staying online, and having high quality Internet. With its repeal of Net Neutrality, the FCC will effectively erect additional barriers which will impact our ability to speak and be heard online. By handing over control of the Internet to powerful corporations, this Trump FCC will stymie our voices and our opportunities. We also have uncovered evidence that the Net Neutrality consumer protections set in place by the FCC in 2015 allowed consumers to reach out to the agency which helped facilitate responses and resolutions. Now the FCC is set to remove those protections without even taking a look at the over 50,000 Net Neutrality complaints filed by consumers over the last two years. This is a fatal error in the process, and the FCC’s lack of acknowledgement or analysis of these complaints leaves a gaping hole in the record. NHMC will challenge the FCC’s repeal in court and continue to fight for Latinos and people of color for whom access to an open Internet is a basic human right.”

Here's What Congress Needs to Do If the FCC Kills Net Neutrality

There’s still a small chance we could stop the upcoming network neutrality vote — but if we lose the rules, what’s next? First of all, Free Press will take the Federal Communications Commission to court. Suing the FCC poses the best chance for us to win back strong Title II protections. While our legal team battles in the courts, we need to urge our champions in Congress to pass a “resolution of disapproval” to overturn the FCC’s decision. Using the Congressional Review Act (CRA), Congress can pass a resolution that would nullify the FCC’s planned repeal of the Net Neutrality rules. You may remember the CRA from last spring, when privacy opponents used it to roll back the Obama-era FCC’s strong broadband-privacy rules. If we lose Net Neutrality, we need to turn the tables. Longtime Net Neutrality supporters Sen Ed Markey (D-MA) and House Communications Subcommittee Ranking Member Mike Doyle (D-PA) have already gotten the ball rolling, promising to introduce a resolution of disapproval as soon as FCC Chairman Ajit Pai moves forward with his plans to end the open internet.

Net neutrality keeps the Web from running like an airport security line. And it might go away.

Let’s talk about the end of net neutrality in terms of a hellscape everyone knows: airport security lines. Imagine Verizon and Comcast are running the security lines—and websites and services are the ones trying to get through. With net neutrality, all those sites pass through at the same speed. But of course, airport security these days is all about a pecking order. There’s regular security and there’s the faster “TSA Pre” line. Then at many airports, if you pay extra there’s a “Clear” line, a “priority” line for pilots and first-class passengers, and even a super-fast celebrity line that comes with organic seaweed snacks (really). Without the neutrality rules, Internet providers could set up their own fast lanes—meaning certain websites could buy first-class treatment, while others are stuck in cattle class. Providers could sell Internet service in packages, like cable-TV bundles. Service providers would also have the right to set up their own no-fly lists, blocking certain websites that they don’t like or compete with their own business.  For you, certain websites could slow to a crawl. Or perhaps they wouldn’t show up at all. The problem isn’t what happens to Silicon Valley companies who can afford special treatment. The deepest impact will be invisible: small businesses stuck in the slow lane. We could lose what what makes the Internet so useful in the first place. Without net neutrality, many new ideas just won’t ever take flight.

Net neutrality: Could anything stop the repeal of the Open Internet regulations?

Technically, Congress can take no action preventing the Federal Communications Commission from voting on Dec 14. Instead, it can only ask the agency to postpone or cancel the vote, and then try to pass a law governing Internet access.

Cable and broadcast news still largely ignoring planned net neutrality repeal

  • Since November 28, cable news has given net neutrality minimal coverage: approximately four minutes each on CNN and Fox News and more than eight minutes on MSNBC.
  • Since November 28, broadcast news networks have given net neutrality minimal coverage on their morning and evening news programs and Sunday political talk shows: more than eight minutes on NBC and a little more than two minutes on CBS. ABC did not cover net neutrality in this time period.
  • Since November 20 when news first broke on the upcoming Federal Communications Commission (FCC) vote on a proposal to dismantle net neutrality regulations, the six networks have devoted a combined one hour and 39 minutes to the story, with MSNBC leading in coverage with nearly 55 minutes.

ISPs Back Legislative Limitation on Paid Prioritization

Michael Powell, president of NCTA – The Internet & Television Association; Meredith Attwell Baker, president of CTIA; and Jonathan Spalter, president, USTelecom, all members of the Broadband for America coalition, pledged, once again, not to block or throttle content. They also said they would support legislation that would prevent a paid prioritization regime where ISPs engineered so-called slow lanes and charged a toll to get on the fast lane. Powell, a former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, said they were ready for Congress to step in with rules, including prohibiting what he suggested would be unreasonable paid prioritization. [more at the link below]

Netflix Backs Away From Fight Over Internet Rules Now That Traffic is Flowing

Netflix helped spark the debate over net neutrality three years ago by raising concerns about how its internet traffic was being handled. But as the US government prepares to repeal the rules, the video giant has been less vocal on a key issue. That is because its concerns over so-called interconnections—the places where web traffic is passed from one company to the other—have largely been addressed by commercial deals. And some telecom and other companies that were calling for more government oversight of these links have stepped back from the discussion. Netflix, after serving as the standard-bearer for the FCC’s stronger rules to protect web companies from unfair treatment by carriers, says it is less at risk now that it is big enough to strike favorable deals with telecom companies. The company did just that, reaching several deals in recent years to pay broadband providers for ample bandwidth into their networks. “Where net neutrality is really important is the Netflix of 10 years ago,” Chief Executive Reed Hastings said. “It’s not our primary battle at this point.” Netflix has since eclipsed many of the broadband providers it once battled. Its domestic subscriber based has doubled over the past four years to 53 million, while its market value quadrupled to about $80 billion.

Europe Has a Message for Americans on Net Neutrality

[Commentary] As the chairman of both France’s regulatory agency for telecommunications and the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications, or BEREC, I believe it is my duty to share some evidence about net neutrality protections from Europe. Net neutrality rules are not deterring telecommunications and cable companies from investing in networks. Net neutrality is not about preserving internet as it is. It is about keeping doors open to reshuffle it again and again. Net neutrality is a worldwide responsibility for democracies. [Sébastien Soriano is the chairman of ARCEP, the French national regulatory authority for telecommunications. He is also the chairman of the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications.]

via Slate
More Internet/Broadband

AT&T begins testing high-speed internet over power lines

AT&T has started trials in Georgia state and a non-US location to deliver high-speed internet over power lines, marking its latest push to offer faster broadband service to more customers. “We think this product is eventually one that could actually serve anywhere near a power line,” said Marachel Knight, AT&T’s senior vice president of wireless network architecture and design. She added that AT&T chose an international trial location in part because the market opportunity extends beyond the United States. AT&T said it had no timeline for commercial deployment and that it would look to expand trials as it develops the technology. “Potentially, it can be a really big deal,” said Roger Entner, an analyst at Recon Analytics. “You need the power company to play ball with you. That’s the downside.”

Ookla Report: World's Internet Speeds Increased More Than 30% in 2017

With a mean global speed of 20.28 Mbps, mobile downloads increased 30.1% over the last 12 months and mobile uploads increased 38.9%. A global average of 40.11 Mbps makes fixed broadband downloads 97.8% faster than mobile and this speed increased 31.6% during the same period. Uploads over fixed broadband showed the smallest increase of 25.9%.  Most Improved Countries: It was a good year for Laotian mobile speeds. With a 249.5% jump in mobile download speeds, Laos showed the largest improvement in the world. Vietnam came in second with an increase of 188.7% and Trinidad and Tobago was third at 133.1%. All of the countries listed on the table below are to be commended for making mobile internet faster. 

via Ookla

Home Internet Service Penetration Plateaus: LRG

Shoring up the notion that home internet service penetration is plateauing, about 84% of US homes now get that service, up 1% from 2012’s levels, and up from 74% in 2007, Leichtman Research Group found in a new broadband-focused study. However, “broadband”-class service (i.e., non dial-up) now accounts for 98% of homes with internet service at home, and 82% of all homes get a broadband internet service – that’s up from 76% in 2012, and 53% in 2007. Additionally, some 75% of adults access the internet on a smartphone, up from 44% in 2012, LRG found in the study – Broadband Internet in the U.S. 2017, which was based on a telephone survey of 1,203 U.S. homes. It is LRG’s 15th annual study on the topic. Among other findings, LRG said 16% of homes only get internet service at home, down from 41% in 2012. And some 91% of all homes access the internet either at home and/or on a smartphone, up from 85% in 2012.


Record number of journalists jailed as Turkey, China, Egypt pay scant price for repression

For the second year in a row, the number of journalists imprisoned for their work hit a historical high, as the U.S. and other Western powers failed to pressure the world’s worst jailers--Turkey, China, and Egypt--into improving the bleak climate for press freedom.

News media offers consistently warped portrayals of black families, study finds


There’s a Gender Gap in Internet Usage. Closing It Would Open Up Opportunities for Everyone

[Commentary] We have all heard about a gap when it comes to participation of women in the tech industry. But the gender gap problem doesn’t stop there. There’s also a shortage of women using some of the industry’s products. The International Telecommunications Union reports that the proportion of women using the internet is 12% lower than the proportion of men; this gender gap widens to 32.9% in the least developed countries. What this speaks to is an opportunity for the tech industry — both to address internal diversity issues and to address how companies think about the products they create around the world.

[Bhaskar Chakravorti is the Senior Associate Dean of International Business & Finance at The Fletcher School, Tufts University]

Government IT

White House Releases Final Tech Modernization Plan (nextgov)

Chairman Pai Letter to USAC Board on Information Technology and Security

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai asked the Universal Service Administrative Company Board of Directors to redouble its efforts at oversight -- specifically in the areas of information technology and security. He said USAC's technology problems are why the FCC does not have a fully functional E-Rate Productivity Center or a Lifeline National Verifier.

Government and Communications
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Benton (www.benton.org) provides the only free, reliable, and non-partisan daily digest that curates and distributes news related to universal broadband, while connecting communications, democracy, and public interest issues. Posted Monday through Friday, this service provides updates on important industry developments, policy issues, and other related news events. While the summaries are factually accurate, their sometimes informal tone may not always represent the tone of the original articles. Headlines are compiled by Kevin Taglang (headlines AT benton DOT org) and Robbie McBeath (rmcbeath AT benton DOT org) -- we welcome your comments.

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