Benton Foundation

Protect Privacy in Maine

I worked on the Federal Communications Commission’s 2016 Broadband Privacy Rules, upon which L.D. 946, An Act to Protect Privacy of Online Customer Personal Information, is based. I urge the Joint Committee and the legislature to pass L.D. 946 without delay. It is common sense legislation that would require broadband Internet access providers operating in the state to protect the privacy of their customers. L.D. 946 would ensure that broadband customers have meaningful choice, greater transparency and strong security protections for their personal information collected by ISPs.

Net Neutrality Bill Clears House of Representatives for the First Time Ever

On April 10, 2019, in a 232-to-190 vote divided along party lines, the House of Representatives voted to approve the Save the Internet Act (HR 1644). In doing so, Democrats made good on a promise that became a rallying cry in many progressive circles during the 2018 election: restore net neutrality.

Getting the E-Rate to Deliver the High-Speed Broadband Connections Schoolchildren Need

With enormous progress being made by the Federal Communications Commission’s 2014 E-Rate modernization, it became clear that some schools were nonetheless being left behind.  As a result, Benton commissioned Improving the Administration of E-Rate: Ensuring All Schoolchildren Get the High-Speed Broadband Connections They Need to help the FCC make good on the 2014 reforms -- and ensure that every student, regardless of income or geography, had access to the same digital learning opportunities.

Improving the Administration of E-Rate: Ensuring All Schoolchildren Get the High-Speed Broadband Connections They Need

A white paper written by Jonathan Sallet on behalf of Benton Foundation & EducationSuperHighway offering tangible steps that the Federal Communications Commission should take to instruct the Universal Service Administrative Company on how best to speed the approval of E-Rate projects that meet the legal requirements of the Telecommunications Act. The issues may seem arcane, bureaucratic, and/or legalistic. But they are important for two interlocking reasons.

Simons Says: The FTC Can Handle Net Neutrality

On March 26, 2019, Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joe Simons spoke before the Free State Foundation about how the FTC’s two missions -- competition and consumer protection -- apply to the internet ecosystem.

Federal Broadband Policy Update

Significant broadband policy continues to take shape: the Save the Internet Act advanced to the full House Committee on Energy & Commerce, the Federal Trade Commission launched a study into the privacy practices of internet service providers, and the Federal Communications Commission circulated a proposal to cap the Universal Service Fund. We take a look at what you may have missed this week.

Reaction to FCC Proposal to Cap USF

Washington policymakers and advocates are reacting to news that the Federal Communications Commission will propose to cap the Universal Service Fund.

FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks took to Twitter: "How can we talk about capping our Universal Service programs at a time when the Commission doesn’t seem to have a good handle on who currently has broadband and who does not?" 

Innovators in Digital Inclusion: E2D

In this series, the Benton Foundation and the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) explore the origins, strategies, challenges and funding mechanisms for successful digital inclusion organizations. In this article, we examine E2D, also known as Eliminate the Digital Divide -- a nonprofit in Charlotte (NC) that began with a focus on closing the homework gap. The mission of E2D is to ensure that all students have affordable access to essential at-home technology and digital literacy training to support academic success and prepare students for college, careers, and beyond.

For Tacoma, Broadband Competition is Just a Click! Away

The City of Tacoma (WA) is engaged in an effort to ensure that our public broadband network, Click!, continues to support our community well for decades to come. My colleagues and I recognize that we, like all American cities, stand on the front lines of efforts to achieve equity and opportunity. And, as broadband internet becomes a more critical foundational element of our economy and a vital tool for democratic engagement, our efforts must extend to ensuring it is deployed in a way that supports our efforts.

Three Important Points on Broadband Competition

Benton Foundation Senior Fellow Jonathan Sallet's remarks at the Federal Trade Commission's hearing on Consumer Protection Issues in US Broadband Markets:

As the Federal Trade Commission considers the actions it can take to further broadband competition, I believe that it should consider three important points: