Benton Foundation

What To Expect When You're Expecting an Antitrust Trial

One of the most important antitrust cases in recent decades, the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) move to block AT&T from acquiring Time Warner, goes to trial in Washington, DC, on March 19. The significance of the case goes well beyond its impact on this huge transaction and on future media mergers.

The Silence of the Bought

[Commentary] The big Internet service provider gate-keepers may have bought the silence of Congress, but they cannot buy the silence of the people. We know there is overwhelming popular support for an open internet with strong net neutrality rules.  But we have to demonstrate this support and the power behind it.  We must make our voices heard.  Contacting Congress now on the CRA is vital—your Senators, of course, but your House members, too.  Tell them your vote in the next election depends on their vote now to restore net neutrality. 

Louis Brandeis: A Man for This Season

In the early years of the 20th Century, Louis Brandeis was America’s most influential advocate for antitrust enforcement but his contributions to antitrust have been much debated ever since.

Report Reveals Surprising Data About Mobile Broadband Usage in Schools

A recent Mobile Beacon report analyzing mobile broadband usage by non-profit organizations, including schools, finds that schools utilizing Mobile Beacon’s 4G LTE internet service indicate that the ability to supplement and/or extend existing school networks is the greatest benefit of the service. While schools reported that the two main drivers for acquiring Mobile Beacon’s mobile broadband services are the desire for mobile connectivity (41%) and to save money on internet access (28%), they reported that the main benefits of using the services were 1) the ability to supplement/extend an e

Millions Could Lose Service if FCC 'Reforms' Lifeline Program

[Editorial] The Benton Foundation has joined literally hundreds of organizations that are asking the Federal Communications Commission to ensure Lifeline voice and broadband service for low-income households, with minimal disruption to the people who depend on the program for a consistent connection to the world via their telephone or internet connection. We're asking that the FCC:

Setting the Bar for Public Funding: Aiming Higher with the Connect America Fund

[Commentary] How can we improve the biggest tool to closing the digital divide in the Federal Communications Commission’s toolbox: the Connect America Fund. Back in 2011, the FCC adopted a performance goal for the Connect America Fund of ensuring universal access to fixed broadband and concluded it would measure progress towards this outcome based on the number of newly served locations — but it did not articulate any concrete vision for when this universal service goal might be achieved.

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Year One: Trump vs The Free Press

January 20, 2018 marks the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump’s inauguration. Last week, we documented the Federal Communications Commission’s policy priorities of the past year. This week, we look at President Trump’s war with the press. One of the greatest concerns going into the Trump Presidency was how his Administration would interact with the press. Just eight days into the Trump administration, we published The First Casualty is the Truth: Trump's Running War With the Media, which described the first combative week of the President Trump-press relationship.

Disney to Buy Fox. Was The Repeal of Net Neutrality A Factor?

On the same day the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal its 2015 network neutrality rules, the Walt Disney Company announced a deal to buy most of 21st Century Fox. The all-stock transaction is valued at roughly $52.4 billion. If approved, Disney would go from being “a juggernaut to being a megajuggernaut.” Disney hopes the acquisition of Fox’s sports and entertainment content will give it new market power in the growing online distribution market (streaming services). The FCC’s move is not unrelated.

Digital Inclusion and Equity: Why Now

[Commentary] Why are we talking about digital inclusion and equity now in a way that is different from, say, eight years ago? The obvious answer – very different presidential administrations – only touches the surface. Consumers are adopting digital tools like never before and, in some segments of the U.S., we’ve reached a “tech abundance” threshold that is driving a bottom-up interest in digital inclusion in many communities. Tech abundance doesn’t mean that everyone in society has adopted digital tools.