Internet/Broadband

Coverage of how Internet service is deployed, used and regulated.

Was the 1996 Telecommunications Act successful in promoting competition?

Location:
Brookings, 1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC, 20036, United States
Recommendation:
3

Evaluating legislative success is more art than science. Today our nation commemorates the 20th anniversary of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 becoming law, and there is now a sufficient period to evaluate whether the act has achieved what it was intended to accomplish. One of the clear legislative targets was to have competition serve as a force for broadband network development nationwide.

Telecom Act at 20: Assessing the Rewrite

Location:
USA, United States
Recommendation:
2

eb 8 marks the 20th anniversary of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which updated the Communications Act of 1934 let cable into the phone business and phones into cable. A polling of some policymakers and watchers show their views on the impact of the principally deregulatory rule rewrite.

Congress Starts to Get Serious About Online Privacy

Location:
New York Times, 620 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY, 10018, United States
Recommendation:
3

Congress could soon vote on a bill that would require law enforcement agencies to get a search warrant from a judge to obtain e-mails, photographs and other documents Americans have stored online. This important legislation would update the law to reflect how people use the Internet today.

Working for a Safer Online Environment for Young People

Location:
International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Place des Nations, Geneva, 1202, Switzerland
Recommendation:
1

On 9 February 2016, over 100 countries will celebrate Safer Internet Day #SID2016 to encourage the safe and responsible use of online technology, particularly among children and young people.

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Happy 20th Anniversary, Telecommunications Act: A Day to Recommit to Universal Broadband Access

Location:
Benton Foundation, 1560 Sherman Ave, Evanston, IL, 60201, United States
Recommendation:
2

Some people deride the 1996 Act for not mentioning “the Internet” by name, but let’s not forget how the legislation laid out a new regulatory landscape for the Digital Age. Most importantly, Congress directed the Federal Communications Commission to preserve and advance the core American value that everyone must have access to “advanced communications services”—what you and I now call broadband—at affordable prices. The bipartisan Act enshrined “universal service,” even while relying more on competition in the telecommunications marketplace.

20th Anniversary of the 1996 Telecom Act: Let’s get back on track.

Location:
American Enterprise Institute (AEI), 1150 Seventeenth Street, Washington, DC, 20036, United States
Recommendation:
1

In honor of its anniversary, let’s take stock of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, how the communications ecosystem has performed in its wake, and whether the Federal Communications Commission has done its job to uphold it.

Bill Clinton’s telecom law: Twenty years later

Location:
Washington, DC, United States
Recommendation:
2

Washington’s tech policy wonks are celebrating an anniversary this week: 20 years ago, President Bill Clinton signed the 1996 Telecommunications Act into law at the Library of Congress.

Battle for network neutrality isn't over

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

If you thought the fight over net neutrality ended when the Federal Communications Commission issued its strong new "Open Internet" rules, think again.

UK housebuilders and BT agree on broadband-ready new homes

Location:
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Recommendation:
3

Under a government-led agreement, more than half of all new-build properties in the UK are expected to be connected to fibre broadband free of charge to developers, with the remainder of schemes to be supplied as part of a co-funded initiative.

The new job search

Location:
USA, United States
Recommendation:
1

Some new tools make the process of finding a job easier than scouring classified ads and knocking on doors.

India blocks Facebook Free Basics internet scheme

Location:
Telecoms Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Jawaharlal Nehru Marg, New Delhi, 110 002, India
Recommendation:
4

India's telecoms regulator has blocked Facebook's Free Basics internet service as part of a ruling in favour of network neutrality.

Verizon just blatantly betrayed net neutrality by excluding its video app from data caps

Location:
Verizon Communications, 140 West St, New York, NY, 10007, United States
Recommendation:
3

The Federal Communications Commission's network neutrality rules, passed in 2015, explicitly ban Internet providers from a number of discriminatory measures like throttling and blocking, but there's evidently a huge loophole that every major wireless carrier in the US has rushed to exploit.

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Happy 20th Anniversary, Telecommunications Act

I love anniversaries. They give us a chance to review where we’ve been – and recommit to our goals. Today is one of those days. After many, many years of debate about how to best modernize U.S. telecommunications law, on February 8, 1996, President Bill Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act of 1996 into law at the Library of Congress. The venue was no accident: it was symbolic of the information, knowledge and learning that the Act would help extend throughout the country.

Chairmen Upton and Walden Press FCC on Lack of Consistent Reporting on Broadband Competition

Location:
House Commerce Committee, Independence Avenue and South Capitol Street 2123 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC, United States
Recommendation:
2

House Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) wrote to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler concerned with the commission’s reporting on broadband deployment, video competition, and mobile wireless competition.

FCC Chairman Wheeler Response to Senators Regarding Municipal Broadband

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

In a letter to eight Republican senators, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler tried to ease concerns about the FCC’s support for municipal broadband networks.

One More Tool to Help Bring Broadband to Rural America

Location:
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), 1400 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC, 20250-0002, United States
Recommendation:
2

“What can I do to bring broadband to my rural community?” That’s a question a lot of people from rural communities are asking, and it’s good to know that now there is one more way to help those without a rural broadband plan to bring high-speed internet service to their homes and businesses.

It’s not Cyberspace anymore.

Location:
Microsoft Research Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Recommendation:
2

Faced with a humanitarian crises and widespread anxieties about inequality, much of civil society responded to tech enthusiasm by asking if technology will destabilize labor and economic well-being. A fair question. The only problem is that no one knows.

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Updates on Broadband Subsidies, and a New Safe Harbor Deal

Robbie’s Round-Up for the week of February 1-5, 2016
Progress was made in regards to broadband subsidies for those with low income. Highlights include a New America Event discussing the report "Opportunity for All?" and Google announcing a Google Fiber initiative to connect those with low income in public housing.
Also this week, a new U.S.-E.U. safe harbor deal.

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Data Caps and Vulnerable Populations

Location:
Benton Foundation, 1560 Sherman Ave, Evanston, IL, 60201, United States
Recommendation:
2

Today, most Internet service providers (ISPs) have implemented some form of a data cap. These caps limit the amount of access a consumer has to data before they are charged surplus fees or cut off from the network. Although there is little clarity as to why such caps are necessary, their unintended consequences could be disastrous for vulnerable populations. There are many well-documented economic and competitive concerns about data caps. Caps are not popular with consumers, nor are they an effective means of managing network congestion. In fact, when one Comcast engineer was asked why the company’s caps had been set at current levels he responded that he had “no idea,” as he was involved only in the technological aspects of the company, not “business policy.” This open admission that there is no technological necessity for data caps goes to show that ISPs’ decisions to implement caps is primarily driven by profit.

The FCC Broadband Report You Didn't Hear About

Location:
National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), 25 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, 20001-1413, United States
Recommendation:
2

If you follow broadband policy, you probably know that the Federal Communications Commission recently released its annual Broadband Progress Report (often referred to as the Section 706 Report) in which it concludes (erroneously) that broadband is not being deployed in a reasonable and timely manner. But did you hear about the other broadband report issued by the FCC during the week of Jan 25, the one demonstrating how deployment and performance of broadband in the United States is far outpacing European broadband? Didn’t think so.

FCC Chairman Wheeler on Digital Equity

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
3

The title of the Sesame Workshop report gets it exactly right: “Opportunity for All.” It reminds us that the struggle for digital equity is part of the struggle to uphold our most fundamental American values. We can do better. We must do better.

“AT&T is the villain” in city broadband fight, says TN State Sen

Location:
Tennessee State Capitol, 600 Charlotte Avenue, Nashville, TN, 37243, United States
Recommendation:
2

A Republican state senator in Tennessee is fed up with AT&T and other private Internet service providers that are trying to stop the spread of municipal broadband.

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Data Caps and Vulnerable Populations

Today, most Internet service providers have implemented some form of a data cap. These caps limit the amount of access a consumer has to data before they are charged surplus fees or cut off from the network. Although there is little clarity as to why such caps are necessary, their unintended consequences could be disastrous for vulnerable populations. There are many well-documented economic and competitive concerns about data caps. Caps are not popular with consumers, nor are they an effective means of managing network congestion. In fact, when one Comcast engineer was asked why the company’s caps had been set at current levels he responded that he had “no idea,” as he was involved only in the technological aspects of the company, not “business policy.” This open admission that there is no technological necessity for data caps goes to show that ISPs’ decisions to implement caps is primarily driven by profit.

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The Scariest Cable Merger Nobody In Washington Is Talking About

When Comcast tried to merge with Time Warner Cable last year, reaction was swift and negative. Not many people liked the idea of America’s largest and least loved cable company getting any bigger; the deal collapsed after hundreds of thousands of Americans spoke out and federal regulators signaled that they would not let it go forward. Big Cable should have gotten the message. But here we are just a year later with a new cable mega-merger in the works. This time, Charter Communications wants to snatch up Time Warner Cable along with Bright House Networks.

What’s Missing in the Encryption, Privacy and Security Debate

Location:
Keeper Security, 850 W Jackson, Chicago, IL, 60607, United States
Recommendation:
1

Currently, there is a heated ongoing debate among politicians, government agencies and technology providers regarding the use of encryption and whether law enforcement agencies should have a so-called backdoor into encrypted devices in order to track down and prosecute criminals and terrorists. As we continues to grapple with these issues, there are four key considerations surrounding the secure design of mobile devices we should keep in mind in both a government and private sector context.

It's the Internet, Stupid

Location:
Free Press (DC), 501 Third Street NW, Washington, DC, 20001, United States
Recommendation:
2

The good news is that presidential candidates are starting to talk about Internet issues. The bad news is that presidential candidates are starting to talk about Internet issues.

Additional Coordination and Performance Measurement Needed for High-Speed Internet Access Programs on Tribal Lands

Location:
Government Accountability Office (GAO), 441 G St., NW, Washington, DC, 20548, United States
Recommendation:
2

Although all 21 tribes the Government Accountability Office interviewed have some access to high-speed Internet, tribes and providers GAO interviewed cited barriers to ...

Google’s Free Gigabit Internet for Public Housing Is No Replacement for Reform

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

A huge corporation helping to fix America’s ailing public housing infrastructure raises some important questions. Most importantly: is it even a private company’s job to fix what is a national problem of public concern?

E-mail privacy legislation moving forward in House

Location:
House Judiciary Committee, Independence Avenue and South Capitol Street Rayburn House Office Building -- 2141, Washington, DC, United States
Recommendation:
1

The House Judiciary Committee will vote in March on e-mail privacy legislation that has failed to move despite widespread support in recent years.

Senators blast Comcast, other cable firms for “unfair billing practices”

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

Six Democratic Senators criticized Comcast and other TV and broadband providers for charging erroneous fees, such as cable modem rental fees billed to customers who bought their own modems. The Sens have written a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler asking the commission to "stop unfair billing practices."

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