National Broadband Plan

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The California Lifeline Reform Case Study – Overview

Location:
Access Humboldt, 1915 J Street, Eureka, CA, 95501, United States
Recommendation:
3

The Federal Communications Commission is seeking public input on a proposal to reform and modernize its Lifeline program. For 30 years, the Lifeline program has made basic telecommunications services more affordable for people with low incomes. Now, the FCC is considering updating the program to make access to broadband networks more affordable, too. Public comments in this proceeding are due on Monday, August 17; reply comments are due Tuesday, September 15. To help inform the FCC’s Lifeline proceeding, Benton Foundation is conducting a case study with Access Humboldt’s Broadband Policy Project that will highlight the California Lifeline reform experience - exploring issues raised, capturing lessons learned, and addressing important questions for the future of the Lifeline program. California is the only state that has a Lifeline program with greater support provided to low income households than the federal program. Why is California’s Lifeline program the most substantial state program? How did that happen? What has the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) learned? We’ll review the history and explore the issues in hopes that the FCC and other states can take some lessons from the California experience to help inform the “modernization” of Lifeline going forward.

What have we learned from Google Fiber?

Location:
USA, United States
Recommendation:
2

There is no question that Google Fiber is a seminal development in the broadband market. The question is what is the lesson for policy?

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US Addresses the Digital Divide Where it Lives

Location:
Durant, OK, United States
Recommendation:
3

The biggest news of the week was, of course, the historic accord reached by Iran and a group of six nations led by the United States to significantly limit Tehran’s nuclear ability for more than a decade in return for lifting international oil and financial sanctions. But there was big news in telecommunications, too, as President Barack Obama and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro announced ConnectHome, an initiative to extend affordable broadband access to families living in HUD-assisted housing. Through ConnectHome, Internet service providers, non-profits and the private sector will offer broadband access, technical training, digital literacy programs, and devices for residents in assisted housing units in 28 communities across the nation. Appearing at a school in Durant, Oklahoma, in the heart of the Choctaw Nation, where 32 percent of children live in poverty, President Obama said it is unacceptable for young people not to have access to the same technological resources in their homes that their wealthier counterparts do. Among them could be “the next Mark Zuckerberg, the next Bill Gates,” he said. “If we don’t get these young people the access to what they need to achieve their potential, then it’s our loss; it’s not just their loss.”

The Wait-for-Google-to-Do-It Strategy

Location:
USA, United States
Recommendation:
2

It’s too often said that some event “changed everything” in technology. But when it comes to the history of broadband in the United States, Google Fiber really did.

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FCC Moves Toward Making Broadband More Affordable Through Its Lifeline Program

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

On June 18, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission proposed to again reform modernize its Lifeline program, seeking public input on restructuring the program to better support 21st Century communications while building on existing reforms to continue strengthening protections against waste, fraud and abuse.

Lessons in Government Action in a Changing Landscape

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

We saw evidence of two rare government actions: a long debated issue that reaches a critical juncture that is resolved, and an action emanating from a small group charged with evaluating strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats related to a mission, and successfully building the path and political capitol for achieving the mission. We saw these rare actions with the Federal Communications Commission's reclassification decision coming more than a decade after the issue first gained prominence, and several events commemorating the fifth anniversary of the National Broadband Plan.

Levin: Broadband Opportunities Council Mission Consistent with National Broadband Plan

Location:
Brookings, 1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC, 20036, United States
Recommendation:
2

The mission of the Broadband Opportunities Council (BOC) is critical for the economic and social progress of this country. I believe it is consistent with the fundamental vision of the National Broadband Plan, which I would summarize as ubiquitous, affordable, abundant bandwidth, with all Americans online, and using that platform to better deliver public goods and services.

Can Lifeline close the digital divide?

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

The federal government has been offering subsidies to help the poor afford phone service since the court-ordered breakup of the Ma Bell system in the mid-1980s. Now the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission wants to give low-income Americans a new option by letting them use the Lifeline subsidy for high-speed Internet connections instead of a home phone line or a mobile phone account. The change is worth making.

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.

FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau Low-Income Broadband Pilot Program Staff Report

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

Participating carriers in the Federal Communications Commission’s Low-Income Broadband Pilot Program were required to collect and submit a large amount of anonymized data so that the FCC and others could use such information for their own studies and observations. The data collected during each project is being released with this Report to further enrich the public’s understanding of low-income broadband use. This Report highlights several important patterns in the data relevant to any consideration of Lifeline support for broadband.

Expanding the Economic and Innovation Opportunities of Spectrum Through Incentive Auctions

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

This guide is prepared in accordance with the requirements of Section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. It is intended to help small ...

Proceeds From Auctions Held by the Federal Communications Commission

Location:
Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Second and D Streets, SW Ford House Office Building 4th Floor, Washington, DC, 20515-6925, United States
Recommendation:
2

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the net proceeds of the Federal Communications Commission’s incentive auctions will probably be between $10 billion and $40 billion, with an expected value of $25 billion, the middle of that range.

Spectrum Auction Sellers Should Beware ‘Gifts’ from FCC

Location:
Georgetown University, 37th and O Streets NW, Washington, DC, 20057, United States

Over the next few years, the US government is scheduled to auction some of the most valuable airwaves, or spectrum, owned by television broadcasters to make way for more wireless and mobile services. This gift to America's future is courtesy of President Barack Obama, former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski and a penurious Congress who endorsed the plan in 2012 -- all, of course, to advance broadband and the public interest.

FCC Commissioner Clyburn at NTCA - The Rural Broadband Association Annual Legislative Conference

Location:
Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill -- Valley Forge Room, 400 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, 20001, United States
Recommendation:
3

Today, broadband is no longer a luxury but a necessity to find a job, monitor your healthcare, get an education, communicate with loved ones and participate in this society. The challenge, or should I say the goal, we face as a nation is how to ensure universal access to broadband comparable to the way we achieved universal access to telephone service.

Working Together to Close the Rural Digital Divide

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

Over the last few years, the FCC has made significant progress modernizing its universal service programs to make broadband available to all Americans. Importantly, the FCC in 2011 unanimously voted to transform the USF high-cost program for the large “price cap” carriers into the Connect America program, which supports rural broadband networks. This program is now moving into its second phase, in which $1.8 billion will soon be offered to expand broadband in price cap areas where deployment would not occur absent subsidies. At the same time, however, another part of the universal service program that provides $2 billion annually in support for smaller rural carriers -- called rate-of-return carriers -- requires modernization.

Happy 5th Anniversary, National Broadband Plan! Progress and New Questions in the Plan’s Review.

Location:
Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council, 3636 16th Street, N.W., Washington, DC, 20010, United States
Recommendation:
2

In March, the nation celebrated the fifth anniversary of the National Broadband Plan, a heralded assignment by the Federal Communications Commission to develop a comprehensive blueprint for technology advancement, broadband deployment, and broadband adoption.

Your smartphone’s future rests on this obscure but historic auction. And nobody’s sure it will even work.

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

The country's entire mobile future right now rests on broadcast television. Here's how.

FCC Grants First AWS-3 Licenses

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

The Federal Communications Commission has approved its first batch of wireless licenses from the AWS-3 auction, which drew close to $45 billion in bids and helped relieve the financial pressure on the broadcast incentive auction.

USF High-Cost Program: Best and Realistic Timelines

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

According to the Federal Communications Commission's most recent report, nearly 14 million Americans lack any access to fixed broadband. In an effort to remedy this, in 2011, the FCC established the Connect America Fund (CAF) within the USF high-cost program to provide federal universal service support to private carriers serving high-cost parts of the nation. While progress has been made to implement various parts, thanks to the great work of staff, there hasn't been a sense of urgency at the FCC due to a lack of energy and commitment to complete the hard tasks that remain. Sadly, unless something significant changes, unserved Americans will have to wait even longer to get access to broadband.

Commerce Department to Co-Chair Broadband Opportunity Council

Location:
The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC, 20500, United States
Recommendation:
3

Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announced that the Commerce Department (along with the Department of Agriculture) will co-chair the Broadband Opportunity Council, a new federal government initiative aimed at increasing broadband investment and reducing barriers to broadband deployment and adoption.

National Broadband Map has Helped Chart Broadband Evolution

Location:
National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), 1401 Constitution Ave, Washington, DC, 20230, United States
Recommendation:
3

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration released updated broadband map data, current as of June 30, 2014. The most significant finding from the latest data is that the United States has met the President’s goal of ensuring 98 percent of the country has access to wireless broadband at a speed of at least 6 megabits per second (Mbps) down/1.5 Mbps up.

Did the National Broadband Plan spur innovation?

Location:
Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business, 37th and O Streets, NW, Washington, DC, 20057, United States
Recommendation:
2

How has the US done on broadband deployment and adoption since the release of the National Broadband Plan in 2010?

On Five Year Anniversary, National Broadband Plan Author Discusses Progress, Challenges

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

Blair Levin discusses the progress and challenges of the National Broadband Plan five years after he and his team completed it at the Federal Communications Commission.

Statement by FCC Chairman Wheeler on National Broadband Plan Anniversary

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

Five years ago, the Federal Communications Commission released America's first National Broadband Plan. The Plan was a seminal moment in reorienting the agency to focus on the opportunities and challenges of high-speed Internet, and it was the spark that ignited many significant advancements in communications policy.

The US National Broadband Plan’s lasting contribution to global broadband development

Location:
Brookings, 1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC, 20036, United States
Recommendation:
1

Five years ago, the Federal Communications Commission released the first-ever US National Broadband Plan, a 376-page document. That plan was mandated by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, known commonly as the stimulus. In addition to $787 billion in new spending to help jumpstart an economy in deep recession, Congress required that the federal government, under the FCC’s leadership, develop broadband policies that would contribute to this critical effort in a meaningful way.

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The National Broadband Plan at Five: The Work Done and the Work Ahead

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

Over the last five years, the Benton Foundation has been tracking the progress made on implementing the six core goals and over 200 recommendations in the National Broadband Plan. Our tracking is fueled by our daily Headlines service which is the most comprehensive, free chronicle of developments in telecommunications policy. Benton's National Broadband Plan Tracker captures the links between today's Headlines and events, bills moving through Congress, dockets at the FCC, and the week's key events. Overall, about twenty percent of the National Broadband Plan has been completed over the last five years while action has begun on another fifty-five percent of the recommendations. Fifty-five of the recommendations -- about one-quarter -- have not seen any work as of yet. At Benton, our focus has always been on what we believe to be the heart of the National Broadband Plan: the recommendations targeted at streamlining and modernizing the federal Universal Service Fund. For the Federal Communications Commission, there is no bigger, no better tool than the USF. When the National Broadband Plan was released, there was no task bigger before the FCC than taking programs that were traditionally focused on telephone service (or narrow-band Internet service) and refocusing them on deploying affordable broadband throughout communities.

AT&T Takes Issue with Auction Framework

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

There is a growing consensus among stakeholders, both in wireless and broadcast, that the Federal Communication Commission's variable post-auction plan, which anticipates some TV stations and wireless operators on the same channel in nearby markets, will reduce the "quality." At least that is the view of AT&T, which has told the FCC it needs to rethink portions of its incentive auction framework if it wants it to be a success.

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Celebrating a Fifth O’Planniversary

Location:
Washington, DC, United States
Recommendation:
2

Government actions fit into five buckets: 1) responding to a crisis (9/11, Katrina); 2) delivering on recent campaign promises (Reagan, Bush tax cuts); 3) routine operations, generally responding to petitioning bureaucratic or judicial actions; 4) long debated issues that reach a critical juncture and are, momentarily, resolved (Selma and the Voting Rights Act, the Affordable Care Act, last month’s Federal Communications Commission reclassification decision); and 5) small group charged with evaluating strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats related to a mission, and successfully building a path and political capital for achieving the mission. The fourth is rare, and therefore historic. The fifth is seen only slightly more than unicorns. Yet, this week we will see examples of both playing out. Of course, most media attention will focus on the Congressional hearings on the FCC’s recent reclassification decision. But there will also be several events commemorating the fifth anniversary of the National Broadband Plan. The first, on Tuesday, will focus on the impact of the plan on anchor institutions. The second, sponsored by Georgetown, will consider the wide range of issues covered by the Plan, looking back but, more importantly, looking forward to the agenda ahead.

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Day 1 of the National Broadband Plan (1827 Days Later)

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

On the eve of the release of the National Broadband Plan five years ago, Charles Benton wrote, “We must roll up our sleeves to make sure we all enjoy the promise of truly universal, affordable broadband…. we must implement this plan -- quickly -- while evaluating our investments in broadband to inform our next national broadband plan.” As we review the progress on the plan, we take another look at Benton’s clarion call from 2010. Benton wrote, “Some may balk at the expansiveness of the plan and the FCC's calls for additional spending. Others may say that there is no need to enact this plan, that the marketplace alone will deliver the high-speed networks and services we need to improve people's lives. But the plan is exactly what Congress called for and the law requires. Our over-reliance on the marketplace to date has left us with gaping divides between people with the access and skills they need to make effective use of today's most powerful communications tools and those who don't. We embark on implementing this plan so that each of us -- no matter our income, education, ethnicity or age -- have the opportunity to fully participate in our society.”

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Is It Time For Lifeline To Include Broadband?

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

Over the past five years, the Federal Communications Commission has taken action to reform each of its universal service distribution programs to refocus them on broadband. With the fifth anniversary of the release of the FCC’s National Broadband Plan approaching, we focus today on what could be the next major item on the FCC’s implementation agenda: reform and modernization of its Lifeline program. Since 1985, the Lifeline program has provided a discount on phone service for qualifying low-income consumers to ensure that all Americans have the opportunities and security that phone service brings, including being able to connect to jobs, family and emergency services. In 2005, Lifeline discounts were made available to qualifying low-income consumers on pre-paid wireless service plans in addition to traditional landline service. In 2015, however, the opportunity gap is about broadband service, not telephone service.