National Broadband Plan

Mobility Fund II: Improving the Data We Use to Identify & Close Mobile Coverage Gaps

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

The USF/ICC Transformation Order set the course for the comprehensive modernization of universal service for the 21st century. In so doing, the Federal Communications Commission set an ambitious goal of universal broadband and advanced mobile coverage. As part of the Connect America Fund, the FCC created the Mobility Fund, a universal service support mechanism dedicated exclusively to mobile services.

FCC Provides Guidance Regarding Designation as a Lifeline Broadband Provider and Lifeline Broadband Minimum Service Standards

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

In this Public Notice, the Federal Communications Commission’s Wireline Competition Bureau provides guidance to entities seeking designation as Lifeline Broadband Providers for the purpose of receiving reimbursement through the Lifeline program for qualifying broadband Internet access service (BIAS) provided to eligible low-income consumers.

FCC Releases Data on Mobile Broadband Deployment as of December 31, 2015 Collected Through FCC Form 477

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

The Federal Communications Commission released data on mobile broadband deployment as of December 31, 2015.

Incentive Auction Second Stage: Same as the First? Not Exactly.

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

On September 13 at 10:00 AM ET bidding resumes in the Incentive Auction with the opening of Stage 2.

FCC Releases Preliminary List of Census Blocks for Connect America Fund Auction

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

On August 11, the Federal Communications Commission released a preliminary list of census blocks eligible for the Connect America Fund auction.

The Incentive Auction Moves “Forward” – Here’s How to Follow Along

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

On Tuesday, August 16th, the Incentive Auction will enter the first stage of forward auction bidding, in which bidders will compete to win new 600 MHz Band licenses for mobile broadband use.

Public Knowledge Files FCC Reply Comments Supporting Competitive Business Data Service Markets

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

Public Knowledge, along with other public interest organizations [including the Benton Foundation], filed reply comments in response to the Federal Communications Commission’s Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on competition in the high-speed broadband “business data services” (BDS) market.

The $47 Billion Network That’s Already Obsolete

Location:
First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), 1401 Constitution Ave, Washington, DC, 20230, United States
Recommendation:
2

The prize for the most wasteful post-9/11 initiative arguably should go to FirstNet—a whole new agency set up to provide a telecommunications system exclusively for firefighters, police, and other first responders.

A Path for Mobility Fund Phase II?

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

Federal Communications Commission leadership recently indicated that we will issue final rules for a new mobile-only universal service subsidy program by the end of 2016. While I remain greatly skeptical about the timing and value of doing so, given our experiences and the changes that have occurred over the past five years, it seems reasonable that if we are going to have this fund it must be structured and operated far better than today’s wireless universal service fund (USF) spending. Since it appears that the purpose and structure of the program are still up for discussion and debate, I am putting forth some key elements that will guide my review of any reform. Without addressing most, if not all, of these points, it is hard to see how a unanimous, bipartisan vote can be achieved:

FirstNet CEO: ‘$7 billion Doesn’t Go as far as It Used To’

Location:
Senate Commerce Committee, Constitution Avenue and 1st Street, NE Russell Senate Office Building - 253, Washington, DC, 20002, United States
Recommendation:
2

Lawmakers are concerned that federal plans for nationwide public safety broadband won’t progress on schedule. Weeks after FirstNet collected proposals from the businesses hoping to provide the network's backbone, lawmakers probed officials on its deployment.

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Digital Inclusion Heroes

Location:
Kansas City, MO, United States
Recommendation:
2

“Functional Internet access is essential for full participation in society.”
“Broadband Internet access service is essential to education, public health, and public safety.”
Although many of you have known this for quite some time, some people may have dismissed these proclamations as mere rhetorical flourishes. Now they are the findings of the Federal Communications Commission, the primary authority for U.S. communications laws, regulation and technological innovation. Adding broadband to the list of the services that are supported by Federal universal service support mechanisms, the FCC decided, is consistent with the public interest, convenience and necessity. Hallelujah! We all fully expect the FCC’s decision to impact millions of lives, extending the benefits of broadband to people who, frankly, have faced the very real choice between an Internet connection or being able to put food on the table. I don’t discount that; I ask that, just for a moment, we consider the policy impact of the FCC’s Lifeline order. Here’s some more language drawn from the FCC’s decision:
“It is imperative for us to include broadband Internet access service as a supported service.”
“The importance of broadband Internet to our Nation makes it critical that every American has access to the Internet.”

Very Gradual Change We Can Believe In: FCC’s Gigi Sohn at The National Digital Inclusion Summit

Location:
Kansas City, MO, United States
Recommendation:
2

The Lifeline order is a big deal in its own right, but it’s part of a much greater accomplishment that I don’t think people rightly appreciate – largely because it happened so gradually over of span of seven years. I’m talking about universal service reform writ large.

FCC's Lifeline Reform Makes Digital Inclusion A National Priority

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

The Federal Communications Commission recently voted to modernize its Lifeline program, beginning to shift the program, which has traditionally made telephone service more affordable, to focus on increasing broadband adoption among low-income consumers. The key purpose of the FCC’s actions is to increase the affordability of broadband service, which remains the chief impediment to broadband adoption among low-income consumers. In its Lifeline decision, the FCC concluded that low-cost broadband -- coupled with strategic, effective digital inclusion efforts -- will significantly impact the lives of millions of consumers, particularly those with lower incomes and in key demographic groups, such as seniors, veterans, persons with disabilities, rural communities, and those living on Tribal lands, many of which may also have an increased need for access to educational, public health and /or public safety services. The FCC encourages Lifeline providers to work with schools, libraries, community centers and other organizations, such as food banks and senior citizen centers, that serve low-income consumers to increase broadband adoption and address non-price barriers to adoption. The FCC’s decision marks the beginning of an ongoing campaign at the agency to build its digital literacy capacity and to keep apprised and abreast of the state of digital inclusion across the country. The FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) is charged with developing, within six months, a comprehensive plan for the FCC to better understand the non-price barriers to digital inclusion and to propose how the FCC can facilitate efforts to address those barriers. This plan will address promoting digital inclusion generally and also as it particularly relates to the new Lifeline program.

FCC Sets 126 MHz Initial Clearing Target for Incentive Auction; Reverse Clock Bidding Begins May 31

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

By this Public Notice, the Federal Communications Commission’s Incentive Auction Task Force and the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau announce the 126 megahertz initial spectrum clearing target that has been set by the Auction System’s initial clearing target determination procedure and the associated band plan for the initial stage of the incentive auction, as well as the number of Category 1 and Category 2 generic license blocks in each Partial Economic Area (PEA) that will be offered in the initial stage during the forward auction (Auction 1002).

FCC Modernizes Lifeline Program for the Digital Age

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
5

The Federal Communications Commission modernized and reformed its Lifeline program to help low income consumers afford access to the 21st Century’s vital communications network: the Internet. For the first time, Lifeline will support stand-alone broadband service as well as bundled voice and data service packages.

Remarks of Gigi Sohn on Lifeline and Broadband Adoption

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

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler proposal to modernize the Lifeline program and refocus it on making broadband service affordable for low income consumers. Here’s some concerns we’re hearing ...

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What to Expect When You’re Expecting Lifeline Reform

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

This month, the Federal Communications Commission will vote to revamp a federal telephone support program, called Lifeline, to include subsidies for broadband Internet service for low-income households. This primer should get you up to speed on the key issues at play in the docket while highlighting a public interest perspective on the ongoing discussions. Academic research increasingly points to cost being the biggest barrier to broadband adoption. A healthy, competitive Lifeline program that offers robust, meaningful broadband access to low-income Americans is one of the federal government’s most powerful tools to chip away at the cost barrier.

Broadband: A Lifeline for the 21st Century

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

Lifeline was established in 1985 to help low-income Americans afford access to vital communications, and the program has allowed tens of millions of Americans to afford basic phone service. But at a time when our economy and lives are increasingly moving online and millions of Americans remain offline, it doesn’t make sense for Lifeline to remain focused only on 20th century voice service. Today, we are putting forward a proposal to help close the broadband affordability gap by modernizing the FCC’s Lifeline program.

Some Viewers Risk Losing PBS Broadcasts After FCC Auction

Location:
USA, United States
Recommendation:
1

Local Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) stations could pull in hundreds of millions of dollars this year by selling their airwaves to the federal government, raising worries that pockets of the US could lose their access to public television.

FCC Auction Promises Bonanza for Small TV Broadcasters

Location:
Lima , OH, United States
Recommendation:
1

The Federal Communications Commission recently set opening prices for an auction of airwaves it gave away to many local TV stations across the country more than half a century ago. And soon, broadcasters have to decide if they want to join the auction that will let wireless carriers acquire those station rights for tens of billions of dollars.

How the FCC's TV spectrum auction could play out in San Antonio

Location:
San Antonio, TX, United States
Recommendation:
1

To see how the Federal Communications Commission’s incentive auction might play out in local markets, let’s examine San Antonio, Texas.

Decision Time on the Incentive Auction

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

Oct 16 wraps up an important week for the Incentive Auction with the release of two critical items: the Application Procedures Public Notice and the final opening bid prices for broadcast stations.

Analysts: 600 MHz incentive auction could generate $60 billion, but per-MHz prices could be lower than AWS-3 auction

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

Despite Sprint's announcement that it will not participate in the Federal Communications Commission's planned incentive auction of TV broadcasters' 600 MHz spectrum in 2016, analysts still expect the event to generate as much as $60 billion in total bids. That amount would make the auction by far the government's most successful spectrum auction ever in terms of total money raised.

Rebooting Lifeline for More Affordable Broadband

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

The Federal Communications Commission is considering upgrading Lifeline once again, this time to include broadband service. With broadband, as with telephone service in the 1980s, there is a significant adoption gap between the haves and have-nots. In fact, data suggest that fewer than half of all households making under $20,000 have access to high-speed Internet at home. We believe that modernizing Lifeline to include subsidies for broadband service is crucial.

FCC faces monumental test

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

Officials at the Federal Communications Commission are facing a historic challenge. The agency is being asked to do something that has never before been tried: a two-step auction of American airwaves that is intended to shift resources from broadcasters to wireless companies.

Carriers Accept Over $1.5 Billion in Annual Support from Connect America Fund to Expand and Support Broadband for Nearly 7.3 Million Rural Consumers in 45 States and One Territory

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

Ten telecommunications carriers have accepted $1.5 billion in annual support for rural broadband deployment from the Connect America Fund, which, together with the carrier’s own investment, will expand broadband to nearly 7.3 million rural consumers in 45 states nationwide and one US territory over the next few years.

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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.