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Independence, Net Neutrality, and E-rate are Thorny Issues at FCC Confirmation Hearing

On July 19, 2017, the Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing to examine the nominations of Ajit Pai, Jessica Rosenworcel, and Brendan Carr for seats on the Federal Communications Commission. Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD) characterized the hearing as both an examination of the nominees and a FCC oversight hearing, “fulfilling a commitment I’ve made to hold regular, biannual oversight hearings of the Commission.” His opinions of the nominees: “In my view, the FCC will be in very good hands when all three of these nominees are confirmed.”

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Independence, Net Neutrality, and E-rate are Thorny Issues at FCC Confirmation Hearing

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

On July 19, 2017, the Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing to examine the nominations of Ajit Pai, Jessica Rosenworcel, and Brendan Carr for seats on the Federal Communications Commission. On March 7, President Donald Trump nominated Pai, the FCC’s current chairman, for a second five-year term ending June 30, 2021. Rosenworcel is nominated for a term that would end June 30, 2020. Carr, the current general counsel at the FCC, has actually been nominated for two terms, one expiring June 30, 2018 and the second ending June 30, 2023. Carr served as legal adviser to then-FCC Commissioner Pai for three years before Pai was named chairman and appointed Carr as general counsel.

LEAD Commission Wants Pai E-Rate Commitment

Location:
Leading by Advancing Digital (LEAD), Washington, DC, United States

The LEAD Commission wants senators to put a spotlight on E-rate when it puts the spotlight on Federal Communications Commission nominees in a hearing July 19.

Don’t Make Applying for E-rate Fiber Even Harder

Location:
SHLB Coalition, 1250 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC, 20036, United States

Applying for E-rate funding is not simple, especially for applicants seeking fiber-based services. Applicants must have an in-depth knowledge of dark vs. lit fiber, self-provisioning, and special construction, and that’s just the beginning. The vast majority of schools and libraries have to hire consultants to guide them through the labyrinth of E-rate rules and procedures. So the last thing we should want is to make the E-rate application even more difficult.

Program for rural internet in schools, libraries in jeopardy

Location:
Common Sense Media, 650 Townsend, San Francisco, CA, 94103, United States

The federal E-rate program plays a critical role in allowing Kansas kids to harness the power of technology in schools and libraries.

Bridging the Digital Divide

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

I’m pleased to announce that August will be Rural Broadband Month at the Federal Communications Commission.

FCC Announces Tentative Agenda for August 2017 Open Meeting

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

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced that the following items are tentatively on the agenda for the August Open Commission Meeting scheduled for Thursday, August 3, 2017 ...

FCC Chairman Pai Orders Immediate Action on Lifeline Waste, Fraud and Abuse

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

In a letter to Universal Service Administration Company CEO Vickie Robinson, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai responded to a recent Government Accountability Office report on potential waste, fraud and abuse in the FCC’s Lifeline program and additional internal FCC investigations. “In light of these investigations and their findings, I believe immediate action is warranted.”

How long will Lifeline be allowed to keep failing?

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

The GAO had already given the program a failing grade seven years ago in 2010. As I have written before, a less complex, less costly, and less corruption-prone way to provide Lifeline’s income benefits would be to provide direct income subsidies to low-income households.

FCC Streamlines Reporting Rules for Universal Service Recipients

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

In this Report and Order, by eliminating several rules that are either duplicative of other reporting requirements or are simply no longer necessary, we streamline the annual reporting requirements for eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) that receive high-cost universal service support.

New E-Rate Policy Helps school Bridge the 'Homework Gap'

Location:
USA, United States

Thanks to a 2016 change in Federal Communications Commission policy, a small school district in central Virginia may have found a way to the bridge the “homework gap.”

Does Lifeline Need a Life Boat?

Location:
AT&T, 208 South Akard St, Dallas, TX, 75202, United States

The Government Accountability Office Lifeline report provides additional evidence that flaws in these programs can be used by unscrupulous actors seeking to line their own pockets at the expense of taxpayers and populations truly in need; and that while the FCC’s Lifeline program is essential to those that need it, there is significant room for both improved efficiency and performance.

GAO: Some progress on Lifeline reform, but much still to do

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

The Government Accountability Office issued a blistering report on the Federal Communications Commission’s efforts to assist low-income families.

FCC 'Lifeline' Program Opponents Wage War on the Poor

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

In its analysis of data from 2012 through 2014, the Government Accountability Office was unable to confirm the eligibility of 30 percent of Lifeline users it examined. Opponents hail this finding as proof of widespread fraud.

FCC Reminds Eligible Telecommunications Carriers of Their Ongoing Responsibility to Claim Lifeline Support Only for Eligible Low-Income Consumers

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

The Federal Communications Commission’s Wireline Competition Bureau reminds eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) of their primary responsibility to ensure the eligibility of Americans seeking Lifeline support. Even as the FCC implements reforms to the Lifeline program to further protect the Universal Service Fund from waste, fraud, and abuse, ETCs are, and will remain, responsible for any fraud that forms the basis of their claims for Lifeline reimbursement.

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Benton Supports Lifeline Program

Although there has been great progress extending broadband’s reach to more and more Americans, there remain too many households and communities that are not enjoying the benefits of broadband.

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Lifeline Advocates Urge FCC Chairman Pai to Stand by his First Statements as Chairman and Safeguard the only Federal Program Targeting the Digital Divide

Location:
USA, United States

The Lifeline program gives affordable access to broadband and telephone services in rural and urban areas alike. It provides a lifeline for working families to employment opportunities, elderly people to health care, veterans to critical services, children to education and everyone to 911.

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Reactions to GAO Lifeline Report

Statement Of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai On The GAO Report Finding Significant Risks In The FCC's Lifeline Program

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

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report finding that deceased individuals had enrolled in the program and noting that GAO could not confirm the eligibility of 36 percent of the subscribers it reviewed. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai issued the following statement in response.

Additional Action Needed to Address Significant Risks in FCC’s Lifeline Program

Location:
Government Accountability Office, 441 G St., NW, Washington, DC, 20548, United States

The Federal Communications Commission has not evaluated the Lifeline program’s performance in meeting its goals of increasing telephone and broadband subscribership among low-income households, but has recently taken steps to do so.

FCC Updates Lifeline Minimum Standards

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

The Federal Communications Commission’s Wireline Competition Bureau announces the updated standard levels for speed and usage allowances for Lifeline-supported services as required by the 2016 Lifeline Modernization Order.

Markup -- USF Bill

Jun 29 2017 - 9:00am - 12:00pm
Location:
Senate Commerce Committee, Constitution Avenue and 1st Street, NE Russell Senate Office Building - 253, Washington, DC, 20002, United States

S. 875, To require the Comptroller General of the United States to conduct a study and submit a report on filing requirements under the Universal Service Fund programs, Sponsor: Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska)

Senate Drills Down on Universal Service Fund

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

The Senate Communications Subcommittee on June 20 took a deep dive into the Federal Communications Commission's Universal Service Fund, with a focus on rural broadband deployment and telehealth.

The Universal Service Fund and Rural Broadband Investment

Jun 20 2017 - 10:00am - 2:00pm
Location:
Senate Commerce Committee, Constitution Avenue and 1st Street, NE Russell Senate Office Building - 253, Washington, DC, 20002, United States

The Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet will examine the Federal Communications Commission’s Universal Service Fund and its capabilities for the deployment of broadband in rural America.

What Will Trump's FCC Mean for America's Schools?

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

A change in leadership at the Federal Communications Commission has led to rising uncertainty about the future of efforts to boost broadband access, preserve an open internet, and protect online privacy—all issues affecting the K-12 sector.

T-Mobile CFO: ‘Non-sustainable’ Lifeline Business to be Phased Out

Location:
T-Mobile, 12920 SE 38th St, Bellevue, WA, 98006, United States

T-Mobile’s business selling service to low-income users whose costs are paid, at least in part, through the Universal Service Fund (USF) Lifeline program is “non-sustainable,” said Braxton Carter, T-Mobile chief financial officer.

FCC Fines ATI $975K for Universal Service and Other Violations

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

The Federal Communications Commission imposed a penalty of $975,000 against Advanced Tel, Inc. (ATI or Company) for violating its federal regulatory obligations as a telecommunications service provider for several years by failing to file required data and make required contributions to important federal programs.

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Innovators in Digital Inclusion: Free Geek

Free Geek is simple. It is tackling two problems in Portland: an excess of e-waste and the substantial digital divide. Ingeniously, it is using one to impact the other.

Communications Workers of America Calls for $100B Broadband Infrastructure Investment

Location:
Communications Workers of America, 501 3rd Street NW, Washington, DC, 20001, United States

With President Donald Trump emphasizing his infrastructure revamp proposal, the Communications Workers of America wants Congress to emphasize broadband investment in any plan it approves. That came in a letter to the leadership, Republican and Democrat, of the House and Senate Commerce Committees.

Measuring Broadband In Schools

Location:
New America, 740 15th Street NW Suite 900, Washington, DC, 20005, United States

In schools across the United States, IT departments are routinely tasked with supporting teachers as they move toward more technology-centric instructional environments. It ...

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