Benton Foundation

Groups Push Chairman Pai to Reverse Lifeline Move

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

Over 40 groups have written Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to ask him to reverse the decision to rescind Lifeline broadband subsidy eligibility for nine companies.

Dozens of Digital Inclusion Groups Urge FCC to Support Internet ‘Lifeline’ for Low-Income Families

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

Nearly 40 civil rights, social justice, labor and digital inclusion groups sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission urging the agency to reverse its decision that undermined the Lifeline Program.

Former FCC Commissioner Gloria Tristani Joins National Hispanic Media Coalition as Special Policy Advisor

Location:
National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC), 55 S Grand Avenue, Pasadena, CA, 91105, United States
Recommendation:
3

The National Hispanic Media Coalition announced that former Commissioner Gloria Tristani of the Federal Communications Commission will be joining NHMC as the new Special Policy Advisor.

Ex-Wheeler Aide Sohn Slams FCC Chairman Pai For Lifeline Moves

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

Gigi Sohn, former top counselor to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler, took aim at new FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's reversal of a handful of Lifeline subsidy authorizations.

Public Knowledge Moves to Preserve FCC’s Online Privacy Rules

Location:
Public Knowledge, 1818 N Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20036, United States
Recommendation:
3

After almost two years of having no rules and no protections, broadband providers and advertisers want to further delay having strong privacy protections from consumers.

FCC Lifeline Reversal on FreedomPop, Eight Others Draws Fire

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

The Federal Communications Commission’s Lifeline actions drew harsh responses from a range of stakeholders. For example, the Benton Foundation issued a press release with comments from one of its directors and from nine other organizations criticizing the decision.

The FCC’s legal battle over prison phones just took a weird turn

Location:
U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, 333 Constitution Ave, NW, Washington, DC, 20001, United States
Recommendation:
2

In 2015, the Federal Communications Commission moved in to cap what many consider to be exorbitant rates for inmate phone calls. Shortly thereafter, the agency was sued by the prison phone industry, which challenged the agency’s authority to set rates for calls within state lines. The lawsuit has been advancing, but the presidential election brought a new administration to the White House. Ajit Pai, the new, Donald Trump-appointed Chairman of the FCC, said in a letter that the agency would no longer defend the agency’s in-state rate caps in court.

FCC's Pai Rescinds Lifeline Eligibilities

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

The message seemed to be that Pai administration would review such applications more thoroughly for potential abuses, but others saw it as a way to target a program Chairman Pai has criticized.

FCC made a case for limiting cost of prison phone calls. Not anymore.

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

The Federal Communications Commission is no longer pressing to cut the costs of most prison phone calls, backing away from a years-long effort to limit charges imposed by a handful of private companies on inmates and their families. The shift comes as the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit on Feb 6 considers whether commissioners went too far when they capped prices for inmate calls that had reached more than a $1 per minute.

The Millionaire Who Took on McCarthy

Location:
McGill University, 845 Rue Sherbrooke O, Montréal, QC, H3A 0G4, Canada
Recommendation:
5

A melodramatic mix of half-truths, rants, and innuendoes made Wisconsin’s junior Senator Joseph P. McCarthy powerful and intimidating. By 1951, he had cowed some of the Senate’s all time all stars. The rare senator willing at that time to confront this “hit and run propagandist of the Soviet type” was a rookie senator from Connecticut. For introducing a resolution to expel this blathering bully, William Benton suffered McCarthyite blowback, including a $2 million libel suit. As America’s new leaders take office, they should remember William Benton’s courage, deciding what ideals they will champion, no matter what.

How FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler Became a Net Neutrality Champion

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

When Tom Wheeler was tapped by President Barack Obama to lead the Federal Communications Commission in 2013, many public interest advocates were skeptical.

Public Interest Groups Slam AT&T’s Refusal to Serve Low-Income Americans Through Lifeline Program

Location:
National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC), 55 S Grand Avenue, Pasadena, CA, 91105, United States
Recommendation:
3

Five diverse public interest groups spoke out about AT&T’s recent decision to opt out of the Lifeline broadband program and urged them to reconsider participating to offer the modest discount that Lifeline provides to low-income families struggling to afford broadband.

Why Blind Americans are Worried about Trump’s Tech Policy

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

The Federal Communications Commission’s self-imposed hiatus means that a number of high-profile regulations are unlikely to be acted upon until President-elect Trump takes office, if ever. One of those issues is video description – when a narrator explains, for the benefit of the blind or visually impaired, what’s happening onscreen during a TV show or movie, squeezing his or her voice-over into the gaps between dialogue.

Satellite Dishes That Power Time Warner Imperil AT&T Deal

Location:
Time Warner, 1 Time Warner Center, New York, NY, 10019, United States
Recommendation:
3

Behind the Time Warner campus in Atlanta (GA), more than a dozen massive dishes silently stream CNN newscasts, Cartoon Network shows and Turner Sports games to satellites in outer space. They’re a vital link in the media giant’s global news and entertainment business. But they operate under licenses from the Federal Communications Commission, which means they also could be the biggest threat to Time Warner’s aspirations to merge with AT&T.

FCC Consumer Advisory Committee: Announcement of Renewal of Charter, Appointment of Members, Designation of Chairperson, Agenda

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

By this Public Notice, the Federal Communications Commission announces the renewal of the charter of its Consumer Advisory Committee and appointment of members, designates a Chairperson, and further announces the date, time, and agenda of the Committee’s first meeting under its renewed charter.

ISPs' Data About Consumers Is Worth 'A King's Ransom,' Privacy Guru Says

Location:
Benton Foundation, 727 Chicago Ave, Evanston, IL, 60202, United States
Recommendation:
2

Broadband providers have spent months complaining that proposed new privacy rules would unfairly subject them to more stringent privacy rules than Google, Facebook or other online companies. Today, privacy guru and law professor Paul Ohm -- an outspoken proponent of tough privacy rules -- answers that objection. Internet service providers, Ohm says, should have to follow tough standards because ISPs pose a greater threat to privacy than other companies.

Group of 76 Organizations Leads Parade for FCC Action

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

Looking to light a fire under the Federal Communications Commission, a group of 76 organizations have written FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and the other commissioners to urge them to take action on three items and issues currently before the commission.

Obama Administration Gets Earful on Broadband Research Agenda

Location:
National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), 1401 Constitution Ave, Washington, DC, 20230, United States
Recommendation:
2

The Obama Administration is getting plenty of input on what information it should be collecting to help guide its mission of promoting universal broadband deployment, adoption and competition. Comments were due Oct 11 on the National Telecommunications & Information Administration and National Science Foundation joint National Broadband Research Agenda, one of the September 2015 recommendations of the Broadband Opportunity Council (BOC), which was created in March 2015 by President Obama and co-chaired by the Commerce Department (NTIA is an arm of Commerce) and the Department of Agriculture, both of which oversaw billions in stimulus funds for broadband buildouts.

Gaping holes, confusion mar FCC’s data on political ad buys

Location:
Center for Responsive Politics, 1101 14th St., NW, Washington, DC, 20005-5635, United States
Recommendation:
3

Four years after it began requiring TV stations to upload their records of political ad sales to a central government website, the Federal Communications Commission maintains a recordkeeping system that makes finding out who an ad’s sponsor is feel like a treasure hunt. In 2012, the FCC approved a rule requiring broadcast stations in the largest markets to upload the files showing who bought time for political ads, how much they paid and other details, saving journalists and others from having to visit to individual TV stations to get the info.

The Broadband Question

Location:
NBC Universal, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY, 10112, United States
Recommendation:
5

An array of civil rights and tech organizations including the NAACP, New America's Open Technology Institute, the Benton Foundation and the Center for Democracy and Technology are urging NBC anchor and debate moderator Lester Holt (and the other debate moderators) to add a question about affordable broadband.

FCC Has Failed to Protect Voters' Right to Know Who Is Behind Political Ads in Election 2016

Location:
Campaign Legal Center, 215 E Street NE, Washington, DC, 20002, United States
Recommendation:
4

The Campaign Legal Center, Common Cause, Sunlight Foundation and Benton Foundation filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission urging the agency to take immediate action against WCPO-TV of Cincinnati (OH) for failure to comply with the longstanding public file requirements of Section 315 of the Communications Act.

3 Ways Governments Are Working to Make Broadband Universally Accessible

Location:
Austin, TX, United States
Recommendation:
2

How is government enabling broadband? The state of Utah, the city of Austin, Texas, and Miami-Dade County Public Schools in Florida all offer compelling examples of the ways in which government at various levels is attempting to tackle the problem.

DC Circuit Sets Deadline for FCC Network Neutrality Response

Location:
U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, 333 Constitution Ave, NW, Washington, DC, 20001, United States
Recommendation:
2

The Federal Communications Commission has until Sept. 12 to respond to petitions by broadband providers including AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, CenturyLink, and others for a full federal appeals court review of a panel decision upholding the agency's network neutrality rules. The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit won't accept replies from broadband providers after that. After considering any filings from the FCC and its supporters, the full court will determine whether or not to rehear the case.

Next Century Cities Announces Three Winning Cities of the Benton Awards for Next Generation Engagement

Location:
Next Century Cities, 1200 18th Street NW, Washington, DC, 20036, United States
Recommendation:
3

Next Century Cities announced the three winning cities of the inaugural Charles Benton Next Generation Engagement Awards: Raleigh (NC), Austin (TX), and Louisville (KY). The three cities were selected for proposing innovative programs that will use high-speed broadband to improve civic engagement and democratic participation.

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.

Big Telecom Wants a DC Circuit Net Neutrality Review. Here’s Why That’s Unlikely

Location:
U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, 333 Constitution Ave, NW, Washington, DC, 20001, United States
Recommendation:
3

The nation’s largest cable and telecommunication industry trade groups on July 29 asked a federal court for a rare “en banc” review of June’s decision upholding US rules protecting network neutrality, the principle that all content on the Internet should be equally accessible to consumers. “The likelihood that the full DC Circuit would agree to rehear the case, much less reverse the panel’s decision, is extremely remote,” Andrew Schwartzman, Benton Senior Counselor at the Public Interest Communications Law Project at Georgetown University Law Center's Institute for Public Representation, wrote in a recent article.

Austin (TX): A Model for Cities Working to Narrow the Broadband Gap?

Location:
City of Austin, 124 West 8th Street Telecommunications and Regulatory Affairs, Austin, TX, 78767, United States
Recommendation:
4

In Austin (TX), population 885,000, some 55,000 residents say they don't use the Internet — at all. But the City Council refuses to accept this.

Tech groups want public probe of zero-rating plans

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

A large group of tech companies and advocates wants a public probe of new service offerings from wireless carriers, which they say could run afoul of network neutrality rules.

benton logo

What a Difference a Year Makes

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

Today marks the first anniversary of Charles Benton’s death. You may have known Charles because you met him at a conference or you spoke on the phone or you read one of his articles. Tall, large of voice, possessed of dazzling grin and intractable hair, Charles naturally drew considerable attention. He was the Benton Foundation for many people. Over the past 12 months, there has been an incredible outpouring of love, support, and fond memories of Charles. My colleagues and I have had the pleasure of traveling around the country to be part of many celebrations of Charles’ – and the foundation’s – contributions. Although one might be tempted to call all this the Charles Benton Memorial Tour, for me, it has actually been a listening tour – hearing not just about what various people and groups admired about Charles, but also about their concerns and priorities as the country considers who will be leading us in the years to come. This year, I’ve been thinking about "Digital Deserts." Despite great gains in achieving universal broadband, a number of “Digital Deserts” persist in the U.S. Many communities and households still do not have broadband service. We want to offer policy recommendations that will transform these deserts into oases of opportunity, and connect them to affordable, reliable, high-capacity broadband. I’m so encouraged by the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to expand Lifeline support to include broadband service, making sure that millions of American families will no longer have to choose between buying groceries or paying for the connectivity that, for instance, allows their children to complete their homework assignments. But much more work needs to be done. I believe that broadband is a key instrument in addressing economic insecurity.

Connecting Anchor Institutions: A Vision of Our Future

Location:
SHLB Coalition, 1250 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC, 20036, United States
Recommendation:
4

To meet the goals of the National Broadband Plan, America must renew its commitment to bring affordable multi-gigabit speed broadband access by 2020 to thousands of Community Anchor Institutions (CAIs) – the schools, libraries, health clinics, and community centers that hold our communities together. That is the message in a new “Vision” Paper being released by the SHLB Coalition titled, “Connecting Anchor Institutions: A Broadband Vision of Our Future,” written by Christine Mullins with a foreword from Blair Levin.