Report on past event

Rural broadband seen as a necessity to rural economic growth

Location:
Washington, DC, United States

It's hard to run a successful business without access to high speed broadband. That was the message that repeatedly surfaced as Senate Democrats discussed issues important to rural America during a rural summit on Sept. 13.

Former FCC Chair Tom Wheeler: Open Internet is "Under Attack"

Location:
1871, 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza Suite 1212, Chicago, IL, 60654, United States

“The Open Internet exists today, and it is under attack.”

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The Public’s Advocate

Location:
1871, 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza Suite 1212, Chicago, IL, 60654, United States

We’re here to celebrate former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler’s public service, and discuss protecting the Open Internet, the most critical communications issue of our time. We’re here today to recognize Tom’s many efforts on behalf of the American people.

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Taking Away an Open Internet

We gather today at a critical moment in the history of an Open Internet; in the fight for Net Neutrality. So, right here at the outset, let’s make clear something that will bear repeating throughout these remarks: An Open Internet is the law of the land and any change to that policy would take away from consumers, innovators and the competitive marketplace something they have today. The proof point that opponents to an Open Internet must hurdle is the factual basis for why it is necessary to remove existing protections? Those protections can be boiled down to one simple principle: Consumers must be in charge of how they use their broadband connections, free from manipulation by their broadband providers.

An unsung success story: A forty-year retrospective on US communications policy

Location:
University of Pennsylvania, 3730 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, United States

This paper looks back at forty years of US communications policy, and concludes that all of the challenges that were salient when Telecommunications Policy published its first issue—the lack of competition in CPE, long distance, local telephone service, television networks, and multichannel video program distribution—have essentially been addressed.

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Lifeline: Continue Reform, Or Throw It Out With the Wastewater?

The Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing on waste, fraud, and abuse in the Federal Communications Commission’s Lifeline program, which provides discounts on telecommunications services for eligible low-income consumers. In 2016, Lifeline disbursed about $1.5 billion in subsidies, making crucial communications services more affordable for 12.3 million households. In June, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report, based on 2014 subscriber data, that pointed to fraud and inefficiencies in the program, leading to this week's hearing.

The Future of Broadband in Underserved Areas

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

At a recent panel convened by the Wireless Future Project at New America, Ellen Satterwhite, of the American Library Association, noted that 40 percent of libraries cannot meet the minimum speed requirements set by the FCC.

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Senate Confirms Two FCC Nominees, Chairman Pai's Confirmation Waits

On August 3, 2017, the U.S. Senate confirmed the nominations of Jessica Rosenworcel and Brendan Carr to be members of the Federal Communications Commission. The commissioners join FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and Commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Michael O'Rielly to implement and enforce America’s communications law and regulations. Rosenworcel and Carr were confirmed without debate -- sorta. The full Senate confirmed 63 presidential nominees by unanimous consent. But both Rosenworcel and Carr faced a bit of drama. And Chairman Pai -- who President Donald Trump has nominated for a new, five-year term -- will have to wait on his confirmation.

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We All Agree on Net Neutrality, Except When We Don’t

The House Commerce Committee’s Communications and Technology Subcommittee held a hearing on July 25, 2017. It was advertised to be a Federal Communications Commission oversight hearing, meant to focus on agency actions and processes and to discuss draft legislation that would reauthorize the FCC, a step that has not been taken since 1990. But, as with most telecommunications policy discussions theses days, it quickly turned into a debate over network neutrality. Notably, this debate made public the tactics of those in Congress and at the FCC who would repeal the rules barring broadband internet access service providers from web content blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization. Throwing out those rules, especially the latter preventing providers from making deals with popular websites like Netflix to reach subscribers faster than competitors, opens the door for broadband service packages that copy the cable TV model.

Former FCC Chairman Wheeler Says Net Neutrality Repeal Will Turn the Internet Into Cable

Location:
Betamore, 1111 Light St, Baltimore, MD, 21230, United States

Tom Wheeler, former chief of the Federal Communications Commission under President Barack Obama, warned the Trump Administration’s plan to repeal network neutrality rules could make accessing the internet like buying a cable TV package.

Chairman Pai Is Misleading Congress About Net Neutrality

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

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai’s proposal to undo the open internet rules argues that network neutrality has dissuaded internet providers -- like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T -- from investing in building out and upgrading their networks. Likewise, at the congressional hearing, Chairman Pai said that a convincing argument that investment in internet infrastructure actually was on the rise could persuade him to stop trying to roll back net neutrality protections. The problem with this argument, though, is that according to the internet providers themselves, investment in their networks actually has gone up since the net neutrality rules were passed.

How Trump’s infrastructure plan can expand broadband coverage

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

The Trump Administration’s plan for $1 trillion in infrastructure spending presents an opportunity not only to repair existing roads, bridges, and tunnels, but also to build out broadband internet coverage in rural areas. On July 24, the Center for Technology Innovation hosted a panel discussion at Brookings about how the administration, Congress, and the private sector can work together to address broadband needs of unserved (no access) and underserved (limited access) populations.

Celebrating the 27th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

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

On July 26, 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became the law of the land. This landmark legislation gave the Federal Communications Commission a mandate to ensure access to telecommunications by Americans with hearing and speech disabilities.

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Net Neutrality Headlines FCC Oversight and Reauthorization Hearing

Location:
House Commerce Committee, 45 Independence Ave SW 2123 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC, 20515, United States

The House Commerce Committee’s Communications and Technology Subcommittee held a hearing on July 25, 2017. Lawmakers came to talk Federal Communications Commission oversight; they came to talk FCC oversight; but as with most telecommunications policy discussions these days, network neutrality grabbed the headlines.

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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.”

Startup That Got a Seat at White House Roundtable Is Part-Owned by Kushner Family

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

Tech meeting included CEO of company that was owned by venture-capital firm Jared Kushner owned.

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Reports From the Day of Action for #NetNeutrality

On July 12, 2017, some of the world's largest companies, activists, and citizens protested the Federal Communications Commission's proposal to rollback (well, gut, really) network neutrality protections adopted in 2017. Here's a look at the news of the day.

If you blinked, you missed the net neutrality protest

The Day of Action reached more than 10 million users and generated at least 2.1 million comments urging the Federal Communications Commission to rethink its plans. That’s a drop in the bucket, seeing as the tech companies that took part in the protest reach billions of users every day

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Reports From the Day of Action for #NetNeutrality

Location:
USA, United States

Wednesday, July 12, 2017 was the Day of Action for Net Neutrality. A fun time was had by all.

President Trump Pledges Rural Broadband Support in Infrastructure Package

Location:
Cedar Rapids, IA, United States

President Donald Trump said that expanded access to broadband internet service in rural areas will be part of the infrastructure plan he will submit to Congress, helping to bridge a digital divide that leaves small towns behind.

President Trump tells tech CEOs that Washington needs to 'catch up with the revolution'

Location:
The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC, 20500, United States

President Donald Trump called for “sweeping transformation of the federal government’s technology” during the first meeting of the American Technology Council.

House Democrats Make Rhetorical Push for Internet Privacy

Location:
House Commerce Committee, 45 Independence Ave SW 2123 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC, 20515, United States

Mounting security concerns surrounding the proliferation of wireless devices is renewing a long-running internet privacy debate. Traditional partisan rifts over regulation of private companies exploded at a hearing of the House Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology.

House Oversight Subcommittee Examines Federal Health Care Cybersecurity Efforts in Wake of ‘WannaCry'

Location:
House Commerce Committee, 45 Independence Ave SW 2123 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC, 20515, United States

The Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, chaired by Rep Tim Murphy (R-PA), held a hearing examining the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) role in cybersecurity efforts within the health care sector.

Reporter says security 'manhandled' him after he asked FCC questions

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

Security guards reportedly “manhandled” an award-winning reporter after he asked Federal Communications Commission officials questions at a public hearing.

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Presentation of Charles Benton Digital Equity Award to Emy Tseng

I am so honored today to present the second annual Charles Benton Digital Equity Champion Award. Charles’ life was a testament to the principle that real change is the result of sustained effort. He saw in communications a tool that can and should be employed to make communities better, to help people thrive, and to improve our democracy. He was a consistent champion for digital inclusion and the idea that every member of a community should have affordable access, and the required skills, to make use of the latest communications technologies.

National Digital Inclusion Week Helps Build Nationwide Momentum for Digital Equity

Location:
National Digital Inclusion Alliance, Washington, DC, United States
Recommendation:
2

The phrases "digital equity" and "digital inclusion" are now being used to frame the discussion.

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Showcasing the Inaugural Charles Benton Next Generation Engagement Award Winners

Location:
Next Century Cities, 1200 18th Street NW, Washington, DC, 20036, United States
Recommendation:
2

Local governments are leading the way to implement innovative, forward-looking civic technology programs that narrow the digital divide and make cities more livable. But for all the impressive initiatives out there, many brilliant ideas never get off the ground for lack of resources. So last year, with support from the Democracy Fund and Benton Foundation, Next Century Cities launched the Charles Benton Next Generation Engagement Award. The competitive civic innovation prize invited cities to propose out-of-the-box solutions to local challenges. Last August, after an extensive review process, our team of expert judges – including Benton Foundation Executive Director Adrianne Furniss – chose three finalists: Austin (TX), Raleigh (NC), and Louisville (KY). Each received a seed grant to launch their local civic technology or digital inclusion program. Next Century Cities staff worked with the cities to put the grant to work and get their programs up and running.

Open Internet Process: Then and Now

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

In 2014, Commissioner Ajit Pai gave some advice to the Federal Communications Commission when it adopted a notice of proposed rulemaking on network neutrality. Will Chairman Pai take Commissioner Pai's advice?

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Showcasing the Inaugural Charles Benton Next Generation Engagement Award Winners

Local governments are leading the way to implement innovative, forward-looking civic technology programs that narrow the digital divide and make cities more livable. But for all the impressive initiatives out there, many brilliant ideas never get off the ground for lack of resources. So last year, with support from the Democracy Fund and the Benton Foundation, Next Century Cities launched the Charles Benton Next Generation Engagement Award. The competitive civic innovation prize invited cities to propose out-of-the-box solutions to local challenges.

‘Nobody’s got to use the Internet’: Rep Sensenbrenner’s response to concerns about Web privacy

Location:
Menomonee Falls, WI, United States
Recommendation:
2

“Nobody’s got to use the Internet. … And the thing is that if you start regulating the Internet like a utility, if we did that right at the beginning, we would have no Internet."

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