Government & Communications

Attempts by governmental bodies to improve or impede communications with or between the citizenry.

Chairwoman Seeks Information on Multilingual Wireless Emergency Alerts

Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel sent letters to the nation’s 9 largest providers of Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) seeking information on how these alerts can start to support more languages beyond English and Spanish. WEA messages provide geographically targeted, text-like messages to mobile devices alerting consumers of imminent threats to safety in their area. Since the program became operational in 2012, it has been used more than 70,000 times to warn the public about dangerous weather, missing children, or other critical situations.

FCC hires communications firm to conduct ACP 'consumer education plan'

The Federal Communications Commission is contracting communications firm Porter Novelli Public Services (PNPS) to carry out a "consumer education plan" in order to broaden public awareness of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The FCC detailed its plans to work with PNPS in a contract opportunity posted on, with an award date of February 1, 2023.

FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel Responds to Members of Congress Regarding Broadband Data Collection

On February 3, 2023, Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel responded to members of Congress regarding the broadband data collection process. In December 2022, the lawmakers wrote to Rosenworcel with complaints from "constituents, state and local governments, and service providers alike of continuing concerns about the accuracy of the FCC's preliminary national broadband map. The lawmakers included recommendations for accountability measures moving forward.

Digital Discrimination

The Federal Communications Commission recently opened a docket, at the prompting of federal legislation, that asks for examples of digital discrimination. The big cable companies and telecoms are all going to swear they don’t discriminate against anybody for any reason, and every argument they make will be pure bosh. If people decide to respond to this FCC docket, we’ll see more evidence of discrimination based on income. We might even get some smoking gun evidence that some of the discrimination comes from corporate bias based on race and other factors.

Sens. Markey and Baldwin, Rep. Eshoo Introduce Legislation to Uphold Access to Community Television, Undo Trump-Era FCC Rules

Senators Edward Markey (D-MA) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Representative Anna Eshoo (D-CA) reintroduced their "Protecting Community Television Act" (S 340 and HB 907) This legislation would undo a Trump-era rulemaking by the Federal Communications Commission and ensure that public, educational, and government (PEG) channels have the resources they need to keep producing content for their viewers.

Sen. Fetterman, Recovering After Stroke, Labors to Adjust to Life in the Senate Through Tech

At Senator John Fetterman’s (D-PA) desk in the Senate chamber, there is a newly installed monitor that rises or lowers, depending on whether he sits or stands, and provides closed captioning so he can follow the proceedings. At the center dais, a custom desk stand has been built to accommodate the same technology for when he takes his shifts presiding over the Senate. The sergeant-at-arms has arranged for live audio-to-text transcription for the committees on which Sen. Fetterman serves, and plans to expand the service to all Senate hearings.

Free Speech vs. Disinformation Comes to a Head

Dozens between government officials and executives at Facebook, Google, Twitter and other social media companies that have spilled into public are at the heart of a partisan legal battle that could disrupt the Biden administration’s already struggling efforts to combat disinformation. The attorneys general of Missouri and Louisiana, both Republicans, have sued the White House and dozens of officials, accusing them of forcing the platforms to stifle the voices of its political critics in violation of the constitutional guarantee of free speech.

As the digitalization of work expands, place-based solutions can bridge the gaps

One of the most striking developments of the last decade has been the rapid “digitalization” of work—and with it, an urgent demand for skill-building. Digitalization is the infusion of digital skills (though not necessarily higher-end software coding) into the texture of almost every job in the economy. And it has inordinate power to both empower workers or divide them. That’s because gaps in access to digital skills engender disparate access to the nation’s best-paying, most desirable jobs and industries.

Rep. Duncan (R-SC) Re-introduces TELL Act to Protect American Data from the Chinese Communist Party

Congressman Jeff Duncan (R-SC) and Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) introduced H.R. 742, the TELL Act (Telling Everyone the Location of Data Leaving the US Act), to protect American data from the Chinese Communist Party. This legislation allows the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to endorse rules that allow Americans to know if their data has been compromised by China and if it is being stored, transferred, or exposed to China or companies owned by the Chinese Communist Party.

Senate Democrats and Biden need to stand up to homophobic attacks on FCC nominee Gigi Sohn

Gigi Sohn is gay. She’s also a highly qualified nominee for the Federal Communications Commission with decades of experience as a public interest advocate working on issues of affordable broadband access, net neutrality, and closing the digital divide.