Government & Communications

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

Cut Off From the Courthouse: How the Digital Divide Impacts Access to Justice and Civic Engagement

After exploring the connection between broadband policy and access to courts, civic engagement, and government services, this report by Next Century Cities and the Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic at the University of California-Berkeley offers the following conclusions:

FCC Announces April Open Meeting Agenda

The Federal Communications Commission has announced its April 2022 Open Meeting Agenda. The following are on the agenda for the FCC:
  • Innovative spectrum management:  The FCC will consider an inquiry on how receiver improvements could provide greater opportunities for efficient use of spectrum. It would also seek comment on legal authority and market-based mechanisms that could help create a more transparent and predictable radiofrequency environment for all spectrum users.

FCC Releases its 2021 Annual Performance Report

The Federal Communications Commission has released its Annual Performance Report for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021. The report details the FCC's efforts in 2021 under four main goals: closing the digital divide, promoting innovation, protecting consumers and public safety, and reforming the FCC's processes. FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel highlights the FCC's actions over the course of 2021, stating, "During FY 2021, the Commission mounted an extraordinary response to a historic crisis.

FCC and NTIA Leaders Hold Inaugural Monthly Meeting

Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel and Assistant Secretary of Commerce Alan Davidson met on March 29 to discuss spectrum policy efforts, the first monthly FCC/NTIA coordination meeting since the leaders launched their Spectrum Coordination Initiative. The leaders also announced that they have launched a joint task force which met this week to begin discussing the details of a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the agencies.

Reps Cammack and Costa Urge USDA to Prioritize ReConnect Funding in Rural and Underserved Communities

Reps Kat Cammack (R-FL) and Jim Costa (D-CA) led a letter with their colleagues to urge US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Vilsack to ensure the ReConnect Pilot Program serves rural America and the underserved communities that need it most.

Democrats Weigh Tactic to Break Stalemate on President Biden's FTC and FCC Nominees

Under pressure from progressive activists, Democrats are considering employing a rarely used parliamentary maneuver to push through President Biden’s nominees for the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission. Republicans on the Senate Commerce Committee have so far blocked the nominations of Georgetown University law professor Alvaro Bedoya to the FTC and Gigi Sohn [Senior Fellow and Public Advocate at the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society] to the FCC, largely on grounds that they are too partisan.

President Biden Announces US Government Budget Proposal for 2023

On March 28, President Biden announced a $5.8 trillion budget proposal for the US government for fiscal year 2023. Biden's proposal includes:

Department of Commerce's Fiscal Year 2022-2026 Strategic Plan Includes $50 Billion Investment in Broadband

 The Department of Commerce released its fiscal year 2022-2026 Strategic Plan laying out an agenda for innovation, resilience and equity to strengthen US competitiveness in the 21st century. The Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will take the lead in ensuring all Americans can access affordable, future-proof broadband by implementing a nearly $50 billion investment in infrastructure, planning, digital inclusion, and workforce development. The Department's four broadband strategies included in its Strategic Plan are the following:

FCC Submits Budget Request for Fiscal Year 2023

On March 28, the Federal Communications Commission presented its fiscal year 2023 budget request. The budget request will be used to support the following Strategic Goals:

US government-backed company Lantern works to build an "unbreakable" internet in Russia

As Russia makes preparations to possibly disconnect from the global internet in a bid to control the narrative around the invasion of Ukraine, Lantern is rushing to lay the final pieces of an unbreakable network that the Kremlin won’t be able to take down. The company has seen staggering growth inside Russia in the last four weeks for its app that allows users to bypass restrictions the Kremlin has put in place on platforms like Facebook, Twitter