Localism

In exchange for obtaining a valuable license to operate a broadcast station using the public airwaves, each radio and television licensee is required by law to operate its station in the “public interest, convenience and necessity.” This means that it must air programming that is responsive to the needs and problems of its local community of license. In addition, how other media facilitate community discussions.

Cities, the FCC and Gigabit Networks

The federal government is recognizing what cities and those of us here in 2013 already knew: that our policies should ensure that bandwidth never constrains economic growth or social progress. Unfortunately, one thing hasn’t changed; the federal government’s view of its own role in helping achieve that goal.  It is: 1) Make cities do all the hard work, pay all the government costs and accept all the blame for whatever happens; and 2) Let the federal government pay none of the costs, do none of the hard work, and take all the credit.

Commissioner Rosenworcel Announces Availability of Small Cell Model Agreements

Right now, policymakers across the country are focused on strengthening American infrastructure. That effort includes roads, bridges, and broadband networks that support 5G wireless services. That’s vital—because to be first to a 5G future, we need to focus as much on the ground as on the skies. But figuring out how to deploy 5G infrastructure—which puts a premium on small cells—is a big task. It means acknowledging that we have a legal tradition of local control in this country but also recognizing that more streamlined and uniform practices can help speed deployment.

A shameless effort to consolidate control of local broadcasters

The Trump Federal Communications Commission has been working diligently since its first moments in office to help Sinclair expand its political messaging. By rewriting the rules governing local broadcasting, the Trump FCC is allowing Sinclair to turn supposedly “local” television operations into a coordinated national platform for the delivery of messages. Local television stations were licensed to multiple firms to promote a diversity of viewpoints. Using the public airwaves was supposed to deliver diverse editorial content and news coverage.

How Tech Companies Conquered America’s Cities

Across the country, cities are straining. Housing costs are exploding, transportation systems are overwhelmed, infrastructure is crumbling, and inequality is on the rise. Yet there’s little support from federal or state authorities — “infrastructure week” is a punch line in Washington, not a policy. Efforts to raise money for local projects are under siege from conservative activists, while measures to build more housing are halted by liberal ones. Into this void march the techies, who come bearing money, jobs and promises of out-of-this-world innovation. But there’s a catch.

San Jose plans smart city infrastructure with Verizon and AT&T

AT&T and San Jose (CA) have added a public-private partnership to their existing small cell agreement. The new agreement calls for San Jose to trial AT&T's smart city solutions. AT&T's digital infrastructure, which the company has described as a "smartphone for cities," is connected hardware with integrated sensors that can be attached to lamp posts to capture information about the environment. AT&T said the solutions it plans to trial with San Jose may include LED smart lighting, public Wi-Fi, digital infrastructure and structure monitoring.

The FCC and cities: The good, the bad, and the ugly

The Federal Communications Commission's Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC) suffers from significant failures of design and execution. Due to these failures, I expect the BDAC and the FCC will adopt a framework in which industry gets all the benefits with no obligations, and municipalities will be forced to bear all the costs and receive no guaranteed benefits.

Fading local press raises fears for city democracy

On both sides of the Atlantic, interest in news is high. The daily dramas of the Trump administration and the rollercoaster of the Brexit negotiations have fuelled sales of online subscriptions to US and UK newspapers grappling with the transition from print to a predominantly digital business model. The picture is bleaker for local newspapers. In the US there has been a hollowing out of a once-mighty sector.

Charlotte's digital innovation will help upward mobility, says FCC Chairman Pai

North Carolina residents will be among the first to have faster 5G broadband access thanks to legislation approved by lawmakers making the state a leader in digital innovation, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said. “I remember Charlotte and the surrounding communities in the '80s and '90s and to see how quickly things are moving, the energy in this town and in this county, it’s a testament to the leadership on all kinds of levels, public and private sector,” Chairman Pai said.  He especially praised 2017 legislation to install 5G broadband in the state. But critics of th

Chairman Pai's Response to Sen Durbin Regarding Sinclair Broadcast Proposal to Acquire Tribune Media

On April 16, 2018, Sen Dick Durbin (D-IL) wrote to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai regarding the merger between Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tribune Media Company. "In making its determination whether the proposed merger to allow a single company to reach 72 percent of U.S. television households serves the public interest, I urge the FCC to carefully consider Sinclair's conduct and the significant harm it poses," Sen Durbin wrote.

As big chains gobble up small TV stations, merged newsrooms are creating a uniformity of news coverage

The TV news has a familiar feel to it in west-central Pennsylvania. News stories broadcast on WJAC, the NBC affiliate in town, have appeared on nearby station WATM, the ABC affiliate. And many of those stories are broadcast on WWCP, the Fox station here, as well.