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.

San Jose Fund Set to Pay Out First Round of Broadband Grants

The San Jose Digital Inclusion Fund in California was established about a year ago as a mechanism for closing the digital divide in this largely affluent San Francisco Bay Area city, part of Silicon Valley.

No-Cost Broadband Program Takes Aim at Digital Divide

Even if broadband coverage isn’t the problem in a local area, the cost of high-speed Internet service may still hold back families who don’t have much money.

How cities dictate the pace of 5G deployment

Just how fast Americans can access 5G wireless service depends, in large part, on how effectively the guts of the network — namely, hundreds of thousands of bulky antennas — are placed in cities.

Pennsylvania Counties Eye Broadband Connectivity Study

Officials from Westmoreland County (PA) and seven neighboring counties are studying a proposal for local governing entities to step up and invest in infrastructure needed to expand or enhance broadband connectivity in under-served areas. About a dozen stakeholders from multiple counties attended a kickoff meeting for the Regional Broadband Task Force study.

Can the Digital Divide Finally be Bridged?

Frustrated with limited deployments, high prices and slow speeds, some municipalities have decided to take matters into their own hands, installing community networks through muni-fiber. Some cities are installing a conduit system with dark fiber, which gives them the choice to lease to broadband providers or switch to a municipal network in the future. A low-cost, low-risk option, the system allows ISPs to place and maintain their own fiber-optic cables. The city manages the asset leasing and creates an open platform for local provider competition.

Plight of Newspapers Generates Uncommon Bipartisan Unity

Anger toward big technology companies has led to multiple antitrust investigations, calls for a new federal data privacy law and criticism of the companies’ political ad policies. Perhaps no issue about the tech companies, though, has united lawmakers in the Capitol like the decimation of local news. Lawmakers from both parties blame companies like Facebook and Google, which dominate the online ad industry. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) gave a big boost to a bill that may provide some papers a lifeboat.

5G Infrastructure Fight Between Cities, FCC to Continue in 2020

A fight between the Federal Communications Commission and dozens of cities over the placement of 5G infrastructure will continue to play out in federal court in 2020, with oral arguments scheduled for February. At issue is whether the Federal Communications Commission can restrict how much municipalities can charge wireless carriers like AT&T Inc. to attach pizza box-sized wireless antennas, or small cells, to light poles and other city-owned infrastructure.

The Dayton Daily News is about to shrink. The FCC shouldn't have allowed it

In November 2019, the Federal Communications Commission approved the acquisition of Cox Media, the owner of the Dayton Daily News, by Apollo Global Management, a private equity firm. Apollo’s first move?

CORRECTED -- Cooperatives Fiberize Rural America: A Trusted Model for the Internet Era

More than 110 rural electric co-ops have embarked on fiber optic projects to increase Internet access for their members, a number that is growing rapidly from just a handful in 2012. Thirty-one percent of the fiber service available in rural areas is provided by rural cooperatives. Personal anecdotes from Michigan, Virginia, Minnesota, and Missouri residents attest to the far-reaching benefits of cooperatives’ expansion into Internet service. A new map shows where rural cooperatives are planning to expand fiber Internet service. Co-ops have proven that this is a model that works.

An old FCC rule is being used to justify shrinking the Dayton “Daily” News to three days a week

To increase the quality of local journalism in Ohio, the Federal Communications Commission is requiring three newspapers to stop printing daily.  Back in 1975, a thousand media ecosystems ago, the FCC passed a well-intentioned rule that said a city’s newspaper couldn’t be owned by the same company that owns one of its TV or radio stations.