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.

FCC Challenges Court's Smackdown

The Federal Communications Commission is seeking full-court review of a three-judge panel decision vacating its broadcast media ownership deregulation decision. The FCC filed a petition for review, arguing that the three-judge panel decision imposed burdens beyond those allowed in the Administrative Procedure Act, second-guessed the FCC to the point that it undermined congressional intent, and breaks with higher-court and sister-court pr

Broadband for America’s Future: A Vision for the 2020s Gives A Comprehensive Overview of a Problem That We Can Solve

At a time when millions of Americans still do not have access to broadband of any kind, Next Century Cities is a resource for local leaders who are searching for connectivity solutions. Lifting up the voices of local broadband advocates, our work helps to ensure that lawmakers and policymakers understand what is at stake for our member communities, especially those that are still struggling to provide reliable, affordable broadband access for their residents.

State of Public Trust in Local News

Americans’ perceptions and assessments of local media. Americans mostly believe local news media are doing a good job performing many of their democratic roles and responsibilities. Americans assess local coverage of most important local issues positively, and they generally see local media as in step with, rather than at odds with, the political leanings of their local community.

The Dos and Don'ts of Community Broadband Network Planning

The essential point at the Nevada Broadband Workshop in Reno was this: Communities that want broadband should produce a plan that’s as comprehensive as possible. Hosted by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) BroadbandUSA program, the workshop guided attendees through various aspects of broadband planning for smaller communities. Even if the cost for a project seems exorbitant, a plan can still be made.

Scoping New Policy Frameworks for Local Broadband Networks

Over many years, locally-initiated and operated broadband infrastructure projects have attempted to resolve the last-mile dilemma. Many generations of do-it-yourself (DIY) network efforts that are either wireless, such as community mesh networks, or wired, such as fiber cooperatives, exist, but in the U.S. scaled developments have been stalled for a variety of reasons that include regulatory prohibitions. This research examines a current ‘third wave’ of community networking, marked by local and DIY efforts as well as technological innovations.

FCC Commissioners Respond to Media-Ownership Ruling

“For more than twenty years," said Federal Communicatuions Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, "Congress has instructed the Federal Communications Commission to review its media ownership regulations and revise or repeal those rules that are no longer necessary. But for the last fifteen years, a majority of the same Third Circuit panel has taken that authority for themselves, blocking any attempt to modernize these regulations to match the obvious realities of the modern media marketplace.

Once Again, Court Overturns FCC Changes in Media-Ownership Rules

The Third US Circuit Court of Appeals threw out changes to broadcast media ownership rules approved by the Federal Communications Commission in 2017, saying the agency should have looked more closely at potential impacts on minority ownership. The court  said it agreed with public-interest groups that “the Commission did not adequately consider the effect its sweeping rule changes will have on ownership of broadcast media by women and racial minorities.” The court will vacate and remand “the bulk of” the FCC’s actions over the last three years for further consideration by the agency.

Local newspapers are suffering, but they’re still (by far) the most significant journalism producers in their communities

Local newspapers have always been the epicenter of local news ecosystems. While communities may have other sources of journalism, such as TV and radio stations and online-only outlets, the bulk of the reporting serving local communities has traditionally been provided by local newspapers. we conducted a study that explores which types of outlets are the most significant producers of journalism in 100 randomly sampled communities across the US.

Hillsboro (OR) outlines municipal fiber plans, promises internet speeds up to 4 gigs

Hillsboro’s (OR) publicly supported internet project aims to undercut its rivals on pricing and substantially outpace them in speed. The city council has set pricing for its forthcoming service, called HiLight, offering superfast gigabit service for $55 a month. That’s about half what Comcast charges for the same speeds. Hillsboro says it will offer speeds up to 4 gigabits for $300 a month, the same price as Comcast’s 2 gig plan. The first homes will be online early in 2020, according to the city, about a year behind the initial schedule.

Verizon sues Rochester to avoid paying 5G fees, says the FCC has its back

Verizon has sued the City of Rochester (NY) in order to avoid paying fees for deploying 5G equipment and fiber lines. Verizon's lawsuit, filed in US District Court for the Western District of New York on Aug 8, claims that the fees are higher than those allowed by federal law. As proof, Verizon points to a Federal Communications Commission preemption order from 2018 that attempts to limit the fees and aesthetic requirements cities and towns impose on carrier deployments. Rochester imposed its new fees in February.