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.
Local leaders met with the Federal Communications Commission's Wireline Competition Bureau staff on March 13, 2019, to suggest the FCC continuing to re-evaluate the appropriate broadband speed requirements for service to rural areas by carriers receiving federal support. They discussed their concerns with filings, asking the FCC to extend to wireline providers the interpretation of section 253 set forth in the September 27, 2018 Wireless Infrastructure Order.
A Q&A with San Jose (CA) Mayor Sam Liccardo.
Companies hunting for space to place wireless equipment in New York City snapped up the rights to street lamps and traffic lights dotting Fifth Avenue in the heart of Manhattan in 2013. They didn’t stake claims to large clusters of sites in less affluent areas until three years later. City officials are now trying to change that trend, pushing companies that lease public space for telecom-equipment installations to move more aggressively beyond the city’s core, to improve wireless services more quickly for a broader swath of residents.
Who would Americans trust to best understand the broadband-related interests of the residents of a city: its mayor, or the head of the Federal Communications Commission? About twice as many Americans have a positive view of their local government than they do the federal government. Americans would be right in trusting mayors more than federal officials.
The economic reality of varied broadband deployments is that communities with the fastest speeds are most likely to benefit from competition among providers, which further pushes prices down. Thus, we soon will have a divide in which certain dense and high-income communities will have multiple choices for affordable gigabit services, while less dense, lower-income communities may still be stuck with a DSL offering that is 100 times slower but similarly priced.
Mayors expressed optimism a new House bill could provide an alternative path to overturning a Federal Communications Commission order preempting local authority over fifth-generation wireless deployments. H.R. 530, authored by Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), would undo rules that went into partial effect on Jan. 14 requiring cities to move on wireless providers’ small cell applications within set timeframes while capping fees to access public rights of way.
House Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr.
Today there are nearly 900 rural co-ops still providing their communities with electricity. A DIY success story! Now history repeats itself—with broadband. Thirty-nine percent of rural Americans had no access to home broadband in 2016 (compared with 4 percent of folks in urban areas), because big telcos say it’s too expensive to build affordable fiber-optic broadband in the countryside. Residents have to make do with dialup or Wi-Fi from a library. So co-ops are solving the problem again.
More than 10.7 million low-income households in the United States lack access to quality internet service. In cities like San Jose (CA), local governments are using streetlight poles to facilitate equitable access to high-speed internet to dramatically improve educational outcomes for low-income students and expand economic opportunity for their families.
The Federal Communications Commission's Brendan Carr is taking off the gloves in a fight with San Jose (CA) Mayor Sam Liccardo. “We must do better than Mayor Liccardo’s failed broadband policies,” Commissioner Carr wrote on Twitter in response to a Liccardo op-ed. “Under his 3+ year leadership, San Jose approved zero small cells-ZERO-depriving residents of broadband options.