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.

Rural Maine communities taking lack of broadband into their own hands

Many rural communities in Maine have been waiting decades for the major internet service providers to bring broadband service to their areas, a situation exacerbated by the state having the second slowest internet speeds in the country. The lack of broadband is a deterrent to would-be residents and businesses, and it thwarts local efforts at economic development. It also deprives existing residents of opportunities for entertainment, education, employment, and digital health services.

EPB, Chattanooga's municipal power utility, tops 100,000 fiber optic customers

When EPB, Chattanooga's municipal power utility, launched its Internet, video, and phone services nearly a decade ago in conjunction with its efforts to build a smarter electric grid, the city-owned utility projected it should attract more than 30,000 customers of its telecom services within five years to cover its costs and break even.

5G is coming, but not everyone is happy about it

For 5G, rather than relying on the huge cellular towers that already loom over industrial parks and shopping centers, carriers are counting on "small cell" antennas placed only hundreds of feet apart. About the size of a backpack, a small cell is typically installed atop an existing utility pole or streetlight, sometimes with other equipment closer to the ground. The small antennas are less powerful than cell towers, covering an area of up to 1,000 feet rather than a few miles. So carriers need more of them to blanket a neighborhood.

The Expanding News Desert

For residents in thousands of communities across the country – inner-city neighborhoods, affluent suburbs and rural towns– local newspapers have been the prime, if not sole, source of credible and comprehensive news and information that can affect the quality of their everyday lives. Yet, in the past decade and a half, nearly one in five newspapers has disappeared, and countless others have become shells – or “ghosts” – of themselves. Our research found a net loss since 2004 of almost 1,800 local newspapers.

Sponsor: 

Senate Commerce Committee

Date: 
Fri, 10/12/2018 - 15:00

This hearing will focus on identifying existing barriers to broadband deployment, ways to streamline infrastructure siting, and encourage investment in next generation communications services.  ​

Witnesses:



The local, national and global fight over 5G infrastructure

The whole multitrillion dollar promise of 5G — millions of jobs and new businesses — is just a pipe dream without infrastructure. Unlike 4G, which can be delivered through a relatively small number of tall towers, 5G wireless service relies on lots and lots of small receivers placed fairly close together. And installing all those little 5G cells is turning into a big fight. Pete Holmes is Seattle's city attorney.

5G service rolls out — but not without controversy

Lampposts around downtown Los Angeles are being wired with fiber optic cable and shoebox-sized gadgets to beam the fifth and fastest generation of cellular data, known as 5G, into homes and mobile devices. This high-tech infrastructure build-out is the result of a deal between the city and Verizon — Los Angeles gave the wireless carrier a break on the fees for taking up space on streetlights in exchange for a package of amenities and services.

The FCC is tasked with solving the digital divide and it's making things worse

In an era that’s buzzing with talk of autonomous vehicles and virtual wallets, mere access to broadband internet remains out of reach for many. And while Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai frequently reminds the public that his top priority is closing the digital divide, his actions have made it harder, again and again, for Americans to get internet access. He has been leading the charge to gut Lifeline, the federal program that subsidizes phone and broadband connections for low-income people in the United States.

Georgia Tackles Broadband Expansion And Local Control

Rural Georgia needs better internet access quickly, but state lawmakers said internet companies won’t expand to rural areas if there’s too much red tape. Lobbyists said their companies are spending too much time negotiating with each city and county for access to roads to install broadband equipment. So state lawmakers and local elected officials will meet for the first time to talk about who has the right of way. Dublin Mayor Phil Best said the residential areas of town are where broadband service spotty.

Cities will sue FCC to stop 5G Deployment order

A number of cities plan to sue the Federal Communications Commission over its decision to preempt local rules on deployment of 5G wireless equipment. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and City Attorney Pete Holmes said their city intends to appeal the FCC order in federal court. Seattle will be coordinating with other cities on a lawsuit, they said. The FCC says its order will save carriers $2 billion, less than one percent of the estimated $275 billion it will take to deploy 5G across the country.