Policymakers

Profiles of the people who make or influence communications policy.

Introducing the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society

Seventy-five years ago, in October 1944, my grandfather, William Benton, delivered a clarion call in the pages of Forbes magazine by articulating a forward-looking agenda on behalf of a coalition of business leaders (“the capitalists who cared enough about the system to save it”) to deliver a more peaceful and prosperous American future in the (then-expected) wake of winning World War II. William Benton recognized that American progress rested on the connection between economic opportunity and democracy.

Fritz Hollings: An Appreciation

Readers of this space may recall that I worked for many years (15) for U.S.

Presentation of the Fourth Annual Charles Benton Digital Equity Champion Awards

The city of Charlotte’s namesake, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, was Queen of Great Britain at the time of the US Revolution. Therefore, it seems appropriate to revisit the Queen’s City and celebrate the people and the organizations who are ensuring this digital revolution benefits everyone.

Brandeis: An Emphasis on Facts

From Louis Brandeis’s perspective, application of antitrust laws required both the embrace of hard-headed inquiry, spanning economics and the social sciences, and the litigator’s skill of distilling crucial facts. Brandeis’s work as a lawyer in private practice, his stint as special counsel to the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), and his time on the bench demonstrate his commitment to solving social and economic problems, examining the practical reality of economic circumstances, and serving the purposes of the law with rigor and commitment.

Elections Matter: Who’s Who in Telecommunications Policy in the 116th Congress

The 116th Congress is underway. In the background of a partial government shutdown, lawmakers are getting their committee assignments. At Benton, we keep a close eye on two key Congressional panels because of their jurisdiction over many telecommunications issues and oversight of the Federal Communications Commission: 1) the House Commerce Committee's Communications and Technology Subcommittee, and 2) the Senate Commerce Committee. Here's a look at some key telecom policymakers -- and their priorities -- in the 116th Congress. 

Takeaways From Attorney General Nominee Williams Barr's Confirmation Hearing

William Barr’s nomination as President Doanld Trump’s attorney general is in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which conducted a confirmation hearing Jan 15. Below are some key communications policy takeaways:

Two Researchers Join Benton Team

Benton Foundation Executive Director Adrianne B. Furniss announced that Dr. Christopher Ali is the foundation’s new Faculty Research Fellow and Dr. Ryland Sherman is Benton’s new Research Associate. As the Benton Faculty Research Fellow, Dr. Ali will continue his work on a systematic and comprehensive assessment of rural broadband policy, technology, markets, and stakeholders.

A Stellar Public Servant

A legend is leaving the Federal Communications Commission as the new year begins. Her name is Karen Peltz Strauss. Some of you may not have heard of her, but to the nation’s disabilities communities, she is a hero. She achieved this status the old-fashioned way. She earned it. In over 40 years in Washington, I have been privileged to work with many brilliant public servants. Karen Peltz Strauss is in the top-most tier of these incredibly able people.  Her star shines brightly in the public service firmament. She came to the agency with a goal, she never wavered from that goal, and she achie

Former FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn Joins Benton Foundation

Benton Foundation Executive Director Adrianne B. Furniss announced that former Federal Communications Commissioner and Acting Chair Mignon L. Clyburn has joined the foundation’s Board of Directors effective January 1, 2019. 

Nominated by President Barack Obama, Clyburn served as an FCC Commissioner from August 2009 until June 2018, and as Acting FCC Chair from May 20, 2013 through November 4, 2013. While at the FCC, Clyburn was a champion of diversity in media ownership, an advocate for the reform of Inmate Calling Services, and a staunch defender of a free and open internet.

The Trump Midterm: Looking at the 116th Congress

Tuesday, Nov 6 was Election Day in the United States. At the national level, Republicans kept control of the US Senate, while Democrats won enough seats to win control of the US House of Representatives.  At Headlines, we keep a close eye on two key Congressional committees because of their jurisdiction over many telecommunications issues and oversight of the Federal Communications Commission: 1) the Senate Commerce Committee and 2) the House Commerce Committee's Communications and Technology Subcommittee. What did we learn about the new Congress?