Report on past event
The House Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Communications and Technology held a hearing entitled Empowering and Connecting Communities Through Digital Equity and Internet Adoption.
Current research suggests that low-income people can only afford to pay about $10 monthly for broadband. Anything more competes with other utility bills and the cost of food. Meeting the goal of universal connectivity and providing fixed broadband at about $10 per month requires a multi-pronged strategy - what my Benton colleague Jonathan Sallet calls an “Affordability Agenda.” It includes:
The Charles Benton Early Career Scholar Committee has awarded Burcu Baykurt the 2019 TPRC Charles Benton Early Career Scholar Award Winner and Jacob Manlove the runner up. Burcu Baykurt wrote (Dis)connecting the Digital City which examines how the connectivity infrastructures of the digital city are laid over uneven terrains and the ways residents react to those changes. Assessing the Need for a Measure of Broadband Adoption Inequality, written by Jacob Manlove, proposes the use of the absolute value index which distinguishes between no mobile use, mobile only, fixed only,
Federal Communications Commission General Counsel Thomas Johnson faced a skeptical panel of judges of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit as he defended the agency's repeal of net neutrality rules and deregulation of the broadband industry.
The Federal Trade Commission this week held another set of hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century. The hearings and public comment process this Fall and Winter will provide opportunities for FTC staff and leadership to listen to experts and the public on key privacy and antitrust issues facing the modern economy. The hearings are intended to stimulate thoughtful internal and external evaluation of the FTC’s near- and long-term law enforcement and policy agenda.
In lieu of delivering advertised remarks dubbed "American Pai: The Courageous Chairman of the FCC," Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai received the National Rifle Association's (NRA) “Charlton Heston Courage Under Fire Award” at the Conservative Political Action Conference. The NRA-sponsored award was given to Chairman Pai in recognition of months of heavy criticism over his successful push to repeal the agency’s network neutrality rules. Chairman Pai led the push to repeal the rules, which were overwhelmingly supported by the public.
Wireless infrastructure deployment, particularly for small cell or distributed antenna systems, promise smart city innovation abilities. But this rollout is likely to be stymied until resolution of disputes between industry and municipalities. Local officials are upset that federal intervention – by Congress and by the Federal Communications Commission – is hampering their ability to govern their own rights-of-way.
All five Federal Communications Commissioners testified at a Senate Commerce Committee oversight hearing. Commerce Committee Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS) said the hearing was an opportunity for Commissioners to discuss what more can be done to expand broadband access and digital opportunity for all Americans.
FCC Chairman Pai Discusses C-Band, the Keep Americans Connected Pledge, and Bad Broadband Maps at Appropriations Hearing
The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government held the hearing "Oversight of FCC Spectrum Auctions Program" in which Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai testified. Leading the hearing was Subcommittee Chairman John Kennedy (R-LA), one of the harshest critics of the FCC decision to give satellite companies close to $10 billion in incentive payments to exit the C-Band spectrum by 2021 and 2023 instead of the 2025 deadline the FCC set.