Telecommunication

Communication at a distance, especially the electronic transmission of signals via the telephone

Broadband HEROES

On May 12, House Democrats unveiled the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act. "We are presenting a plan to do what is necessary to address the corona crisis," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as she announced the legislation.

FCC Proposes Capping Fund Used to Close the Digital Divide

On Friday, May 31, the Federal Communications Commission launched a proceeding to seek comment on establishing an overall cap on the Universal Service Fund (USF). USF programs provide subsidies that make telecommunications and broadband services more available and affordable for millions of Americans. The NPRM asks a lot of questions over how to cap the programs. But a crucial one we ask: Does this NPRM actually move the U.S. closer to closing the digital divide?

Why is the FCC Talking about a USF Cap?

The Benton Foundation unequivocally opposes any proposals from the Federal Communications Commission that would allow the FCC to shirk its responsibilities to meet its Congressionally-mandated mission. The FCC is supposed to ensure:

Five Steps to Advance Rural Broadband

On March 12, 2019, I was honored to appear before the Senate Communications Subcommittee to testify on “The Impact of Broadband Investments in Rural America.” I provided my personal views, bringing the perspective of a former government official with 22 years of experience at the Federal Communications Commission and National Telecommunications and Information Administration, with the last decade focused on the FCC’s Connect America Fund. My five-minute opening statement follows:

Millions Could Lose Service if FCC 'Reforms' Lifeline Program

[Editorial] The Benton Foundation has joined literally hundreds of organizations that are asking the Federal Communications Commission to ensure Lifeline voice and broadband service for low-income households, with minimal disruption to the people who depend on the program for a consistent connection to the world via their telephone or internet connection. We're asking that the FCC:

FCC Moves to Transform Lifeline Program for Low-Income Americans

The Federal Communications Commission took steps to transform its Lifeline program. A Fourth Report and Order, Order on Reconsideration, and Memorandum Opinion and Order changes FCC rules to:

The FCC is having a terrible month, and consumers will pay the price

[Commentary] Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is setting a record pace for deregulating the communications industries. Believe it or not, things are about to get worse in Nov. Starting with the FCC’s open meeting on Nov 16, the agency is poised to approve or propose no fewer than four decisions that will deregulate consolidated industries, remove consumer protections, and widen the digital divide:

FCC, Huawei Square Off in Court Briefs

The respective parties have filed their opening briefs in Chinese telecom Huawei's challenge to the Federal Communications Commission's initial determination that its technology is a national security risk and must be excluded from broadband subsidies — and likely ripped and replaced from existing networks. The FCC voted unanimously on June 30 to affirm its initial designation that Huawei (and ZTE) are suspect, which means no carrier can use tech from either company to build out broadband and be eligible for any of the government's billions of dollars in Universal Service Fund subsidies for

FCC to Hold Open Commission Meeting July 16, 2020

The Federal Communications Commission will hold an Open Meeting on Thursday, July 16, 2020. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and related agency telework and headquarters access policies, this meeting will be in a wholly electronic format and will be open to the public on the Internet via live feed from the FCC’s web page and on the FCC’s YouTube channel.

Commissioner Starks on Barring Huawei and ZTE from USF

Network security is national security. Today’s actions will help secure our networks against new threats from Huawei and ZTE equipment. We must not, however, lose sight of the untrustworthy equipment already in place. The Commission has taken important steps toward identifying the problematic equipment in our systems, but there is much more to do. We must prioritize our review of our recent information collection and establish an expedited plan for the removal and replacement of untrustworthy equipment.