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

FCC Publishes List Of Communications Equipment And Services That Pose A Threat To National Security

The Federal Communications Commission released a list of communications equipment and services that have been deemed a threat to national security, consistent with requirements in the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019. The list includes five Chinese companies that produce telecommunications equipment and services that have been found to pose an unacceptable risk to US national security or the security and safety of US persons. They include Huawei, ZTE, Hytera Communications, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co., and Dahua Technology Co. 

FCC Commissioner Carr Visits Mississippi to Promote 5G Jobs Agenda

Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr is in Mississippi for events focused on his 5G jobs initiative, which centers on standing up community college and trade school programs so that Americans earn the skills needed to land good-paying jobs in the tower and telecommunication industries. Those programs have already been launched in SC, SD, NC, and OK. His visits will also focus on telehealth, infrastructure builds, and enhanced use of technology in K-12 classrooms.

AT&T promised a TV revolution — instead, we got a giant mess

AT&T announced it would be spinning off its TV business — including DirecTV, AT&T TV, and U-verse — in a deal it claimed would greatly benefit the company’s customers, employees, and shareholders. The deal provides AT&T with a $7.8 billion cash infusion to pay down debt and recent wireless spectrum purchases, and a 70 percent stake in the “new” DirecTV.

As telecommunications companies spend billions on wireless, where does that leave the wired?

A Q&A with Angela Siefer, executive director of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance. 

AT&T and Frontier have let phone networks fall apart, California regulator finds

AT&T and Frontier have let their copper phone networks deteriorate through neglect since 2010, resulting in poor service quality and many lengthy outages, a report commissioned by the California state government found. Customers in low-income areas and areas without substantial competition have fared the worst, the report found. AT&T in particular was found to have neglected low-income communities and to have imposed severe price increases adding up to 152.6 percent over a decade.

Lacking a Lifeline: How a federal effort to help low-income Americans pay their phone bills failed amid the pandemic

The coronavirus has reinforced the Internet as the fabric of modern American life, a luxury-turned-necessity for a generation now forced to work, learn and communicate primarily through the Web. But it also has laid bare the country’s inequalities — and the role Washington has played in exacerbating these long-known divides.

Momentum Grows to Shore Up FCC Subsidy Programs, But Deal Elusive

Pressure is rising on the Federal Communications Commission and Congress to rethink the $8 billion Universal Service Fund that subsidizes phone and broadband service, as it teeters on a shrinking budget base. Big phone companies like AT&T, entities that benefit from USF programs, and public interest groups see the Biden administration as a new opportunity to press their case for an overhaul of the funding mechanism.

Texas Universal Service Fund Reduces Payments Amid Funding Uncertainty

As wireless providers move towards using data instead of voice calls, the Texas Universal Service Fund (TUSF), which is responsible for offsetting the high cost of connecting Texans across the state, has reduced payments received by rural telephone providers by 66 percent.  In response to this decrease, rural telephone providers, which are now facing financial uncertainty, filed a suit in Travis County District Court against the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC), which oversees the fund.  The lawsuit requests that the PUC fully provide previously approved funds to rural telephone cus

A common-sense opportunity to reform the Universal Service Fund

The time is long past for Congress to adopt outgoing Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai’s recommendation: Move the universal service program on-budget, which will shore up its precarious financial state and cure many of the real or perceived problems with the existing program. Some have suggested expanding the revenue base to include broadband access. An alternative proposal floated by state utilities commissioners would have replaced the existing surcharge with a per-number tax on residential lines and a revenue-based tax on commercial telephone revenue.

February Open Meeting Agenda

Federal Communications Commission Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel announced that the items below are tentatively on the agenda for the February Open Commission Meeting scheduled for Wednesday, February 17, 2021: