Perhaps the biggest news of the week was the agenda for the Federal Communications Commission's July 10 Open Meeting, which FCC Chairman Ajit Pai laid out in a blog post on June 18, 2019. I'm traveling to New York this week; below is a shorter-than-usual weekly that takes a look at how Chairman Pai plans to take education out of the Educational Broadband Service -- and broadcast television.
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.
On Tuesday, April 17, the House Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology will hold a hearing – entitled “From Core to Edge: Perspective on Internet Prioritization” – to better understanding of how network operators manage data flows over the Internet and how data is prioritized from the network core to the edge.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) will host a workshop in Gillette, WY, on the $48 billion Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) funding to give everyone in the country internet access. The idea is to give local governments money to expand broadband services in so-called “digital deserts” where high-speed, reliable internet isn’t available. The funding comes from the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The workshop is meant to give Wyoming leaders a heads-up on how to prepare for the funding.
Topics selected for FCC open meeting agendas will be posted on the Commission's website approximately three weeks prior to the Commission's next monthly meeting. The Commission will also issue a public notice of the "Commission Meeting Agenda" one week before the meeting and announce at that time the items that are scheduled for the agenda.
(agenda available approximately 3 weeks before the meeting)
An online technical assistance workshop to assist state, local, and Tribal governments, service providers, and other entities who plan to file bulk challenges to data in the Broadband Serviceable Location Fabric (Fabric), which serves as the foundation for the Broadband Data Collection (BDC) fixed availability maps. The workshop will review how to open and work with the Fabric dataset and will also demonstrate possible approaches to identifying missing or mislabeled locations in the Fabric data set.
Federal broadband programs offer unprecedented funding to states for broadband infrastructure deployments. One of the requirements is that each state or territory assumes an active role in identifying those areas of greatest need for broadband infrastructure deployment (also meeting a long list of other requirements) and runs a grant program. A small number of states have been proactive in collecting data and making it available to the public.
On September 24, Black Churches 4 Digital Equity is hosting its National Affordable Connectivity Program Sign-Up Day in 34 cities across the United States. The coalition aims to increase participation in the Affordable Connectivity Program, the Federal Communications Commission's broadband subsidy program, by community members of African American, faith-based institutions.
An overview of the ongoing Broadband Data Collection process, which will be used to create an updated national broadband availability map. The forthcoming broadband availability maps will be instrumental in determining the flow of funds for over $42 billion in funds for broadband deployment from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL).