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FCC may endorse broadband goals, but not vote on plan

March 5, 2010 FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is urging his four colleagues on the commission to sign a joint "mission statement" endorsing the overarching goals of the proposed national broadband plan in lieu of an up-or-down vote on the massive technology blueprint. The plan, to be formally unveiled at the agency's March 16...

FCC to seek $18B for emergency wireless communications network

February 25, 2010 The FCC will ask Congress to spend up to $18 billion over 10 years to build a nationwide, state-of-the-art wireless communications network for emergency responders after the agency failed to persuade the private sector to foot the bill. The network would enable fire, rescue and police squads to share information...

FCC to try incentives to free wireless broadband spectrum

February 24, 2010 The FCC plans to free up a large swath of wireless broadband spectrum -- totaling 500 megahertz -- over the next decade, but for now, it won't force television broadcasters to relinquish any airwaves. Instead, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced Wednesday that the agency will seek to incentivize TV stations...

Consumer advocate says FCC broadband proposal will fall short of goals

February 18, 2010 A prominent consumer advocate warned Wednesday that an FCC proposal to bring ultrafast broadband service to 100 million households over the next decade -- at the sizzling speed of 100 megabits per second -- would leave up to 30 million households without access to the technology. Mark Cooper, research director...

Senate axes satellite TV provisions

February 12, 2010 Legislation to renew the satellite television law governing the transmission of broadcast signals via DirecTV and the Dish Network just can't cut a break. After the Senate Finance Committee Thursday morning released a draft of its massive jobs bill containing provisions to renew the law for another five years --...

House panel approves spectrum inventory bill

January 21, 2010 Legislation designed to avert a looming communications spectrum crisis that could derail the FCC's ambitious plan for nationwide broadband connectivity received swift approval Thursday by a House panel. The measure, passed by voice vote after being amended by House Energy and Commerce Communications Subcommittee Chairman Rick Boucher, D-Va., would require...

Republicans fault broadband stimulus program

December 4, 2009 Congressional criticism of the beleaguered $7.2 billion broadband stimulus program, already under fire from prominent Democrats, is expected to grow today when two influential Republicans fire off a four-page letter to the Agriculture and Commerce departments outlining several concerns. House Energy and Commerce ranking member Joe Barton and Rep. Cliff...

Consensus eludes Boucher on universal service fund overhaul

November 17, 2009 For the past four years, Reps. Rick Boucher, D-Va., and Lee Terry, R-Neb., have been trying to forge a consensus on legislation aimed at overhauling the universal service fund, a multibillion-dollar federal program that subsidizes telecommunications service in low-income and rural areas. A hearing today before the House Energy and...

Broadband stimulus program: Faster Internet, slower bureaucracy

November 16, 2009 NewWave Communications of Sikeston, Mo., is not a deep-pocketed technology giant that can afford to throw money around in Washington. The cable television operator serves 115,000 customers in rural portions of the Midwest and South and keeps a tight budget. Yet the company was forced to shell out $80,000 on...

Rockefeller warns FCC over direction of broadband plan

November 6, 2009 Senate Commerce Chairman John (Jay) Rockefeller has a blunt message for the Democratic-led FCC: Don't submit a national broadband plan to Congress early next year that's complicated, esoteric, filled with grandiose ideas and dependent on protracted rulemaking to implement. "I want to see concrete action on the day the plan...