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USDA, Commerce to unveil broadband guidelines

June 30, 2009 USDA and the Commerce Department are poised to unveil their guidelines for the $7.2 billion broadband stimulus program as early as Wednesday to coincide with a news conference in Erie, Pa., featuring Vice President Biden. The guidelines, known as the "Notice of Funds Availability," or NOFA, will provide telecom and...

Groups urge FCC to treat broadband as telecom service

June 9, 2009 Consumer advocates are urging the FCC to reclassify high-speed Internet access as a telecommunications service, a major change that would have sweeping implications for cable and phone providers of broadband. Telecommunications offerings are more heavily regulated, which can mean price controls, allowing competitors access to infrastructure and tighter control of...

FCC needs $10 million for call centers

June 3, 2009 A last-minute funding snag could leave hundreds of thousands of residents permanently on hold when they try to reach operators at an FCC hotline intended to provide assistance with the June 12 transition to digital television signals. With only nine days to go before the remaining 974 TV stations operating...

Obama adviser looks at U.S.-built broadband network

May 26, 2009 A senior adviser to President Obama is touting the idea of spending tens of billions of dollars in public funds to build a nationwide, state-of-the-art broadband network featuring speeds 100 times faster than today's technology. While there has been no formal Obama administration commitment to such infrastructure investment, Susan Crawford,...

White House officials play key role in shaping broadband stimulus program

May 1, 2009 The White House is playing a critical behind-the-scenes role in shaping a $7.2 billion loan-and-grant program aimed at spurring wider broadband Internet access, despite a congressional mandate that put the Agriculture and Commerce departments in charge of the economic stimulus effort. With high-stakes decisions to be made affecting consumers and...

Industries oppose restrictive broadband stimulus funding

April 15, 2009 The telecommunications and cable industries have a warning for federal regulators preparing to distribute $7.2 billion in economic stimulus grants and loans to promote wider access to high-speed Internet service: Don't take our participation for granted. That's the subtext of public comments submitted by dominant players, including AT&T and Verizon,...

Fight nears over Senate tax incentives for broadband

February 9, 2009 The compromise Senate stimulus package that emerged over the weekend reduces funding for grants encouraging broadband deployment, particularly to rural areas, from $9 billion to $7.1 billion, putting the figure closer to the $6 billion approved by the House. But should the Senate approve the package Tuesday, it will set...

House Democrats poised to include $8B in stimulus for broadband in rural areas

January 15, 2009 House appropriators are poised to unveil legislative language for President-elect Obama's economic stimulus package that would provide roughly $8 billion in grants to spur the provision of high-speed Internet access to rural areas lacking service. The package is expected to contain billions of dollars more for grants to upgrade classrooms...

from govexec

FCC to come under closer scrutiny, aide says

January 5, 2009 The FCC under President-elect Barack Obama will face stepped up congressional oversight and increased pressure to create a more open and transparent regulatory environment, a top aide to incoming Senate Commerce Chairman John (Jay) Rockefeller, D-W.Va., said Monday. Jessica Rosenworcel, senior communications counsel on the Senate panel and a potential...

Groups urge Obama to adopt national broadband strategy

December 2, 2008 A coalition of 56 telecom companies, educators, industry associations, labor groups and watchdogs urged President-elect Obama today to develop and implement a national strategy to spur deployment of high-speed Internet access. Underscoring the adage that politics makes strange bedfellows, AT&T, Cisco, Free Press, Google, New America Foundation, National Cable and...