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FCC chairman pushes reform agenda amid congressional inquiry

May 12, 2008 Last month, in a conference room atop the Federal Communications Commission building that has become a gathering spot for journalists, Chairman Kevin Martin made what appeared to be a routine announcement. The agency, he stated matter-of-factly, would soon issue press releases outlining the tentative agenda of each monthly meeting three...

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Pressure from Congress on FCC spurs changes at agency

December 6, 2007 Increased FCC oversight by Democratic lawmakers in both chambers is beginning to prompt changes at the Republican-led agency, as evidenced by two announcements that preceded a high-profile hearing Wednesday before a House panel. On the eve of the session, the agency said that for the first time it would begin...

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FCC agenda in disarray in wake of questions and concerns

November 27, 2007 FCC Chairman Kevin Martin's efforts to re-regulate the cable industry were in disarray Tuesday as the agency repeatedly postponed a meeting amid gridlock over whether to declare that cable operators have achieved market dominance and need to be reined in. Martin recently concluded that cable had reached this threshold, but...

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Congressman seeks to revive network neutrality debate

November 26, 2007 Rep. Edward Markey plans to introduce legislation in December to set the stage for congressional debate in 2008 on the ability of telecommunications companies to restrict content carried over their wireline and wireless high-speed Internet networks. The Massachusetts Democrat's network neutrality measure would be part of a multi-pronged effort to...

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Homeland Security chief defends timing of communications grants

July 18, 2007 Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff on Wednesday defended the government's timeframe for issuing nearly $1 billion in grants to bolster emergency communications. "We've been funding these kinds of things for years," Chertoff said, noting that federal money has been flowing to build a system that can communicate across jurisdictions since...

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New company makes bid for public-safety network

February 26, 2007 A new company spearheaded by former Democratic FCC Chairman Reed Hundt and Freedom Technologies President Janice Obuchowski on Monday unveiled a fresh plan for bolstering public-safety communications. The company, Frontline Wireless, plans to submit comments to the FCC later in the day. It will outline a proposal to build a...

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Ex-Commerce officials urge interoperability action

November 30, 2006 Two former top Commerce Department officials on Thursday recommended steps that the regulatory agencies and the incoming Democratic Congress can take to improve emergency communications across jurisdictions. During a conference call with reporters, Larry Irving, a Democrat who ran the National Telecommunications and Information Administration under former President Bill Clinton,...

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Key senators battle over emergency communications

September 13, 2006 Sens. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, and John McCain, R-Ariz., are engaged in a turf battle over emergency communications amendments that they are seeking to add to a port security measure. Each proposal would reserve $1 billion for equipment to let emergency responders communicate across jurisdictions, but they vary in how states...

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Senate bid fails to hike emergency responders funding

September 14, 2005 The Senate on Wednesday rejected an amendment to the fiscal 2006 Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill that would have earmarked $5 billion in government grants to strengthen communications among emergency responders. The amendment, offered by Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., fell 58-40. It needed 60 votes to secure a waiver to budget rules....

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Democrats seek funds for responder communications

September 13, 2005 A growing chorus of Democrats is seeking billions of dollars in congressional funding to improve communications for emergency responders after problems hampered relief efforts stemming from Hurricane Katrina. Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan on Tuesday was planning to offer an amendment to the budget resolution that would provide a "down...