Headlines

Benton Foundation provides free, daily summaries of articles concerning the quickly-changing telecommunications policy landscape.

Comcast, AT&T seek to reassure on no plans for Internet 'fast lanes'

Location:
Senate Judiciary Committee, Constitution Avenue and 1st Street, NE Dirksen Senate Office Building -- 226, Washington, DC, 20002, United States
Recommendation:
2

Comcast and AT&T have no plans to create Internet "fast lanes" that may hurt consumers' freedom to roam the Web, the broadband providers told Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT).

Verizon warns FCC could violate law if broadband is reclassified

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
2

Verizon says the Federal Communications Commission would break the law by taking a controversial step on new rules for the Internet. Reclassifying broadband Internet service so that the FCC could regulate it like traditional phone service would be a “radical and risky” move “with significant harmful consequences,” Verizon executive Michael Glover told the agency in a letter accompanying a 20-page legal analysis of the action.

FCC Proposes Cable, Satellite, Radio Database Extension

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
1

In response to a petition filed by campaign finance reform groups seeking to extended online filing requirements to cable, satellite and radio, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler circulated a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to that effect for a vote by the other commissioners.

The Cost of Connectivity 2014

Location:
New America Foundation (NAF), 1899 L St NW, 4th Floor, Washington, DC, 20036, United States
Recommendation:
2

The Cost of Connectivity is an annual report that examines the cost and speed of broadband Internet access in 24 cities in the United States and abroad.

Learning from the Rural Broadband Experiments

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
2

The Federal Communications Commission’s Wireline Competition Bureau opened the application filing window for parties interested in participating in the FCC’s rural broadband experiments. Already the FCC has seen activity in the online system it is using to accept the applications, with many entities working on their applications. Interested parties have until 6 p.m. on Friday, November 7 to submit applications for this funding opportunity.

Telecom Industry Gets Serious About G.fast

Location:
University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory, 121 Technology Drive, Durham, NH, 03824, United States
Recommendation:
1

At least two North American service providers are very interested in using G.fast technology to dramatically boost the bandwidth that can be delivered over existing copper pair phone wiring, according to a source who should have a good handle on this -- Lincoln Lavoie, senior engineer for the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Lab oratory, which has been selected by the Broadband Forum to certify G.fast equipment.

Somebody’s Already Using Verizon’s ID to Track Users

Location:
Verizon Communications, 140 West St, New York, NY, 10007, United States
Recommendation:
2

Twitter's mobile advertising arm enables its clients to use a hidden, undeletable tracking number created by Verizon to track user behavior on smartphones and tablets.

American Net Leadership Is a Timely Foreign Policy Challenge

Location:
Brookings, 1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC, 20036, United States
Recommendation:
1

A very important gathering of nations is taking place in Busan, South Korea -- but largely away from public view, unfortunately. Busan is the site of the Plenipotentiary Conference, nicknamed the Plenipot, at which countries around the world will, among other things, establish the strategic plan of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a specialized agency of the United Nations.

Connecting the Next 1.5 Billion: Making the Connection Between Spectrum and Innovation

Location:
International Telecommunication Union, Geneva, 1202, Switzerland
Recommendation:
1

There are roughly 4 billion people around the world who are still ‘offline’, unable to access and participate in the Information Society. ITU has embarked on an ambitious task – to connect the next 1.5 billion people to the Internet by 2020.

TV: Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated

Location:
USA, United States
Recommendation:
1

Seems like every election, some political analyst says the end is near for political ads on TV – that TV is dead. Well not this year.

US Senate races to attract 1 million TV ads

Location:
Center for Public Integrity, 910 17th Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20006, United States
Recommendation:
1

After 2014’s US Senate races are run and done, the notoriously nasty contests will likely limp into history with this distinction: Candidates, political groups and nonprofits will have combined to air one million television ads.

New Analysis Finds the Affordable Care Act Mentioned in 14% of This Year’s Political Ads

Location:
Kaiser Family Foundation, 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20005, United States
Recommendation:
1

About 14 percent of political ads in all races airing in 2014 through October 15 mention the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare or any of the law’s specific provisions, mostly in a negative way, a new Kaiser Family Foundation study finds.

What Digital Literacy Looks Like in a Classroom

Location:
Hershey, PA, United States
Recommendation:
1

If students are “glued” 24/7 to their mobile devices, why is it necessary for schools to teach digital literacy? Who should teach it? And wait … what does it even mean to be “digitally literate”?

FirstNet Completes Successful Request for Information and Public Comment Period

Location:
First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), 1401 Constitution Ave, Washington, DC, 20230, United States
Recommendation:
1

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) has closed the window for responses to its September 17 Request for Information (RFI).

Lenovo wraps up its deal to buy Motorola from Google

Location:
Lenovo, No. 6 Chuang Ye Road, Beijing, 100085, China
Recommendation:
3

Lenovo has wrapped up its acquisition of Motorola Mobility from Google as it seeks to become a global player in a smartphone market dominated by Samsung and Apple.

Unfinished Business on Press Freedom

Location:
New York Times, 620 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY, 10018, United States
Recommendation:
2

Attorney General Eric Holder Jr., who announced his planned resignation in September, bears responsibility for undermining robust journalism by his overzealous leak investigations and his opposition to recognizing a reporter’s constitutional or common law privilege to protect sources. Perhaps seeking to improve on that dismal record, AG Holder issued new guidelines in February concerning prosecutors’ use of subpoenas and search warrants to obtain information from reporters. Those guidelines include some valuable changes, but they also contain a central flaw that requires prompt correction, as a group of media representatives will be urging at a meeting with Justice Department officials.

Unpacking the FCC’s Online Video Proposal

Location:
Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC, 20554, United States
Recommendation:
2

While the Federal Communications Commission might be stepping toward à la carte video programming, it is a baby step at best.

HBO Explores the ‘How’ of Streaming Option

Location:
Time Warner, 1 Time Warner Center, New York, NY, 10019, United States
Recommendation:
1

Time Warner’s HBO is exploring various routes to offer consumers a stand-alone streaming video service, including as an add-on to broadband packages or through technology partners such as Apple, Microsoft and Amazon.

European telecoms: hold the line please

Location:
Europe
Recommendation:
1

European telecommunications companies that operate in countries with four or more competitors have generally had poor profitability. That does not concern regulators, although the resulting low rate of investment should. But regulators are slowly changing their tune on consolidation.

Let the Internet Take On Cable

Location:
New York Times, 620 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY, 10018, United States
Recommendation:
2

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler wants to allow businesses like Aereo and Sony to register as cable companies. This would allow those companies to strike deals to carry the TV stations owned by media businesses like Viacom, NBC and Time Warner. This is a good step and should provide consumers more choices.

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