Tag Archives: FCC

FCC approves spending billions to put Wi-Fi in schools and libraries

“The Federal Communications Commission on Friday approved a plan to spend $1 billion per year to provide Wi-Fi service in schools and libraries. The plan from FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler passed in a 3-2 vote after an eleventh-hour compromise was reached to secure the votes of the commission’s two Democrats. “Because of what we do today, 10 million kids will be connected next year who otherwise wouldn’t. That’s a good day’s work,” Wheeler said at Friday’s open meeting.” (via The Hill)

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The big city library as Internet provider

“As our Brian Fung detailed last week, some of the United States’ bigger urban library systems have begun lodging a public protest against the formula federal rulemakers are considering for the distribution of billions of dollars for wireless Internet infrastructure. The Federal Communications Commission is thinking of divvying up so-called E-Rate funds to libraries based on square footage rather than users or some other metric, a calculation that city libraries argue gives an unfair advantage to their more sprawling suburban counterparts. And now perhaps the biggest name in the U.S. public libraries has dipped into the debate.” (via The Washington Post)

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E-rate reform: A sustainable path forward for school and library connectivity

“A year ago, President Obama unveiled the ConnectED initiative, declaring that his goal was to connect virtually every school in the United States to high-speed Internet by the end of the decade. A key piece of the administration’s plan is reforming the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) E-rate program, which subsidizes communications services for schools and libraries across the country. There’s been a flurry of activity in the past year aimed at addressing the broadband gaps that make it increasingly difficult for schools and libraries to use 21st century digital-learning tools. A wide range of stakeholders weighed in during two rounds of comments at the FCC, and everyone from Obama to local leaders and tech CEOs have called to upgrade America’s aging broadband infrastructure. Now, as students and teachers prepare for summer break, the FCC is gearing up to make changes in time to impact the 2015 E-rate funding cycle. The exact details are still being ironed out, but it’s clear that more reforms will be needed in addition to those being discussed for the commission’s open meeting in July.” (via The Hill)

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Why the death of net neutrality would be a disaster for libraries

“The Internet’s eyes turned to the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday, as the panel approved a plan to consider allowing Internet service providers to charge Web sites like Netflix for higher-quality delivery of their content to consumers. In the lead-up to the vote, tech companies, venture capitalists and even celebrities all expressed opposition to the proposal, arguing that it would effectively end the open Internet. But another group who cares deeply about this issue is the library community. The Switch spoke to Lynne Bradley, the director of government relations at the American Library Association’s Washington office, about how net neutrality affects libraries, the people who rely on them and public institutions at large.” (via Washington Post)

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FCC to boost fund for broadband in schools

“The Federal Communications Commission plans to double a fund dedicated to bringing broadband Internet connections to schools and libraries, bolstering a White House push to wire all U.S. schools with faster speeds. The plan to be announced Wednesday by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is to increase to $2 billion from $1 billion the portion of the E-Rate program for broadband grants. The FCC said the two-year increase in broadband grants will not come from an increase in rates charged to wireless and phone customers. Consumers’ monthly bills include a line-item charge for the federal Universal Service Fund, which includes the $2.4 billion annual E-Rate program.” (via The Washington Post)

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ARL Urges FCC to Support E-Reader Accessibility

“On September 13, ARL submitted reply comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) opposing a petition filed by the Coalition of E-Reader Manufacturers. The manufacturers are requesting a waiver from the FCC that would exempt e-readers from the requirement that equipment used for advanced communication services (ACS) be accessible to, and usable by, individuals with disabilities.” (via ARL)

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F.C.C. Backs Plan to Update a Fund That Helps Connect Schools to the Internet

“The Federal Communications Commission voted on Friday to overhaul and possibly expand its E-Rate program, a $2.3 billion effort to provide schools and libraries with up-to-date telecommunications service and equipment, including high-speed Internet connections. A proposal approved by the commission, which will be made available for public comment before a final version is completed, calls for funds to be moved away from outdated uses like paying for paging service and long-distance phone calls and into areas that will accelerate digital literacy, like Wi-Fi connections within a school or library.” (via NYTimes.com)

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FCC to Explore Helping Low-Income Americans Afford Internet Access

Mashable – “FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced Monday that he will be ordering sweeping changes to the Lifeline low-income telecommunications connectivity program. The Lifeline program was formed to help low-income Americans pay for telephone connectivity. Lifeline subscribers have been able to receive as much as $10 off their monthly telephone bills for either a landline or mobile phone. But high-speed Internet has been replacing the telephone as the main connectivity choice for Americans, and the FCC recognizes that shift.”

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The Download: FCC opens ‘technology experience center’ for staff, industry to interact

Washington Post – “A herd of interns huddled around a display table of tech gadgets at the Federal Communications Commission last week, picking up and passing around Hasbro 3-D goggles, an Amazon Kindle and a Polaroid photo printer designed by Lady Gaga. The agency converted a corner of its library into a “technology experience center” where employees can interact with the latest gizmos from companies that are directly impacted by the FCC’s policies.”

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What You Need To Know About the National Broadband Plan

GigaOm – “The FCC will deliver its National Broadband Plan to Congress a day earlier than originally scheduled — on March 16. Also on that day, the five FCC commissioners will vote on a “mission statement” intended to represent the spirit of the submitted documents. The plan, which Congress called for as part of the stimulus package passed last year, will recommend ways to provide universal broadband access as well as encourage Congress and industry to use broadband in health care, education and energy efficiency programs.”

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