The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

Broadband

FCC Commissioner Offers Commonsense Advice to Rural Utilities Service

Publicly-funded broadband overbuild is an ongoing problem across the country.  It is far easier to deploy new services alongside existing infrastructure than to build-out to those who remain in unserved areas. 

FCC Works Through the Mid-Band Spectrum

On July 12, 2018, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to adopt an Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Expanding Flexible Use of the 3.7 to 4.2 GHz Band (GN Docket No. 18-122).

Without Oversight, RUS Broadband Grant Program Could Follow Path of Stimulus

The recently released Farm Bill contained many of the same wasteful spending items found in past Farm Bills, but also held a few surprises that if not contained with transparency and appropriate oversight could lead to further wasteful spending.

A Twentieth Anniversary Not Worth Celebrating

In 1996, Bill Clinton resided in the White House; science produced the first cloned mammal, a sheep named Dolly; folks were dancing the Macarena; and the Simpsons became the longest running prime-time animated series. Unfortunately, not all twenty year flashbacks are as much fun because in 1996, cell phones were the size of a brick and performed two functions -- calling people and text messaging; the Internet was merely a blip on the radar; and, the Telecommunications Act of 1996 was enacted.

Broadband as a Moving Target

On January 29, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) redefined what constitutes minimum standards for broadband access, raising the bar from the original standard of 4 Megabytes per second (Mbps) for download speeds, and 1 Mbps for upload speeds, to 25 Mbps download speeds and 3 Mbps upload speeds.

Gadgets, Gizmos, Spectrum and IP

On January 6, the 2016 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) kicks off in Las Vegas, Nevada. This annual event showcases a multitude of devices and inventions, demonstrating the ingenuity and entrepreneurship of inventors across a wide range of fields.

Running Down the Clock on Internet Taxes

Nothing like waiting until the last minute to do something important. That is exactly what is happening on the Hill this week. The Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) is set once again to expire at midnight on December 11, 2015.

Finish Fixing Lifeline, Before Considering Expanding

In 2014, the Universal Service Fund (USF) collected approximately $8.5 billion to support telecommunications programs that include the Low Income support services, Lifeline and Link-Up programs; the High-Cost program; the Library and Schools program; and the Rural Health program. The funding for the USF is found in the charges on consumer’s communications bills as a hidden tax, known as the USF fee.

Capital Investments Don’t Happen Overnight Mr. Wheeler

On February 26, 2015, the three Democratic commissioners at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) made a monumental decision to regulate the Internet under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. In other words, they thought it was a good idea to apply an 80 year-old statute intended to regulate the monopoly Bell telephone system to the most compelling and competitive communications and commercial system ever created.

Municipal Broadband Proposal Seeks to Overturn State Laws

The President continued his preview of the State of the Union address on January 14, 2015 by announcing that among the top priorities for this year will be “removing barriers” for faster Internet speeds.

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