The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

Broadband

A Continued Push for Net Neutrality

Proponents of net neutrality are once again working towards imposing net neutrality rules and regulations over the Internet.  The Internet has thrived in an open and competitive market to become a vital part of society and the global economy.  There has been incredible growth in both the speed and quality of the web, largely because the government has resisted onerous regulations.

Eighteen Years and Counting

On February 8, 2014, the Telecommunications Act of 1996 will turn eighteen years old.  For most eighteen year-olds this is a major milestone in life.  Gaining a sense of maturity; showing that one is ready to face the world.  You even get to vote. 

Public Utility Model Doesn’t Hold Traction for Broadband

On November 4, 2013, a study released by Reason Foundation found that government-owned broadband networks (GONs) do not provide the value that cities and towns hope to achieve.

Private Sector Solution to Digital Literacy

As students return to school this fall, they are finding that their teachers are using technology tools, such as online curriculums and textbooks, and assigning online homework more frequently.  Today, virtually all schools and libraries are connected to the Internet.  However, once the school day has ended, students may find a different picture when they return home.

Keeping Internet Access Free of Taxes

On November 1, 2014, the moratorium banning discriminatory taxes on the Internet and taxes on Internet access imposed by the Internet Tax Freedom Act in 1998 will expire.  At the time the legislation was initially enacted, the Internet had approximately 300 million users.  Since then, the number of users on the Internet has increased to nearly 2.3 billion world-wide.

E-Rate Program Reform To Take Center Stage at FCC

On Friday, July 19, 2013, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will be meeting to discuss, among other items, reforms to the Universal Service Fund (USF)’ E-Rate program, which was highlighted in the July edition of Wastewatcher.  It is expected that the outcome of this meeting will be a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) to obtain comment on how the program can be re-organized to meet the goals of the President Obama’s recently

The Farmers Love This Bill

“The farmers love this bill,

The farmers love this bill,

High, HIGH, the dairies go,

The farmers love this bill!”

While it’s a tortured version of the original, the verse scribbled above represents a more fitting rendition of the classic nursery rhyme these days, given ongoing congressional action.  Today, the Senate will markup its version (S. 10) of this year’s farm bill, the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013.  The House of Representatives is expected to follow suit tomorrow.

Spectrum Auction Winners or Losers

The federal government is once again picking winners and losers.

Congress Requests GAO Investigation into Broadband Overbuild

On February 13, 2013, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing on the broadband stimulus programs managed by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Rural Utilities Service (RUS).

BTOP Program Overbuilds Fiber in Colorado

On February 7, 2013, KUSA-Channel 9 News in Denver, Colorado investigated issues related to the administration of a Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) grant within the state of Colorado, which is reportedly using the funding to build new fiber optic lines alongside those already in existence in direct competition with local telecommunication providers.

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