The Swine Line: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

Telecommunications

Transparency Needed at the FCC

There is a problem with transparency at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) relating to the sharing of information with the public on critical regulatory matters under consideration.

Copyright Office Details Problems with FCC Set-Top Box Proposal

On August 3, 2016, the Register of Copyrights sent a letter to four members of Congress, detailing potential copyright violations that could occur if the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) proposed rulemaking on set-top boxes is implemented, requiring multi-channel video programming distributors (MVPDs) to provide access to content, video programming guides, and subscriber data to third parties.  The Copyright Office is concerned whether the FCC can meet its objective of promoting set-top box competition and

Time for a Time-Out on Set-Top Box Mandates

It is doubtful the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman thought there would be much concern about his proposed mandates on set-top box standards, which would allow third parties access to program guides and video content without needing to be licensed.  Obviously, he was wrong.

Don Quixote Alive and Well at the FCC

Rather than tilting at windmills trying to solve problems that don’t exist, government agencies should proceed with great care before imposing technical mandates on an industry.  Unfortunately, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) appears to be taking a “shoot from the hip” approach to regulating, and currently has its sights set on abrogating intellectual property (IP) rights.

The FCC Should Keep Its Hands Out of Our Wallets

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) seems to be taking a fast and furious ride through America’s pockets lately.  The FCC, under the helm of Chairman Tom Wheeler, announced plans to expand the Lifeline program to give away broadband Internet subsidies to low-income individuals.  What this means for the average consumer is an increase in their telephone bills, by requiring the payment of higher contributions to the Universal Service Fund (USF).

Broadband Fiction versus Fact

Every year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is required to report to Congress the progress being made in deploying advanced communications services in the U.S. On January 29, 2016, the FCC released its latest review of broadband deployment in the U.S.

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.

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.

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