Posts Categorized: The FCC

The Importance of Broadband Infrastructure

With infrastructure week right around the corner and a new spending bill in the works, OTELCO wants to take this opportunity to stress the importance of broadband as infrastructure. Rural Americans Need to be Connected As it stands now, the digital divide continues to grow in rural America. According to Sharon Strover, the director of the Telecommunications and Information Policy Institute, rural America is being left in the dust when it comes to broadband. 39%… Read more »

Municipal Broadband Networks Are Not a Threat to the First Amendment

The constitution over a flag with a gavel on top of it.

Last week, Motherboard published an article denouncing a speech made by FCC Commissioner Mike O’Rielly, at this year’s “Free Speech America Gala” held by the Media Institute. In this speech, O’Rielly outwardly attacked municipal owned networks for impinging upon users first amendment rights. The commissioner’s exact words were “In addition to creating competitive distortions and misdirecting scarce resources that should go to bringing broadband to the truly unserved areas, municipal broadband networks have engaged in… Read more »

Big Things Are Happening in Rural Broadband Expansion

Chairman Ajit Pai visiting OTELCO's Maine office to discuss rural broadband expansion.

Just last week, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai traveled to Maine to discuss his passion for rural broadband expansion, and his goal of “closing the digital divide.” During his visit, the Chairman stopped by OTELCO’s New Gloucester, Maine office to discuss the company’s role in the development of rural connectivity. Last week also marked the unveiling of the USDA’s new broadband webpage. The new website includes lots of broadband resources, including information on funding and opportunities… Read more »

One Net Neutrality Battle is Lost, but the War Continues

Washington DC Capitol dome detail with waving american flag

Today, the FCC voted 3-2 along party lines to roll back the 2015 net neutrality regulations put in place by the prior FCC. It was a disappointing, but not an unexpected outcome from our point of view.   On the one hand, we have always believed that Internet access meets the definition of a common carrier service and should, therefore, be regulated in a similar fashion to common carrier services. We also agreed with the… Read more »

The Net Neutrality Seesaw is Tilting the Other Way

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is in the news again over Net Neutrality.  What now? What’s the history of Net Neutrality? During the Obama Presidency in 2015, under the chairmanship of Thomas Wheeler, the FCC established under Title II of the Telecommunications Act, that Internet Service Providers (ISP) fell into the category of ‘common carrier’ and needed to adhere to Net Neutrality rules that would ban ISPs from blocking or throttling content or charging a… Read more »