Posts Tagged: Government

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 »

Should Congress Act on Anti-Municipal Broadband Legislation?

City-wide broadband infrastructure US map

This week Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) signed on to cosponsor H.R 4814, a bill that would prohibit states from passing laws impeding the construction of municipal broadband networks (anti-municipal broadband laws). Such laws currently exist in 20 states, and can make it significantly harder, if not impossible, for local governments to make direct investments in broadband infrastructure. Access to the Internet is the most significant economic enabler of our time. Broadband access enhances access to… 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 »

FCC Rule Changes Repealed Before They Were Enacted

FCC Rule change

Back in November we talked about the FCC rule changes regarding Internet privacy and we explained the Telecommunications Act. We concentrated on how the act protects the privacy of telephone customers’ network proprietary information (CPNI).  Providers like OTELCO were minimally effected by the FCC rule changes because they strongly reflected the existing Telecommunication Act rules.  The ISPs who are not bound by telephone privacy requirements were the most effected by the change. FCC?  FTC? –… Read more »

Broadband Infrastructure Funding Legislation: Almost, but not quite.

This Session, the Maine Legislature is considering no fewer than 20 bills related to broadband access.  Some of these bills focus on applications such as education and telehealth, while others focus on how networks are built and broadband infrastructure funding. One bill from this latter group is LD 140, An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Support Entrepreneurial Activity, Attract Business and Enhance Demographic In-migration by Investing in High-speed Broadband Infrastructure and… Read more »