Posts Tagged: FCC

Corporate lobbyists use sweeteners to win over regulators

There’s more than political donations or legions of arm-twisting lobbyists in the Washington lobbying toolbox.  Sometimes, there’s a status symbol cupcake, as Edward Wyatt reported in the New York Times.  With AT&T facing what would appear to be a formidable task of convincing the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department to approve its proposed $39 billion merger with T-Mobile, one wonders if the company will be strategically delivering chocolate Easter eggs to the regulators this time around.  Wyatt likened the delivery of the sought-after cupcakes to offices within the FCC during holiday season to a military operation.  The breakdown of who got how many cupcakes was labeled “proprietary.” (more…)

A Bumpy Ride on the Internet Access Highway: the FCC’s Net Neutrality Decision

Around many of America’s largest cities, high occupancy toll lanes offer drivers the option of paying to get to their destination faster.  Similarly, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) such as Verizon, Comcast, and Time Warner are gatekeepers to broadband Internet access lanes and have the ability assign priority lanes — with better quality and faster speeds — to those who pay a premium.  The ISPs also have an incentive to provide slower access and to block services that compete with their telephone and video services. Advocates for Internet neutrality – a term that connotes different things to different people – want the government to step in to ensure that Internet users (both subscribers and companies that work on the Internet) will have access to the services and applications they choose without interference.

In December, the Federal Communications Commission waded into the net neutrality debate, where Congress has thus far feared to tread, when it voted 3-2 to establish rules to preserve open Internet access.  With over 100,000 comments filed in the leadup to the FCC decision, it’s clear that the public is concerned about the future of access to the Internet. (more…)

Broadband access: American public not so broad minded

Some people who don’t use broadband think they’re not missing much. But for those whose homes, libraries, public safety networks and healthcare facilities will have broadband access because of the $1.8 billion the government awarded last week, it will make a huge difference.

One of the larger of the 94 broadband projects funded last week – $28.8 million to Peoples Telephone Cooperative (PTC) in eastern Texas – will connect as many as 190 community institutions to broadband, benefitting as many as 241,000 people and 10,300 businesses, and creating an estimated 100 jobs.

The grants and loans announced last week are only a portion of the $7 billion (more…)

Broadband cash for Chicago

Broadband funding in the stimulus bill was largely billed as for rural areas without internet access. However, Chicago  will also get some of that federal money, the Associated Press reports. Two Chicago groups will get a combined $16 million in stimulus money for broadband, with the Dept. of Commerce providing $7 million to the Smart Chicago Broadband Adoption Program and $9 million to the Smart Chicago Public Computer Centers project.  The public computer centers project will (more…)

True Fact: Government Agencies Cooperating

By Marci Greenstein

National Institutes of Health chief, Dr. Frances Collins was talking up his agency’s partnership with the Food and Drug Administration on NPR’s Diane Rehm Show last week.  The move is intended to speed up the process for getting drugs from laboratories to the marketplace.  What’s surprising is that this collaboration hasn’t happened sooner.  How often have we heard about patients desperate to get drugs that are successful in clinical trials but are moving at a snail’s pace through the FDA’s regulatory maze? (more…)