All five commissioners from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s communications and technology sub-panel next month about its plans to auction off television stations’ airwave licenses to cellular service providers.
Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) took to the Senate floor Tuesday to criticize the FCC over the waiver it initially issued to LightSquared, and over the documents it did not initially release about how that waiver was granted.
Grassley said the next step will be “asking some hard questions of the key FCC personnel who approved the LightSquared waiver.”
Congress has been consumed in recent years with contentious debate over how best to preserve and enhance free and local broadcasting — the original wireless technology — while making available airwaves that can also be used to alleviate the much-hyped “spectrum crunch” for wireless broadband providers.
We think lawmakers struck the right balance with legislation signed into law earlier this year that provides incentives for television stations that voluntarily choose to go out of business but that acknowledges the enduring and indispensable role that local broadcasting plays in the fabric of American society.
After 48 hours of serious coding work that seemed more suited for Stanford’s campus, a group of staffers, bleary-eyed and tired, approached their boss with a new creation. Dubbed “Madison,” they were set to launch a new technological solution that would allow for the drafting of Internet crowd-sourced legislation. This was not typical D.C. at work. These were no ordinary staffers and they worked for no ordinary member. As they set to launch Madison, one staffer said to his boss he was concerned that if too many people tried to use it, the program would crash. In response, the member of Congress replied, “Like most things that are a 1.0 or Beta, our assumption is that we’ll learn from this.”
AT&T spent nearly US$7.1 million on lobbying the U.S. Congress and President Barack Obama’s administration in the first quarter of 2012, making it the leading corporate spender on lobbying, with Google, Comcast and Verizon Communications also making the top five.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Thursday that the White House wants to create a cybersecurity “monster” to run roughshod over the Internet.
Asked at a press conference to respond to the White House veto threat of the Republican (and cable operator) backed Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), Boehner said: “The White House believes the government ought to control the Internet.”
Legislation introduced by Reps. Stearns, Matsui would create a block readily available to wireless broadband providers. The FCC is getting some help from Congress in trying to speed the transfer of government and commercial spectrum to wireless broadband. Legislation was introduced Thursday in the House that would light a fire under an FCC-backed effort to pair 25 MHz of government spectrum with already available commercial spectrum to create a block that could be gotten relatively quickly into the hands of spectrum-hungry wireless broadband providers.