Benton Foundation

The mission of the Benton Foundation is to articulate a public interest vision for the digital age and to demonstrate the value of communications for solving social problems.

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Headlines

  • Oct 1 2014

    Federal Communications Commission Chairman suggested that the country needed to start swimming together toward robust broadband or it will sink like a low-speed stone.

  • Oct 1 2014

    October 1 was supposed to be the day that Verizon’s new 4G “network optimization” policy went into effect. Verizon’s heaviest data users on grandfathered unlimited plans faced the possibility of having their speeds throttled down to make room on the LTE network for customers who pay for data by the gigabyte. But Verizon said it would pull the plug on the new policy before it went into effect.

  • Oct 1 2014

    We are encouraged by the Federal Communications Commission’s commitment to making substantial improvements to the E-rate program and recognizing the vital roles libraries play in connecting our communities to critical online tools and resources.

  • Oct 1 2014

    Men dominate boardrooms, money and jobs in Silicon Valley. But in at least one area, women are making inroads: politics.

  • Oct 1 2014

    Regulating the Internet “like a utility” won’t work.

  • Oct 1 2014

    Speaking at a conference in Brussels, Netflix’s Reed Hastings -- who has been a vocal critic of plans that would allow Internet service providers to charge extra for faster connections on their networks -- laid out again why he opposed such deals.

  • Oct 1 2014

    The Federal Communications Commission has begun sending out information packets to broadcasters making the financial case for why broadcasters should participate in the incentive auction. That includes breakdowns of what a station in each market, in an ideal scenario, could be paid for its spectrum, plus the median price in each market.

  • Oct 1 2014

    A new study finds that communities with widely available gigabit access have per capita GDP that is 1.1 percent higher than communities with little to no availability of gigabit services.

  • Oct 1 2014

    It seems impossible to address diversity in the tech workforce without addressing it earlier, in the education pipeline of potential employees. Over the past decades, countless organizations in the computer science community have worked on this problem.

  • Oct 1 2014

    Doctors and hospital executives across the country say they are distressed that the expensive electronic health record systems they installed in the hopes of reducing costs and improving the coordination of patient care -- a major goal of the Affordable Care Act -- simply do not share information with competing systems.

Blog

  • On September 23 Comcast and Time Warner Cable submitted to the Federal Communications Commission what’s called “Applicants’ Opposition to Petitions to Deny and Respond to Comments” – basically, the companies’ answers to filings arguing against Comcast’s acquisition of Time Warner Cable. Back in April, we looked at the companies’ claims that the deal is in the public interest and, more recently, we published a series on what public interest advocates, competitors, and politicians are saying about the transaction. Today we look at how Comcast and Time Warner Cable replied to opposition – focusing just on how they argue the deal could impact broadband services in the U.S.

  • There is time, FCC Chairman Wheeler, to conduct several full Commission meetings before you call the vote on net neutrality. I guarantee you that you’ll learn a lot and have a sounder basis for making the critically-important decision you and your colleagues must vote on shortly. In fact, you shouldn’t be calling a vote until you and your colleagues have had a chance to talk—really talk—to the American people.

  • Easily, network neutrality won the week in telecommunications wonkland. September 15 was the latest deadline for public comment at the Federal Communications Commission as it tries again to recraft what it calls open Internet rules which, in the simplest terms, is treating all Internet traffic equally. The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing called Why Net Neutrality Matters: Protecting Consumers and Competition Through Meaningful Open Internet Rules, and the FCC help four forums on the topic. With so much activity, it is wise to take a breath and figure out where we are.

  • On September 30, the Federal Communications Commission will vote on whether to repeal its sports blackout rules. The outcome is a forgone conclusion - the FCC will repeal the rules.

  • Although network neutrality -- or Freedom Against Internet Restrictions, if you prefer -- grabbed many of the headlines this week, we’d like to highlight a September 4 speech by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler entitled “The Facts and Future of Broadband Competition.” To cut to the chase, Chairman Wheeler outlined an Agenda for Broadband Competition that establishes principles for all of the FCC’s broadband activities.

  • One of the most controversial issues the Federal Communications Commission will face this fall is whether it can and should preempt (i.e., invalidate) state laws that restrict their municipalities from constructing and operating their own broadband networks. This post does not address the wisdom of these projects, but rather whether the FCC has the legal authority to preempt those state laws.

  • With both the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission reviewing Comcast’s acquisition of Time Warner Cable, many elected officials are weighing in on the potential benefits and pitfalls of the deal. Comcast has noted http://corporate.comcast.com/comcast-voices/more-support-pours-in-for-comcast-time-warner-cable-transaction that nearly 70 mayors and more than 60 additional state and local officials have gone on record as proponents of the proposed merger.

  • As noted last week, the first round of public comment on Comcast’s proposal to buy Time Warner Cable was due August 25. The $45 billion transaction, announced in February, would combine the nation's top two cable TV companies. Comcast and Time Warner argue that the combination will create a world-class communications, media, and technology company significantly better positioned than either company alone to bring consumers the advanced services they want now and will need in the future and to keep America at the forefront of technology and innovation. The Federal Communications Commission is reviewing the transaction to determine if it is in the public interest. Here’s a look at what Comcast's and Time Warner's competitors are saying.

  • August 25, 2014, Comcast’s David Cohen helpfully reminded us, was the due date for the first round of comments in the Federal Communications Commission’s review of Comcast’s acquisition of Time Warner Cable. Here's the first in a series examining what's being said.

  • On August 7, the FCC released an order asking the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service to provide recommendations on how the FCC should modify the universal service contribution methodology. The Joint Board, for those scoring at home, was created by provisions in the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and first established in March 1996 to make recommendations to implement the universal service provisions of the 1996 Act. The Joint Board is comprised of FCC Commissioners, State Utility Commissioners, and a consumer advocate representative.