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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  • Wi-Fi router lockdown? Prison phone rates. An update on the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) transition. And a new guide to Federal broadband funding.

  • The Federal Communications Commission is about to finish its long-delayed proceeding to reform the rate structure for prisoner phone calls. The FCC has announced that it will take up the issue at its next meeting on October 22.

  • Speeches by Federal Communications Commission chairmen and commissioners don’t often get big headlines, so you’ll be forgiven if you missed the news of two interesting speeches by key FCC staffers recently that address the commission’s role in protecting consumers. Both speeches highlight the need for the FCC’s expertise in overseeing telecommunications – and working with the other agencies with jurisdiction in this area.

  • The United States is a large and complex nation with many interests—from the Internet and innovation to immigration and Iran. But at the core, the nation’s strategic advantage is built on strong local communities and economies. That’s not a great revelation, but it’s not apparent thus far in the presidential campaign. Strength at the local level depends on strong community anchor institutions. These include libraries, boys and girls clubs, hospitals, schools, colleges and universities, religious organizations, and civic groups, all of which are even more important now as the nation undergoes foundational change resulting from the digital revolution.

  • Broadband Opportunity Council Releases Report and Recommendations. Legal Briefs in Defense of Net Neutrality Were Filed. China’s President Xi Visits the US.

  • President Barack Obama’s Broadband Opportunity Council found that research on broadband deployment, competition and adoption has not kept pace with the massive digital changes that permeate our economy and society. More research and development is needed: research into broadband economics; studies on deployment barriers; deeper study on how competitive telecommunication markets work in rural and remote regions; and updated studies on broadband adoption and digital literacy. There’s a need for more granular data about broadband connectivity as it impacts their stakeholders and missions, including data on: broadband speeds and quality points; wireless loads at community anchor institutions; digital literacy and confidence; metrics on effective use; or e-commerce-driven business growth.

  • We’ve been sharing small bites of the new Broadband Opportunity Council report and recommendations all week. Today we look at the Council’s plan to promote increased broadband deployment and competition through expanded access to Federal assets. The Council’s aim is to reduce the barriers to entry into the broadband service marketplace, especially the costs of infrastructure deployment. The public told the Council that the Federal government needs to provide more information on the wide range of Federal assets that are or can be made available for broadband purposes. And the Federal government can also continue to do more to help service providers obtain the necessary permits and permissions to build out broadband networks on Federal lands, use Federal assets or cross Federal rights-of-way.

  • Earlier this week, the Broadband Opportunity Council issued a report and recommendations on expanding broadband deployment and adoption. We’re looking at sections of recommendations all week.

  • On September 21, 2015, the Broadband Opportunity Council (BOC) released a report and recommendations on how to increase broadband deployment, competition and adoption through executive actions within the scope of existing Agency programs, missions and budgets. In total, the report describes 36 immediate actions, with associated milestones, that 25 Federal Agencies have committed to undertake over the next 18 months.

  • Every city needs its own broadband plan