Posts Tagged ‘FCC’

FCC beginning broadband push

April 14, 2009

The FCC must deliver a national broadband plan to Congress by Feb. 17, 2010. It will provide a road map to achieving the goal of ensuring that all Americans reap the benefits of broadband. The Recovery Act requires the plan to explore several key elements of broadband deployment and use, and the FCC now seeks comment on these elements, including the following:

  • The most effective and efficient ways to ensure broadband access for all Americans
  • Strategies for achieving affordability and maximum utilization of broadband infrastructure and services
  • Evaluation of the status of broadband deployment, including the progress of related grant programs
  • How to use broadband to advance consumer welfare, civic participation, public safety and homeland security, community development, healthcare delivery, energy independence and efficiency, education, worker training, private sector investment, entrepreneurial activity, job creation, and economic growth, and other national purposes

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FCC pushing telecoms to disclose privacy info

February 26, 2009

FCC looks to impose more than $12 million in fines on 600 telecoms that didn’t file paperwork in 2008 documenting how they protect their customers’ private information.    It seems that many phone companies and Internet providers blew the agency off in 2007.  Now as the March 1st deadline for disclosing this information for 2008 approaches, they might reconsider that strategy.

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Digital TV Debacle

February 21, 2009

This article from Wired is about problems associated with the voucher program allowing consumer to get a coupon for the converter box so that they could watch digital TV broadcasts on their analog TVs.  The main point is how the program became overwhelmed by demand and how the public lost money on the government program that provided the vouchers, still had to pay another $20 – 40 out of pocket for the converter box in order to watch TV.  Meanwhile private industry continues to make money on the conversion as had the government when it sold the rights to the broadcasting spectrum in an auction.   And that the “delay” until June was costly and not particularly helpful.

I would add a couple details to this debacle as I worked with my nearly ninety year-old parents who are unable to fathom the technology involved in the transition.  First, while the FCC and the converter box makers had useful videos on how to install the box to the TV, they didn’t have any instructions about how to also connect the box to a DVD player.  It took me twenty minutes of Internet searching to find helpful instructions and I found that in a comments section to a blog. 

Next,  my parents favorite public television station didn’t delay its switch-over and suddenly they weren’t getting the signal for that station.  It took several days for them figure out how to select the right station from their converter box.  Now, I set up my parent stations.  I thought that I was selecting digital stations but I guess not.  Now I wonder about the rest of their stations.  Will they all need to be changed when the stations make the conversion?  Why aren’t there any instructions on that process when you setup the converter box?

More dirt on Charter Cable

November 19, 2008

FCC is investigating Charter Cable for misleading customers about the national transistion to digital broadcasting.  Seems that the company has been encouraging customers to buy more expensive upgrades than they really need.

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Another Win for Google: FCC Opens Up TV White Space

November 10, 2008
I dont think they are talking about this kind of white space.

I don't think they are talking about this kind of white space.

More Wifi for the masses!  Or so its claimed as the FCC approved by a vote of 5-0 “unlicensed device use” to use unlicensed white spaces if the device come with anti-interference technology.  This isn’t about letting the Googles etc. broadcast but to utilize these vacant frequencies for internet access.  Apparently, this will help with access to rural locations.  Not surprisingly, the big broadcasters complained but the FCC did no more than had them a hankie.

FCC Approves Google-Backed Plan to Free TV Airwaves