October 28, 2011 |
WASHINGTON - Federal regulators have unveiled a plan for overhauling the $8 billion fund that subsidizes phone service in rural areas and for the poor. It redirects the money toward broadband expansion. The Federal Communications Commission's plan, adopted Thursday, establishes a new "Connect America Fund" for mobile telephone and broadband in rural communities and needy areas. The money will continue to come from a surcharge on consumers' and businesses' monthly phone bills.
May 29, 2014
WHEN THE Federal Communications Commission voted May 15 to move forward with a four-month public-comment period on how best to protect and promote an open Internet, there was a whole lotta chatter about the impending end of net neutrality - the idea that all Internet traffic should be treated equally. There was considerably less discussion about what impact new rules would have on small businesses and startups. (The FCC's open Internet rules were struck down by a federal appeals court in January.)
February 19, 2003 |
A telecommunications consumer advocacy group said it would file with Pennsylvania regulators today a complaint accusing Verizon Communications Inc. of shirking a 1995 promise to offer superfast Internet service statewide. Verizon officials dismissed the allegation yesterday, saying the company has spent billions for new network equipment, including high-speed fiber-optic lines, in Pennsylvania to meet the 1995 deal's broadband rollout terms. New York-based TeleTruth alleges that Verizon and its predecessor, Bell Atlantic of Pennsylvania, improperly reaped nearly $2 billion from customers in Pennsylvania in a quid pro quo deal with the state to remove the company's regulated profit limit.
July 30, 2015 |
President Obama's recent announcement of a new program to extend broadband Internet into low-income homes couldn't have come at a better time. That's especially true in cities like Philadelphia, where the gaping digital divide has left so many families without a reliable online connection. ConnectHome will initially provide free or discounted broadband access to families in 28 communities nationally, including Philadelphia and Camden. The Department of Housing and Urban Development will partner with private Internet service providers to target families with school-age children living in publicly subsidized housing.
November 10, 2001 |
The magnitude of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks will force America's utility regulators to pay heightened attention to national energy and water security when they meet for their annual convention starting today at the Philadelphia Marriott. The five-day gathering, sponsored by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, will dedicate several sessions to what members from across the country should do to ensure the safety of their states' energy supplies and networks, Charles Gray, the association's executive director, said.
January 16, 2014 |
Verizon Communications Inc. won a partial victory Tuesday from a federal appeals court in the long-running fight over how the government regulates broadband Internet providers. But the battle - which could affect consumers' access to a wide variety of websites and services - is far from done, according to telecommunications experts and advocates on both sides of the issue. Verizon, a leading provider of landline and wireless phone service as well as Internet access, accused the Federal Communications Commission of overreaching in its 2010 "Open Internet" order, which barred broadband providers from discriminating against or blocking any data distributed over their networks - a goal of those advocating a concept also known as network neutrality.
November 25, 2010 |
Allan Frank, who as Philadelphia's first chief technology officer has worked to consolidate its information-technology efforts, will stop working for the city in February and return to private industry. In the short term, Frank said, he plans to do management consulting. With an annual salary of $209,000, Frank, 55, is the city's second-highest-paid employee. The top earner is Chief Medical Officer Sam Gulino, at $239,200. Mayor Nutter also announced Wednesday that Frank would head the new Mayor's Advisory Board on Technology.
April 27, 2015 |
OK, let's all take a deep breath about our hometown cable powerhouse. You can make merry or mourn over Comcast's decision - pushed by federal regulators - to drop its $45 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable. Then you can join me in focusing on more pressing business at hand now in Philly: the expected renewal of Comcast's citywide franchises - the first in 15 years. City officials have scheduled six public meetings for this week as they start negotiating. It's your chance to speak up. Does the national news matter to the deal Mayor Nutter and City Council should be pushing to get - or to people in the hundreds of other towns nearby with Comcast franchises also due to come up for all-but-certain renewal?
September 13, 2010
A consortium of public and private agencies led by the Urban Affairs Coalition has been awarded $11.8 million to provide Internet access, computers and training to low-income residents and small businesses in Philadelphia. The grant to Philadelphia Freedom Rings: SBA Partnership is stimulus money from the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration. The effort is expected to generate 5,000 new broadband household subscribers and provide more than 210,000 hours of training.
December 14, 2012 |
Columbia University law professor Tim Wu may have coined a phrase - "network neutrality" - that's become the cri de coeur for a generation of geeks and Internet evangelists. But maybe more than anyone, Wu knows it's a concept easier said than accomplished - or protected. It might sound painfully wonkish, but bear with me. Net neutrality is essential if the Internet is to continue to live up to its tremendous promise. And it's once again at risk, thanks to some powerful companies and some wishful decisions by Congress, federal regulators, and the courts.