Archive for September, 2014

Meeting the Mobile Moment

Friday, September 26th, 2014

Last weekend’s record-setting launch of the new iPhone is just the newest reminder that our appetite for new cellular technologies appears to be insatiable. And this constant cycle of mobile innovation is not just delighting U. S. consumers, it’s a major force in driving economic growth, boosting U. S. competition, and enabling solutions to challenges like education and health care.

Seizing the opportunities of cellular innovation is one of the FCC’s highest focal points. Our mobile agenda rests on three pillars: making more spectrum available for broadband; using the market and technology to ensure more efficient and efficient use of our spectrum; and advertising the deployment of mobile facilities. Today, I’m circulating to my colleagues a series of proposals that would advance all these goals.

High-speed cellular broadband requires high-speed broadband buildout. However , the regulatory burdens associated with deployments can be expensive and time-consuming. We have to fix that.

For that reason, I circulated an item today that takes concrete steps to instantly and substantially ease the burdens associated with deploying wireless equipment.

The draft order identifies that a technological revolution with regard to facilities deployment has changed the landscape. Brand new Distributed Antenna System (DAS) networks and other small-cell systems use parts that are a fraction of the size of traditional macrocells and can be installed – unobtrusively – on application poles, buildings, and other existing structures.

The draft order accounts for that change by making a far more efficient process for small deployments that do not trigger concerns about environmental protection or historical preservation.

The Order also implements federal statutory assignments that are intended to make State and local review more efficient for cellular deployments and modifications that are extremely unlikely to affect local areas. At the same time, it preserves our commitment in order to safeguarding the essential roles that State, local, and Tribal governments enjoy in this process.

Preserving the mobile revolution also depends upon our invisible infrastructure – spectrum. The fact that there is no low-hanging fruit in our spectrum inventory that can easily end up being repurposed for broadband means that the Commission needs to think creatively about how exactly to make more spectrum available and increase the efficiency of its use.

Historically, mobile wireless solutions have been targeted at bands below a few GHz due to technological and useful limitations. However , there have been significant advancements in antenna and processing technologies that may allow the use of higher frequencies – in this case those above 24 GHz – for mobile apps.

Acting on a suggestion of the Commission’s Technological Advisory Council, I am circulating to my fellow commissioners a Notice of Inquiry that seeks to broaden the Commission’s understanding of the state of the art in technological developments that will enable the usage of millimeter wave spectrum above 24 GHz for mobile wireless solutions.

Early studies show these new technologies – what several are calling “5G” – may ultimately facilitate a throughput as high as 10 Gigabits/second, a speed which is orders of magnitude greater than that available today. Our effort here is to learn about the technology and ensure a regulatory environment where these technologies may flourish.

Perhaps the perhaps most obviously spectrum innovation being advanced by the Commission is the world’s first voluntary incentive auction, which will use market forces to repurpose spectrum in the TV band so that the spectrum can be utilized by wireless providers.

Today, I shared two plans related to this historic auction. The foremost is a draft Order and Further Discover of Proposed Rulemaking to address aggregate broadcaster-to-broadcaster interference during repacking, as well as settle the methodology for predicting interference between broadcast and cellular operations in the same or nearby channels in nearby markets throughout and following the auction.

In the second item, a Discover of Proposed Rulemaking relating to LPTV stations and TV translators, all of us explore various actions the Commission rate can take to mitigate the potential influence of the incentive auction and the repacking process on these stations. LPTV and TV translator stations provide diverse and local programming with regard to viewers, especially in rural and remote control locations, and we intend to do what we should can to promote their continued viability.

The wireless environment is incredibly dynamic; constantly producing new and innovative services and applications for consumers and companies. I look forward to working with my colleagues on these items to help build on our own mobile momentum.

Finally, and importantly, seizing the possibilities of innovation does not mean that the responsibilities that come with providing communications services can be left aside. To that end, we will be hearing a presentation in next month’s open meeting from the Public Safety and Homeland Protection Bureau regarding its inquiry into one of the most extensive 911 outages up to now. This past April, for about six hours, more than 11 million consumers throughout Washington state and portions of 6 other states from Ca to Florida lacked the ability to create 911 calls. The outage had not been caused by a storm or disaster. Nor was there a failure of the local provider’s network. Rather, the outage was traced to a technical problem in a third-party vendor’s equipment.

Innovative IP-based technologies hold the potential to vastly improve emergency calling and response. And IP transport can provide great resiliency. Yet we need a better understanding of the risks included, and how to mitigate them to ensure that reliable access to 911 is preserved. Agency staff will present its findings and lessons learned to help prevent this kind of outages from occurring in the future.

Talking Tech in the Cradle of Freedom

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Two-hundred twenty-seven years ago this week, the U. S. Constitution was ratified in Philadelphia, establishing our system of government and enshrining a vision of a a lot more perfect Union that still instructions us today. Part of that vision was the belief that promoting marketing communications promotes a healthy democracy. The Constitution established the Postal Office, in part to help subsidize the press and also to facilitate the distribution of info to the American people.

Today, I spent the day in Philadelphia and saw just the most recent evidence that, while the technology is promoting, our Founding Fathers’ insight into the importance of communications to our democracy’s health continues to be evergreen.

I fulfilled with local leaders who described how people in their communities required access to modern communications not only to remain informed, but also to find jobs, to further their education, and to and engage with their elected leaders.

I visited Philadelphia’s Free Library, which serves a community on-ramp to the world of information, especially for children and for individuals on fixed incomes. And, increasingly, this information is not found in books yet on the Internet. Philadelphia residents who do not have computers are visiting the Free of charge Library to get online. And area students visit the library after college to use the computers to help finish their homework assignments.

The FCC’s E-Rate program offers helped ensure that libraries and colleges across America have Internet connection. This past July, the Commission accepted the first major modernization of the E-Rate program since it was established 18 years ago. These reforms will considerably increase funding available to support Wi-Fi connectivity in libraries and colleges, will make the program more user-friendly regarding libraries, and will increase efficiencies to help make E-Rate dollars go farther.

While at the Free Library, I spoke with local library administrators, teachers, and parents to talk about how E-Rate is working for all of them, and if there are additional reforms the particular Commission should be pursuing to make it work better. I particularly enjoyed hearing from two students from The U School who spoke eloquently about the importance of having Internet access at their college and how technology had become essential to their education.

Meeting the information needs of communities requires not only universal access to Internet connection, but also having a diverse array of voices on all media platforms.

One way to ensure diversity associated with content is to encourage diversity associated with media ownership.

The Internet has created an environment where ownership associated with traditional media facilities is less important, which is one more reason why we have to make sure every American gets on-line. But when there’s few minority-owned TELEVISION stations in the country, clearly we must learn better.

Earlier in the day time, I had a separate meeting with Philadelphians who are using public access television, AM radio, and independent print outlets to engage and inform minority viewers. I also heard from Brigitte Daniel, one the only African-American cable operators in the nation, about how her company is helping to serve low-income areas in the Philadelphia region.

This spring, the Commission released a comprehensive review of our broadcast possession rules. I appreciated this opportunity to hear first-hand from various press sectors, the public, and watchdog groupings are the realities of the marketplace in 2014 and how these rules can best serve the public interest.

For all the ways we have reach rely on technology to communicate and interact with government, it was great to stay Philadelphia today for some old-fashioned, face-to-face meetings between government officials and concerned citizens. This is democracy in action, and I’m grateful to all people of Philadelphia who came out these days to make their voices heard.

Exploring New Ideas for Protecting plus Promoting the Open Internet

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Last week was a big one in the Commission’s quest for the very best approach to protect and promote an Open Internet.

Our community comment period ended on Monday… with more than 3. 7 million feedback and reply comments submitted by a public that is passionate about this issue. Several comments focused on potentially harmful effects of paid prioritization on innovation plus free expression, among other ideals. On Tuesday and Friday, the particular Commission hosted 12 hours of discussions in the Open Internet Roundtables, including dialogue on the threats to an Open up Internet and policies to address individuals threats, the scope of new Open up Internet rules, proposed enhancements to existing transparency rules, the application of Open up Internet rules to mobile high speed, the best ways to enforce Open Internet rules, and the technical aspects of ensuring an Open Internet.

On Wednesday, Chairman Wheeler testified before Our elected representatives and explained that all options are open up and that, in particular, Title II is very much on the table. On the same day, the particular Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the Open Internet.

At the week’s close, Chief Wheeler emphasized that the Commission is seeking a rainbow of policy plus legal proposals, rather than being restricted to what he called limited “monochromatic” options.

In the wake up of that week, and looking ahead to upcoming roundtables on economic theory plus legal authority, it’s worth noting some of the ideas in the record the Commission staff has identified as contributing to the potential ways that an Open Internet could be preserved.

Commenters have got suggested how Section 706 could be used. For example , AOL supports reclassification under Title II with substantive rules promulgated under Section 706. And AT& T has recommended paid prioritization could be banned under Section 706.

At the same time, the Commission has been presented with numerous variants on the use of Title II. Tim Wu and Tejas Narechania have made an important proposal of this kind, as has the Mozilla Foundation, which usually suggested in its reply comments that Title II be used to create a presumption that all paid prioritization arrangements are usually unlawful.

Some parties also have spoken positively of the advantages of both Section 706 and Name II. For example , a coalition of library and higher-education institutions made proposals that build on these options for legal authority—suggesting, among other suggestions, a finding that paid prioritization plans presumptively violate the law under a regular of “Internet reasonableness”.

Among the witnesses at the Senate listening to last Wednesday was Nuala O’Conner of the Center for Democracy plus Technology (CDT), who said that reclassification was a significant option but who seem to also suggested that the Commission think about a “hybrid” approach combining the strengths of both Section 706 plus Title II, which would employ Area 706 to protect consumers and other Access to the internet subscribers and Title II to shield edge providers.

A cross-bureau group of staff are critiquing these options as well as others in the record. The robust discussion will certainly continue in the weeks ahead, including in our last Open Internet Roundtable on October 7 that will specifically focus on theories of legal specialist and the legal basis for the construction of Open Internet rules.

Hooking up All Schools and Libraries – Learning from State Strategies and Information

Friday, September 19th, 2014

Outreach to mention and school district staff plus library leaders has been a critical element of the E-rate modernization process. Commission staff has been in frequent contact with staff members from school districts, state agencies, your local library, and research and education networks (RENs) from across the country. These outreach efforts provide important insights at the varying approaches that states are taking to the challenge of delivering high speed broadband to all schools and your local library.

Much of the knowledge obtained from our outreach is compiled in the State Connectivity Profiles released nowadays. Each State Connectivity Profile lays out an overview of K-12 college and library connectivity in the state, including an explanation of any state network or REN infrastructure along with a breakdown overview of how schools plus libraries purchase Internet access, wide region network (WAN) connections, and inner connections.

These users provide a thorough summary of connectivity data, purchasing strategies, and broadband deployment policies from a geographically diverse sample of states with differing populations and approaches to delivering high speed broadband to all schools and your local library. All connectivity data and story descriptions in the State Connectivity Information are drawn from conversations along with school district, state agency, or REN staff and have been evaluated and verified by the appropriate staff members in each state.

The State Connectivity Profiles are also an essential element of our data-driven strategy for modernizing E-rate. Many states collect comprehensive data on the bandwidth and prices purchased by schools and your local library, and many more are conducting statewide studies this year. State and school region staff and library organizations also provided much of the underlying data for the E-rate modernization staff report plus school and library fiber roadmaps. A sincere thank you to those that have worked with Commission staff and for the particular helpful data that has been submitted to the record. Chairman Wheeler has highlighted the importance of quality data on college and library connectivity and expenses, and state-provided data is essential to our work. Commission staff has discovered a great deal from our conversations with college districts, state agencies, libraries plus RENs, and we encourage all declares to remain active in the E-rate modernization procedure. State leadership will play a critical function in achieving the goals set up in the E-rate Modernization Order.

An Update on the Volume of Open Internet Comments Submitted to the FCC

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Monday night determined the second round of comments for the FCC’s Open Internet Proceeding. Over the last four months, the Commission offers received a large number of comments from a broad variety of constituents via three methods: (1) the FCC’s Electronic Comment Submitting System (ECFS), (2) the openinternet@fcc. gov email address, and (3) the recently launched CSV file option for large comment uploads.

In July, at the conclusion of the first round of feedback, we provided a look at the day-to-day rate of comments we obtained in ECFS. We are now giving an updated file to show the daily rate of comments posted to ECFS since the start of the public comment period in this proceeding. Beneath is a graphical representation of this information.

As an alternative path to submitting feedback, the Commission also has been receiving feedback to a dedicated email inbox from openinternet@fcc. gov. We are providing an updated CSV text file giving the weekly submission rates of those comments, and a graphical representation from the data below.

Throughout the two rounds of public comment, and despite the age of the Commission’s IT systems, the FCC IT team worked around the clock and implemented workaround methods to scale the large volume of comments to keep the system up and running, ensuring the public could submit feedback to the Commission leading up to Monday night’s comment deadline.

The report number of comments we received with this proceeding underscores the importance of the open Internet. We appreciate the interest plus feedback from all of the individuals plus groups who took the time to provide useful input during the last four months.

FCC Celebrates National Health IT Week

Monday, September 15th, 2014

At the FCC this week, the Connect2HeatlhFCC Task Drive is joining public and private stakeholders in celebrating National Health IT Week, September 15-19: Two big events of note:

  • Upon Tuesday, September 16, Commissioner Clyburn will present at the First Annual National Health IT Collaborative for the Underserved Conference: “Connecting for Health Empowerment Using Health Information Technology to Change Care in Multicultural Communities. ” This conference will present “cutting edge” strategies that use health information technology equipment to advance health and eliminate disparities:

We’re very happy to contribute to the effort to raise awareness of Information about health Technology’s power to improve the health and healthcare of consumers across the nation. And, we all salute the health care providers, marketing communications carriers, technologists, innovators, entrepreneurs, policymakers, and many others who are using Health IT to transform how care is delivered, health information shared, quality assessed, and consumers engaged in their own into the health care.

We think that the transformative power of high speed in health will be realized whenever everyone, everywhere is connected to the suppliers, information, supports and services they need to get or stay healthy.

To learn more about FCC’s healthcare initiatives, please visit


Auction Season at the FCC

Friday, September 12th, 2014

Preparations for the AWS-3 auction are ramping up. Applications must be submitted before 6pm ET nowadays. The auction begins on Nov 13.

Several government agencies have worked hard to make substantial information available to possible bidders in advance of this auction regarding the scope of coordination that will be required with these federal incumbent users of the band. Wednesday, we announced the discharge by NTIA of a new Workbook and Workbook Information File, prepared by the Department of Defense (DoD). DoD developed the Workbook to provide guidance to potential bidders regarding their obligation to coordinate along with DoD systems in 1755-1780 MHz. This release is unprecedented the scope and granularity of authorities data provided to help applicants get ready for an auction. The Wireless Agency strongly encourages all applicants in order to delve into this important resource.

Before I go farther, our lawyers remind me that I should provide the following caveat:

As stated in the Auction 97 Procedures Public Notice, an applicant need to perform its due diligence research and analysis before proceeding, as it would with any new business venture. Specifically, the Bureau strongly encourages each potential bidder to review all Commission orders and public notices establishing rules and policies for the AWS-3 bands, including incumbency issues with regard to AWS-3 licensees, Federal and non-Federal relocation and sharing and cost sharing obligations, and protection of Federal and non-Federal incumbent functions. The Commission makes no representations or warranties about the use of this particular spectrum for particular services.

In other words, bidders shouldn’t rely on a blog post to formulate a bidding technique. Review all of the official information releases and do your own analysis!

Okay, with that out of the way, let’s continue. The Wireless Agency has analyzed the revised Workbook. I would like to share some initial information about the paired portion of the AWS-3 band.

First, with all the talk about Federal revealing and relocation, it bears reminding that the downlink at 2155-2180 MHz is free of government users and it is available for use after licenses are granted. (There are some coordination requirements with incumbent non-Federal users, because there were in the PCS and AWS-1 bands. ) This is 25 megahertz of valuable downlink spectrum, usually available from day one.

Second, the need to organize with Federal incumbents prior to application in the uplink at 1755-1780 MHz largely goes away five and a half years after the auction. At that point, incumbent coordination zones contain only about 8% of the MHz-Pops in the uplink; 92% of the uplink is free and apparent. (This analysis assumes that AWS-3 licensees avail themselves of the “Streamlined Coordination Option”, described in the Shared Public Notice, with respect to 25 satellite stations in the uplink band. )

3rd, for licensees that wish to deploy in the protection zones on an accelerated timeframe, the Workbook Information Document contains important information explaining how DoD intends to go about the coordination evaluation. For example , DoD explains that it programs to use “real-world assumptions about ground, clutter, network loading, and other guidelines to the maximum degree possible. inch As a result, DoD says that “commercial operations and federal operations can more effectively share spectrum within much reduced coordination zones than those established in the Workbook, thus enabling greater access by commercial operations compared to that described in the Workbook for many geographic areas. ”

The bottom line is clear. AWS-3 represents an important and significant chance for expanding commercial wireless service in the United States. We reached this result via a lot of hard work and cooperation amongst all of the involved Federal agencies. We all at the FCC thank them for those of these efforts.

Now we look forward to an effective auction!

An Additional Option for Filing Open Internet Remarks

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

The volume associated with public feedback in the Open Internet continuing has been commensurate with the importance of the time and effort to preserve a free and open Internet.

The Commission can be working to ensure that all comments are processed and that we have a full education of the number received as soon as possible. Most important, all of these comments will be considered as area of the rulemaking process. While our system can be catching up with the surge associated with public comments, we are providing a third avenue for submitting feedback over the Open Internet proceeding.

In the Commission’s embrace of Open Data and a commitment to openness and transparency throughout the Open Internet proceedings, the FCC is making available a Comma Separated Ideals (CSV) file for bulk upload associated with comments given the exceptional general public interest. All comments will be received and recorded through the same procedure we are applying for the openinternet@fcc. gov emails.

Attached is a link to the CSV file design template along with instructions. Once completed, the particular CSV file can be emailed in order to openinternet@fcc. gov where if it fits the template the individual comments will be filed for the public record with the Digital Comment Filing System. When you e-mail this file, please use the issue “CSV”. We encourage CSV data files of 9MB or less via email.

The Payment welcomes the record-setting level of general public input in this proceeding, and we need to do everything we can to make sure all voices are heard and reflected within the public record.

USF Contribution Factor Over Time

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

The chart below shows the steady increase over time within the FCC’s USF Contribution Factor, which is the percentage of interstate plus international end-user telecommunications revenues that telecommunications service providers must contribute to assistance the ever growing federal universal program fund. Today, the FCC announced the contribution factor has increased for that fourth quarter of 2014 by. 4 percent to 16. 1%. This means that American customers will pay a 16. 1% fee on a portion of their telephone bills for USF.

While there are a number of factors leading to this trend line, including shifting to a more explicit system plus shrinking revenues, this path is definitely clearly disturbing and unsustainable. The chart helps highlight that contribution reform is necessary. Also, I state my call for an overall budget cap on universal service, which can help limit the demand placed on the particular collection side.

Updating Old Policies; Pioneering New Ones

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Since becoming Chairman, I’ve spoken often about the importance of reviewing the FCC’s guidelines and processes, and eliminating or even modernizing outdated practices that no longer make sense. There is no better example of an FCC rule that has outlived its usefulness and deserves to be removed than our sports blackout guideline.

In 1975, the particular Commission enacted rules barring cable from airing a game that has been blacked out on the local television station because it was not sold out – strengthening the particular NFL’s blackout policy. Today, the rules make no sense at all.

The sports blackout guidelines are a bad hangover from the days when barely 40 percent of games sold out and gate invoices were the league’s principal way to obtain revenue. Last weekend, every single sport was sold out. More significantly, pro football is now the most popular content on television. NFL games dominated last week’s ratings, and the Super Bowl provides effectively become a national holiday. With the NFL’s incredible popularity, it’s not amazing that last year the League made $10 billion in revenue in support of two games were blacked-out.

Clearly, the NFL no longer needs the government’s help to remain viable. And we at the FCC shouldn’t be complicit in preventing sports activities fans from watching their favorite teams on TV. It’s time to sack the particular sports blackout rule.

That’s why today, I am sending to my fellow commissioners a offer to get rid of the FCC’s blackout guideline once and for all. It fulfills a commitment I actually made in June. We will vote over the proposal at the Commission’s open meeting on September 30.

The sports blackout rule isn’t the only FCC rule in line to have an update at this month’s meeting. I had circulated a rulemaking proposal that could streamline, eliminate and clarify many provisions of the Commission’s Part twenty five rules governing the licensing plus operation of space and world stations providing satellite communications. These types of proposed changes would go a long way in making the regulatory approval procedure for satellite licenses easier and much more efficient.

Many of the plans in this Further Notice derive through recommendations made in the Report upon FCC Process Reform. These suggestions were developed after receiving substantial stakeholder input. These proposed guideline changes would ultimately benefit the United states consumer by increasing the speed plus ease of introducing new satellite providers, while promoting competition among providers.

Among other things, the rulemaking notice would facilitate international coordination of satellite networks and afford licensees more operational flexibility. For instance , proposed revised milestone requirements might simplify space station licensing while ensuring scarce orbital slots are just made available to those entities that are truly prepared to build and operate satellites in them.

This is a important part of the Commission’s process reform work, making things easier for the market by becoming more flexible in our procedures.

Of course , the Commission rate is not just reviewing and updating outdated policies. We are also pioneering new ones.

We keep steady progress toward implementing the particular first-ever incentive auction. Since our own incentive auction Report and Order was adopted in May, FCC personnel has completed work on several substantial proposals for Commission consideration because promised in that item. These plans address critical implementation issues related to the incentive auction and are worth addressing to multiple stakeholders. Two of those items are now tap for the September Open Meeting.

One item proposes changes to our Component 15 rules to allow for more robust unlicensed service and efficient spectral make use of while protecting licensed users through harmful interference. These recommendations meet our objective to extend opportunities with regard to innovative unlicensed use in the 600 MHz band, while preventing dangerous interference to licensed services.

Recognizing that there will be less spectrum in the remaining broadcast music group for wireless microphones after the auction, the other item explores how better to address the needs of wireless mic users over the long term while evolving the Commission’s broader spectrum administration goals.

All of the items on this month’s agenda reflect a commitment to make sure the FCC’s policies are keeping pace with changes in the communications marketplace and maximizing consumer benefits for the future.