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Media & Democracy 09.7.2021

Democracy’s Essential Infrastructure

Successful self-government depends upon a well-informed citizenry. Democracy is premised on the belief that an informed electorate is best able to set the course of government. But if we the people are denied the news and facts needed to make sound judgments, we will make decisions that harm our nation.

Media & Democracy 07.25.2021

Wall Street Journal: Broadband Internet Bill Too High? Here’s How You Can Fix That

“The ability for consumers to actually get lower prices or take action is somewhat limited at the moment,” said Yosef Getachew, media and democracy director at Common Cause, a government watchdog group. One effective solution, he says, is municipal networks—publicly owned fiber-optic networks deployed by local governments—such as the one Mx. Cadena is awaiting. “Service providers aren’t investing in areas that aren’t profitable to them. And there are cases where muni networks come in, and then the incumbent lowers their prices,” said Mr. Getachew. However, 20 states restrict or prohibit these networks, on the grounds that government-run broadband discourages private investment.

Media & Democracy 07.19.2021

VICE: Report Finds Big Telecom Spends $230,000 on Lobbying Every Day

“For years, Congressional efforts to pass legislation needed to address the nation’s long-standing disparities in connectivity have been stopped dead in their tracks in part because of aggressive industry lobbying and the oversized political influence of the largest ISPs,” Common Cause Media and Democracy Program Director Yosef Getachew said of the study. Getachew noted that efforts to improve broadband mapping, fund the deployment of competitive fiber, or even improve the standard definition of broadband have all repeatedly been scuttled by industry lobbying. At the same time, telecom lobbyists have worked tirelessly to undermine federal and state regulatory oversight of the heavy monopolized telecom industry.

Media & Democracy 07.19.2021

New Report: How Lobbying and Political Influence By Broadband Gatekeepers Has Shaped The Digital Divide

A new report from Common Cause in partnership with the Communications Workers of America, “Broadband Gatekeepers: How ISP Lobbying and Political Influence Shapes the Digital Divide,” examines lobbying and political spending by the largest ISPs and their trade associations and how these activities have shaped the digital divide.

Media & Democracy 07.12.2021

Toward a More Informed Citizenry: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

An occasional column from Former FCC Chair Michael Copps, member of the Common Cause National Governing Board.

Media & Democracy 05.13.2021

Congressional Hearing on Broadband Equity Highlights Need for Long-Term Solutions To Address Affordability, Accessibility, and Digital Inclusion

The pandemic has shown that our connectivity needs are greater than ever, and now is the time to act.

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