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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.

Media & Democracy 05.11.2021

Marketplace (AUDIO): Broadband, computer subsidies on the way for those who qualify

It looks like Ramsey would qualify for both benefits, according to Yosef Getachew, media and democracy program director with the consumer group Common Cause. “The eligibility criteria for this program is pretty broad,” he said. Getachew added that individuals automatically qualify if they’re in a government program like SNAP or Medicaid. Ramsey is enrolled in Medicaid, so she’s eligible. One can also qualify if their income is at or below 135% of the federal poverty line, or if their income took a substantial hit from a job loss.

Media & Democracy 05.4.2021

Ars Technica: Ajit Pai joins American Enterprise Institute and a firm that invests in ISPs

Even before Pai joined AEI, his hiring at Searchlight Capital Partners led former FCC Democrat Michael Copps to say, "We have a serious revolving door problem at the FCC. This is not encouraging." Copps "said commissioners tend to be more sympathetic to private equity firms and corporations when they are commissioners if they know that they might also, one day, become their future employers," according to the New York Post.

Media & Democracy 04.7.2021

Common Cause, CWA, and Over 20 Organizations File Letter Outlining Public Interest Harms With Proposed Verizon/TracFone Merger

Yesterday, Common Cause and the Communications Workers of America along with over 20 other public interest and civil rights organizations, filed a letter with the Federal Communications Commission outlining the potential public interest harms with the proposed Verizon/TracFone merger. If approved, as currently structured, the merger would present significant public internet harms to Lifeline subscribers and competition in the wireless market, impacting the ability of low-income households to access critical communications services. 

Media & Democracy 03.1.2021

FCC Adopts Emergency Broadband Benefit Program Rules, Providing Internet Service Relief to Low-Income Households

Last Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission adopted rules to establish the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. This $3.2 billion program provides a $50 monthly subsidy for eligible low-income households and a $75 monthly subsidy for households on tribal lands to purchase a broadband connection. It also provides a one-time discount of up to $100 on a computer or tablet for eligible households. 

Media & Democracy 02.24.2021

The Daily Dot: Progressives want Joe Biden to go big for FCC chair. Does Joe Biden?

Craig Aaron, the co-CEO of Free Press Action, said an example of the public advocate model for a commissioner pick would be Michael Copps, who served at the FCC from 2001 to 2011. Copps opposed a 2002 FCC rule where it classified cable modems services as an "information service" and not subject to Title II common carrier regulation. Copps has been a vocal supporter of net neutrality since leaving the agency. Copps is now a board member for Free Press Action and Public Knowledge and is a special adviser to Common Cause’s Media and Democracy Reform Initiative. "When I think about the potential of that seat, it's somebody like Michael Copps—who was there for a decade and really put the 'public' in 'public servant,'" Aaron said, adding that he was "one of the few commissioners to depart and go into the public interest."

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