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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."

Media & Democracy 02.9.2021

Common Cause Urges FCC To Reconsider Impact of Broadband Deregulation on Affordable Connectivity For Low-Income Households

Yesterday, Common Cause, along with the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society, the National Hispanic Media Coalition, New America’s Open Technology Institute, the United Church of Christ, OC Inc., and Free Press filed a Petition for Reconsideration with the Federal Communications Commission regarding the FCC’s 2020 Net Neutrality Remand Order. The FCC’s Remand Order concluded that the agency’s deregulation of broadband outweighs any harm to public safety, competition, and affordable broadband for low-income households.

Media & Democracy 01.21.2021

Broadcasting & Cable: D.C. Applauds Rosenworcel Pick as Acting FCC Chairwoman

Michael Copps, former FCC acting chair himself and currently a special adviser to Common Cause called Rosenworcel an "ideal" choice for the job. "I know, because we worked together when she led my staff while I was a commissioner there. She knows the FCC from the bottom up and she understands how to make good things happen there. She was called from my staff to the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee, where she was responsible for telecom and media policy. Then she was appointed a commissioner at the FCC and has demonstrated a mastery of the issues that has been seldom matched. Whether it’s bringing broadband to every home in America, encouraging internet availability for our schools, making wise decisions for the utilization of spectrum, contesting telecom and media monopolies, battling mis- and dis- information, she has a combination of vision and practicality that make her perfect for the chairmanship."

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