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Media Contact: David Vance, National Media Strategist, 240-605-8600 or dvance@commoncause.org

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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 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 02.9.2021

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

Common Cause Welcomes Jessica Rosenworcel as Acting Chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission

“President Biden has appointed Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel as Interim Chair of the Federal Communications Commission.  She is ideal 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.  She is a true advocate of the public interest.  Congratulations, Jessica.”

Media & Democracy 12.21.2020

COVID-19 Stimulus Package Provides Significant Broadband Relief to Help Connect Low-Income Households, Ignores other Democracy Reform Priorities 

Today, Congress released the text to an emergency $900 billion COVID-19 stimulus package that includes $7 billion to increase broadband access throughout the nation. While, foregoing other needed democracy reforms present in earlier versions of pandemic relief legislation, the package specifically includes an Emergency Broadband Benefit, which provides $3.2 billion for a $50 monthly subsidy for eligible low-income households and a $75 monthly subsidy for households on Tribal lands to purchase a broadband connection. Households eligible for the Benefit include those who qualify for the Federal Communications Lifeline program, free and reduced school lunch, college Pell grants, and individuals who have seen a loss of income due to the economic fallout since the beginning of the pandemic.  

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