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Official FCC Blog

November, 2012

The Necessity of an Inclusive, Transparent and Participatory Internet

November 30, 2012

On the eve of the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT), we believe that it is the right time to reaffirm the U.S. Government’s commitment to the multistakeholder model as the appropriate process for addressing Internet policy and governance issues.  The multistakeholder model has enabled the Internet to flourish.  It has promoted freedom of expression, both online and off.  It has ensured the Internet is a robust, open platform for innovation, investment, economic growth and the creation of wealth throughout the world, including in developing countries.

There are those who may suggest next week in Dubai - and in future venues where Internet policy is discussed - that the United States controls the Internet. Alternatively, they may suggest that in the future governments alone should run the Internet.  Our response is grounded in the reality that this is simply not the case.  The Internet is a decentralized network of networks and there is no one party – government or industry – that controls the Internet today.  And that’s a good thing.

The Internet’s  decentralized, multistakeholder processes enable us all to benefit from the  engagement of all interested parties. By encouraging the participation of industry, civil society, technical and academic experts, and governments from around the globe, multistakeholder processes result in broader and more creative problem solving.  This is essential when dealing with the Internet, which thrives through the cooperation of many different parties.

The global community has many serious topics to discuss with respect to the Internet.  Collectively, we need to ensure that these matters are taken up in suitable multistakeholder venues so that these discussions are well informed by the voices of all interested parties.

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Sri Lanka and Singapore

by Mignon Clyburn, FCC Commissioner
November 29, 2012

This October, I was fortunate to travel to Asia, where I spent over a week meeting with regulators, industry groups, and business leaders from around the world.  This was not my first time representing the FCC abroad, but this trip took me on a journey through more time zones than I remember.  On the first leg, after leaving Washington on long trans-Atlantic flight, I arrived in Dubai – only to continue on to Qatar – before finally arriving in Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital city. 

In Sri Lanka I represented the United States at the 12th Global Symposium for Regulators.  Organized under the United Nations, the GSR provides a world-wide view on the telecommunications industry.  Meeting with other delegates I shared the United States’ perspective on regulation, the FCC’s role, and what is being done in our country to promote ICT development.  I noticed an important characteristic of the telecommunications industry – nations across the world are addressing many of the same issues and problems as one another.  As I continued to meet with representatives, I gained more knowledge from hearing the perspectives of other countries.  The symposium brought forth the obvious: the spread of technology has circumvented borders, crossed digital divides, and brought even the most remote nations to address common concerns at our international table.

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Protecting Your Cellphone and Smart Devices

by Keyla Hernández-Ulloa, Associate Division Chief, Consumer Affairs and Outreach Division Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau
November 28, 2012

Now that the holiday season is upon us, it is important to remember to protect our cell phones and smart devices from theft or loss.  Theft of such devices continues to increase and is becoming a serious issue not only in the United States but globally.  

Among the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) efforts to address the issue of stolen or lost devices, was a November press conference co-hosted by Chairman Julius Genachowski and Under-Secretary of Communications for Mexico Hector Olavarría Tapia. Also in attendance was Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Chief of Police Cathy L. Lanier, who has been a leading advocate on the issue of cell phone theft.

During this event (which can be viewed at http://www.fcc.gov/events/announcement-bilateral-initiative-combat-stolen-mobile-devices) they announced an initiative to combat the theft and cross-border trafficking of mobile devices between the United States and Mexico. The agreement is in addition to the recent participation of mobile service providers - both in the United States and Mexico - in an international stolen device database that will use shared information to identify and deactivate a stolen device after it has been reported stolen. This will prevent devices stolen in one country to be re-activated in another country. 

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ICT to Help Poor Farmers: From iPads to Low Cost Video

by Judy Payne, e-Business Advisor, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
November 16, 2012

WISENET (Women in ICTs Shared Excellence Network) is the International Bureau’s convening platform that aims to leverage the experience, resources and connections of the international ICT community to better the situation of women, their communities and their countries. As part of this work, the FCC has invited prominent women in technology from around the world to post blogs sharing their experiences.

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As e-Business Advisor at USAID, I focus on using information and communications technologies (ICT) to make the agency’s economic growth projects more successful. Because agriculture drives the economies of many developing countries, much of this work is being done through the U.S. government’s Feed the Future Initiative.

I'm lucky to be able to get out into the field – literally – and see our agriculture projects and how ICT is or could be used to assist farmers. I’ve seen some high-end applications that seem to be working. For example, Sustainable Harvest uses iPads for coffee cooperatives in Rwanda to capture traceability information. The iPad’s intuitive user interface is much easier to use than a PC keyboard. (More information about the project is available here).

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FEMA Works with State and Locals to Prepare Region for the Nor’easter

by Lars Anderson, Public Affairs Director, FEMA
November 7, 2012

Cross-posted from the FEMA Blog

FEMA currently has more than 5,100 personnel working alongside our state and local partners. We are supporting disaster response and recovery operations throughout the areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy. We’re also standing ready to deploy additional resources if needed to respond to the Nor’easter that is forecasted to impact the region in the coming days. This new coastal storm is predicted to impact the region beginning after midnight Tuesday with impacts continuing Wednesday and into Thursday.

We have senior-level emergency management experts in operations, logistics, and recovery embedded, side-by-side with state and local emergency managers throughout New York and New Jersey to ensure clear lines of communication and immediately bring to bear the full resources of the federal government, as needed to respond to the Nor’easter or continue to the recovery efforts from Sandy.

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