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Blog Posts by Rachel Kazan

The New Parents' Place

September 21, 2010 - 03:27 PM

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Today we launched our new Parents' Place webpage filled with resources and information about television, electronic media and online safety. We also link to other sites with great information for parents. For just one example, click on the link to Net Cetera for practical tips for talking to your children about being online.

We have three categories of online resources:

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Wireless World Travel - Connecting with Consumers at Dulles International Airport

July 2, 2010 - 02:46 PM

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By the FCC Dulles Airport Passenger Visit Team: Yul Kwon, Dan Rumelt, Marissa Astor, Erik Chamberlin, John Cochran, and Sam Rodriguez.

During Wireless World Travel Week we went to Dulles International Airport outside of Washington, DC to tell people about Wireless World Travel Week. We distributed our tip sheet, Wireless World Travel Made Simple, talked to international travelers about their calling experiences, and told people about ways to save money on international wireless calls. We also warned many travelers about possible hefty phone bills if they didn't use their phone properly while overseas.

When we arrived at the airport, we staked out a few prime spots in the main terminal and began handing out our tip sheets. We were pleasantly surprised to find that many people had already followed the cardinal rule of international travel: check with your wireless provider before departing. Unfortunately we met many travelers who didn't know whether their phones would work overseas and what the charges might be. Some people assumed their wireless phones would work abroad, especially if they were GSM-enabled.

One man was about to make a mistake with his iPhone that could have been costly. While he had a voice plan with unlimited data in the US, we told him that he needed to temporarily turn off many of the data applications so he wouldn't accidentally incur lots of unexpected data fees. Another traveler told us a story about how he traveled overseas multiple times in one month and came home to a phone bill hundreds of dollars more than he expected. So he decided to buy a world phone, a much cheaper option for the frequent world traveler. Some people told us they avoided unexpected international calling charges simply by leaving their wireless phones at home in the US.

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National Consumer Protection Week

March 9, 2010 - 10:02 PM

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National Consumer Protection Week – NCPW for short – is a week filled with getting information to the public about consumer issues that affect all of our lives. This year's theme is "Dollars and Sense: Rated A for All Ages". This theme highlights the importance of consumer education for consumers of all ages - grade school through retirement, and covers issues ranging from On-Line Safety to Privacy and Identity Theft and being a smart consumer. We even have a webpage with information about safe driving with links to videos and materials to help talk to your teenager about not texting while driving.

At the FCC we have made it a priority to improve consumer information and disclosure about telecommunications products and services and make bills more understandable and less confusing. For example, we are looking at ways to make our complaint process easier for the public. Please let us know if you have a suggestion.

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Wireless Mics

January 21, 2010 - 06:29 PM

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As the last step in the digital television (DTV) transition, the FCC is embarking on an aggressive outreach campaign to ensure that users of wireless microphones are aware of the Commission's rules to cease operations in the 700 MHz Band no later than June 12, 2010. This outreach is necessary because using a 700 MHz wireless microphone can cause harmful (and potentially life threatening) interference to public safety communications, and impede the successful roll out of important new commercial services. It also is important for the public to understand that these rules do not affect all wireless microphones – only those that operate in the 700 MHz Band.

The FCC has three simple goals in this outreach campaign. First, we want to make people aware that they cannot use a 700 MHz Band wireless microphone after June 12, 2010. Second, we want to help people determine if their wireless microphone is a 700 MHz Band wireless microphone. Third, we want to help consumers determine whether or not they can retune their wireless microphone or if they will have to replace it.

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