Skip Navigation

Federal Communications Commission

English Display Options

Official FCC Blog

FCC SENDS NATIONAL BROADBAND PLAN TO CONGRESS - Plan Details Actions for Connecting Consumers, Economy with 21st Century Networks

March 16, 2010

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:153:height=104,width=70]]

Today, the Federal Communications Commission delivered to Congress a National Broadband Plan setting an ambitious agenda for connecting all corners of the nation while transforming the economy and society with the communications network of the future -- robust, affordable Internet.

The creation of this plan has been unprecedented for the FCC in how many stakeholders and members of the public, both online and in person, participated in developing the factual record.

The process has been open, transparent and participatory.  You can join the ongoing dialogue as well as the full National Broadband Plan now at Broadband.gov.

Read more »

A Blog from the IWCE Convention

March 14, 2010

The FCC was an active presence at the International Wireless Communication Expo convention this past week in the Las Vegas Convention Center.  The convention was scheduled from March 10 – 12 and the FCC hosted a booth on the convention floor and held a Brainstorming Session that was open to all attendees and exhibitors.

The Brainstorming Session was to receive ideas about how to improve the current licensing systems across the FCC Bureaus, and the ideas were flowing.  The suggestions crossed multiple systems and numerous licensing related functions, including improvements to access to data through search and data extract enhancements. This Brainstorming Session was only one of many brainstorming sessions that have been held for multiple industry organizations, and represents just one aspect of the increased transparency that the FCC is striving for in its outreach efforts.  The project to consolidate the licensing systems will also include many future interaction activities for the users to provide their input on how the government can improve their services and communication.

We look forward to continuing to work in cooperation with the public to improve how they conduct business with the FCC!

Read more »

National Consumer Protection Week

March 9, 2010

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:91:height=100,width=70]]

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.

Read more »

Winner of February Public Safety and Homeland Security Photo Contest

March 4, 2010

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:53:height=100,width=66]]

Congratulations to John W. Franks, of the Raleigh, North Carolina Emergency Communications Center, the winner of our February Public Safety and Homeland Security Photo Contest!   We received many great photos in response to our Photo Project/Contest to highlight and feature photos of first responders in action.  I'd like to thank everyone who has participated.  Mr. Franks' photo presents a vivid and compelling example of the importance of the work that first responders do for us, and we will be featuring it on our website.  We look forward to and encourage future photo submissions.

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:146:height=188,width=250]]

Read more »

Creating Choices, Flexibility and Real Solutions for America's First Responders

March 2, 2010

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:53:height=106,width=70]]

Working to Vastly Improve Public Safety Communications with a Wireless, Interoperable Broadband Network across the Nation

Past Experience Brings Home the Need
Our first responders deal with emergencies everyday, and on some days, those emergencies are truly disasters that test the limits of our systems and beyond.

These kinds of emergencies and disasters clearly demonstrate the importance of reliable, robust and interoperable communications for America's first responders, based on the most advanced wireless broadband technology possible.

On Thursday, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and I publicly rolled out highlights of the public safety goals and recommendations of the FCC's National Broadband Plan (the Plan). A major set of recommendations is related to the creation of a nationwide interoperable wireless broadband network for public safety.

Maximizing Public Safety's Choices and Flexibility
The FCC completed a thorough and exhaustive process that explored all of the options and developed a plan that is fact-based and data driven. With this in mind, the Plan offers a framework for ensuring a nationwide level of interoperability from the start and incredible flexibility and choice to public safety that we believe will lead to real solutions for America's first responders. The following are highlights of the Plan's recommendations:

Read more »

The World Radiocommunication Conference

February 26, 2010

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:131:height=100,width=70]]

The World Radiocommunication Conference (or WRC) is an international treaty-level forum held by the International Telecommunication Union (or ITU) (a United Nations agency) about every four years. At the WRC countries decide on the sharing of frequency spectrum to allow the deployment or growth of all types of radiocommunication services such as wireless, broadcasting, satellite, aeronautical and other services. Because WRC decisions have such wide-reaching effects on U.S. and international radiocommunication industries, the preparations for this conference begin several years in advance. During the WRC preparatory phase, long term goals and positions that would benefit the U.S. government and commercial industry are developed.

Read more »

A Photo Project - Public Safety & Homeland Security

February 23, 2010

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:53:height=100,width=66]]

I'm pleased to announce that the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau is conducting a Photo Project and Contest so that we can collect and feature public safety pictures on the PSHSB website.   We have put a lot of effort into making our Bureau's section of FCC.gov useful for the public safety community, and believe it would be an even more effective tool if we featured live action photos of first responders performing their duties.  We are hoping for an enthusiastic response to this initiative.

Read more »

ON DECK: Pending and Upcoming Litigation Involving the FCC

February 19, 2010

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:286:height=104,width=70]]As we progress through the first quarter of calendar year 2010, we in the Office of General Counsel thought it might be of interest to summarize briefly the pending appellate litigation matters of significance in which the FCC is a party.
First, on January 13th in New York City, the Second Circuit held oral argument in Fox Television Stations, Inc. v. FCC.   The case presents a First Amendment attack on the FCC’s decisions finding violations of the broadcast indecency statute and regulations for Fox’s broadcast of expletives by celebrities Cher and Nicole Richie on separate live television awards shows.  That case is on remand from the Supreme Court, which overturned the Second Circuit’s earlier judgment that the FCC had not adequately explained a change in its indecency enforcement policy.  It likely will be several months before the court issues its opinion – but, whatever the outcome, the case is a potential candidate to head back to the Supreme Court before final resolution.
Similarly, on February 23rd (just a few weeks after this year’s Super Bowl), the Third Circuit will hear oral argument in Philadelphia in CBS Corp. v. FCC, another broadcast indecency case.  At issue is CBS’s broadcast of the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show in which Janet Jackson, performing with Justin Timberlake, suffered what some have described as a “wardrobe malfunction.”  CBS is challenging the $550,000 forfeiture that the FCC assessed against certain CBS-owned affiliates for broadcasting Jackson’s fleeting nudity.  The Third Circuit previously found that the FCC had changed its policy without adequately explaining why, but this case also is on remand from the Supreme Court in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Fox Television Stations, described above.

Read more »

Helping Haiti: The FCC's Work with Conatel

by Mindel DeLaTorre, Chief of the International Bureau
February 19, 2010

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:98:height=100,width=70]]At the FCC, we continue to be very busy on a number of fronts to continue to help Haiti regarding its communications services.

Within the U.S. Government, our work is in coordination with USAID as you know.  But it really derives directly from our regulatory counterpart in Haiti – Conatel.  The importance and necessity of our work at the FCC is underscored by the requests of the Director General (DG), Mr. Montaigne Marcelin,  which continue to come in.

When the communications asssessment team was in Haiti in late January, we were fortunate to be able to spend a great deal of time with the DG and the staff of Conatel.  We discussed the status of the communications sector in Haiti, and several key regulatory issues like spectrum management.  In addition, on behalf of our two agencies, Mr. Marcelin and I signed an  “Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Regarding Communications Regulatory Cooperation” between Conatel and the FCC, as requested by the Conatel DG. The MOU states that the FCC will provide assistance to Conatel in several areas, including: ongoing assessment of the needs of the communications sector in Haiti, spectrum management, licensing policies and procedures, human resource capacity building, as well as other regulatory issues as needed.  The cooperation between Conatel and the FCC is envisioned to be telephone and email consultation, in-country assessments and technical assistance by FCC staff, and Conatel staff fellowships at the FCC.

Read more »

FCC Ethics Program

February 18, 2010

Among the missions of the Administrative Law Division of the FCC’s Office of General Counsel are the prevention of conflicts of interest on the part of the Commission’s employees, and the prompt resolution of any such conflicts that may occur.  On his first full day in office President Obama signed an ethics Executive Order establishing some of the strongest ethics guidelines ever set for Federal employees, including those working at the FCC.   The FCC is fully committed to ensuring that these ethics rules are faithfully followed, and has a team in place that is dedicated full-time to assisting its employees in interpreting and complying with the Federal ethical standards
Our goal in promoting these high ethical standards for all of our employees is to assure the American people that the decisions made and that actions take by its dedicated civil servants are motivated solely by the interests of the public and are free of any inappropriate outside influences.  In an earlier blog, my colleague, Larry Schecker has described some of the steps that the FCC has taken and continues to take, under the authority of the Freedom of Information Act, to foster openness in government and to further the public’s understanding of and confidence in the actions taken by the Commission.  Apart from the FCC-wide approaches that Larry describes, there are several additional vehicles for promoting openness in government that are under the oversight of the FCC’s ethics advisors. 

Read more »
close
FCC

You are leaving the FCC website

You are about to leave the FCC website and visit a third-party, non-governmental website that the FCC does not maintain or control. The FCC does not endorse any product or service, and is not responsible for, nor can it guarantee the validity or timeliness of the content on the page you are about to visit. Additionally, the privacy policies of this third-party page may differ from those of the FCC.