On December 14, the Federal Communications Commission voted to restore the longstanding, bipartisan light-touch regulatory framework that has fostered rapid Internet growth, openness, and freedom for nearly 20 years.
High-speed Internet access, or broadband, is critical to economic opportunity, job creation, education, and civic engagement. But there are too many parts of this country where broadband is unavailable. Chairman Ajit Pai's top priority is to close the digital divide between those who have access to cutting-edge communications services and those who do not. He believes that every American who wants to participate in the digital economy should be able to do so.
The next generation of wireless connectivity-the fifth generation, or 5G-is a virtual cornerstone for critical 21st century opportunities related to economic growth, education, employment, transportation, and more. These new networks and technologies will enable new high speed, low latency wireless broadband services, the Internet of things, and innovations not yet imagined.
The incentive auction includes a reverse auction — Auction 1001 — in which broadcasters will offer to voluntarily relinquish some or all of their spectrum usage rights, and a forward auction — Auction 1002 — of new, flexible-use licenses suitable for providing mobile broadband services.
The Connect2Health Taskforce is exploring the intersection of broadband, advanced technology and health and further charting the broadband future of health care – serving as an umbrella for all FCC health-oriented activities to help enable a healthier America.
Taking on the communications challenges faced by Americans with disabilities has been and will remain at the forefront of the FCC's agenda. This includes the telecommunications needs of the millions Americans who are Deaf, hard of hearing, speech disabled and deaf-blind. The FCC's latest effort is called Accessible Communications for Everyone (ACE), an initiative to break down telephone access barriers for these populations using innovative technologies of the 21st century.