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Released: December 31, 1969

Moving Forward:

Driving Investment and

Innovation While

Protecting Consumers

January 15, 2009

Moving Forward:
Driving Investment and Innovation
While Protecting Consumers
January 15, 2009

Table of Contents
Promoting Broadband Deployment
10 Ushering in an Era of Wireless Broadband
23 Fostering Innovation and Open Technology Platforms
26 Promoting Competition in the Video Marketplace
31 Protecting Consumers from Harm
38 Facilities-Based Competition
41 Addressing Public Safety Needs
49 Overseeing the Digital Transition
57 Ensuring Access to Communications by All Citizens
67 Conclusion
68 Footnotes

Over the past several years, we have seen a telecommunications industry un-
dergoing rapid and unprecedented change. In 2001, the Commission was still
mired in the fights between local and long distance telephone providers. Tele-
vision stations had barely started making plans to broadcast in digital. More
people had wireline telephone service than wireless. Broadband connections were not
widespread. Cable companies weren't offering voice service and telephone companies
weren't offering video.
Today, ushered in by the broadband revolution, we have finally found the promised
land of convergence. Telephone calls are made using the Internet and over cable systems.
Television programs are watched whenever we want, are offered by telephone companies
and are increasingly available on the Internet. Cable, wireless and traditional telephone
companies all sell packages of minutes that don't differentiate between local and long
There are over 260 million wireless subscribers, or twice as many as there are wire-
line subscribers. And cell phones are mini-computers. They take pictures, play songs
and games, send e-mail, and hopefully will send and receive emergency messages in
times of disaster.
Faced with such fast-paced technological change, the Commission under Chairman
Kevin Martin has tried to make decisions based on a fundamental belief that a robust,
competitive marketplace, not regulation, is ultimately the greatest protector of the public
interest. Competition is the best method of delivering the benefits of choice, innovation,
and affordability to American consumers. Competition drives prices down and spurs
providers to improve service and create new products.
Government, however, still has an important role to play. The Commission has
worked to create a regulatory environment that promoted investment and competition,
and set the rules of the road so that players could compete on a level playing-field. The
FCC has also stepped in when the marketplace didn't allow for sufficient competition to a
former monopoly, when the market needed to be open to new entrants and technologies,
or when larger societal goals such as ensuring the needs of public safety, fell outside the
market's scope. Finally, the Commission also made sure that as the industry was trans-
forming, average consumers didn't get left behind.
During Chairman Martin's tenure, the Federal Communications Commission has
been focused on establishing the appropriate regulatory environment that achieves the
right balance between two competing interests: (1) to encourage investment in commu-
nications infrastructure; and (2) to make sure consumers and innovation are not uninten-
tionally or intentionally disadvantaged by the owners of that infrastructure. The Martin
Commission has acted to level the playing field so that all entrants could fairly compete,
facilitating increased investment. At the same time, we have been able to push for more
open platforms to spur innovation and the consumer benefits of lower prices and im-
proved services.

Promoting Broadband
Broadband deployment has been a top priority of the Commission over the past
four years. Broadband technology is a key driver of economic and social
growth. The ability to share increasing amounts of information, at greater
and greater speeds, increases productivity, facilitates interstate commerce, and
helps drive innovation. Moreover, broadband Internet access has the potential to affect
almost every aspect of our lives -- how we communicate with each other, where we
work, how we educate our children, how we entertain ourselves, and how we receive our
health care. To fully appreciate and take advantage of the Internet today, consumers need
faster broadband connections.
Under Chairman Martin, the Commission has focused on creating a regulatory envi-
ronment that promotes investment in broadband network infrastructure and competition.
The Commission has removed legacy regulatory obstacles that discouraged such invest-
ment and slowed deployment. Moreover, to evaluate the progress it has made in promot-
ing broadband and to better direct resources toward unserved and underserved areas, the
Commission has updated its broadband data gathering program.
Eliminating Legacy Regulations and Encouraging Infrastructure
In 2001, the communications industry was mired in a period of far-reaching decline.
Old-style regulations placed on new investment and broadband services were part
of the problem.
The Commission has promoted broadband deployment by eliminating inef-
ficient and unnecessary legacy regulation. The Commission also deregulated all broad-
band services, establishing a level playing field, in which all companies are subject to the
same basic rules.
In August 2005, the Commission substantially reduced regulation of broadband ac-
cess, removing legacy regulations, like tariffs and price controls, which discouraged pro-
viders from investing in broadband networks. The Commission subsequently classified

Promoting Broadband Deployment
Broadband-over-Power-Line and wireless broadband Internet access services as "infor-
mation services" not subject to legacy regulations. These actions leveled the playing field
among all operators in the provision of broadband Internet access services.
The Commission also removed wholesale unbundling requirements on new fiber in-
vestment by incumbent local exchange carriers--thus encouraging those carriers to invest
in infrastructure in an environment free of economic regulation. Similarly, the Commis-
sion forbore from enforcing legacy Title II requirements and Computer-Inquiry require-
ments, such as tariff rules and price controls, on certain broadband enterprise services.
In addition, the Commission streamlined the state and local franchise process for new
entrants. The Commission also banned exclusive contracts in apartment buildings.
Investment in Broadband Infrastructure
The Commission's broadband policies have led to increased investment in broadband
infrastructure. Telecommunications companies expect to make $50 billion in capital
expenditures on broadband in 20082009.1 Moreover, companies are increasingly
investing in fiber. One company alone, Verizon, has indicated that it will spend up to
$23 billion to deploy its FiOS network throughout its service area.2 And industry-wide
spending on fiber-related telecommunications equipment is estimated to grow almost
$13.5 billion annually in the next three years.3 As a result of this investment, fiber is
increasingly used across the United States for services from television, Internet access,

Fiber High-Speed Line Growth


FCC Form 477 Data, All figures as of December 31st.


Promoting Broadband Deployment
telephony, security, and meter reading. The number of homes passed in the United States
has increased from approximately 1.6 million in 2005 to over 13 million today. Nearly 4
million households have been connected (up from slightly over 200,000 in 2005). Video
is now provided to approximately 2 million homes, up from well under 100,000 in 2005.4
The number of fiber lines has grown from just over 90 thousand in December 2001 to
over 1.8 million in December 2007 (over 1900% growth).5
Increasing Broadband Subscription and Higher Speeds
The Commission's actions to boost infrastructure investment have contributed
significantly to the rapid increase in broadband subscribership. Since 2000,
the number of high-speed lines has increased more than 1600 percent, from
approximately 6.8 million lines in December 2000 to over 121 million lines in
December 2007.6

High-Speed Line Growth


Powerline and Other

Satellite and Wireless Devices



Cable Modem

SDSL and Traditional Wireline

n 80



M 60


FCC Form 477 Data, All figures as of December 31st.


Promoting Broadband Deployment
In 2000, almost 80 percent of the nation's geographic zip codes had three or fewer
high-speed providers, with no high-speed provider in almost a third of all geographic zip

Promoting Broadband Deployment
Contrast 2007, in which all but 62 of the nation's 30,152 geographic zip codes had at least
one high-speed provider, and more than 50 percent had seven or more high-speed providers.

Promoting Broadband Deployment
The number of broadband lines providing higher transmission speeds has also been
increasing. From December 2005 to December 2007, the number of lines with transmis-
sion speeds greater than or equal to 2.5 mbps grew by 70 percent, from approximately 27
million lines to over 45 million lines.7

Advanced Services Lines

2.5 Mbps or greater

Millions 25


FCC Form 477 Data, All figures as of December 31st.

Lower Broadband Prices
As a result of the increased competition and investment resulting from the Commis-
sion's policies, we have seen both significant reductions in the price of broadband and
significant increases in speed. Since 2000, the price of wireline broadband has decreased
more than 50 percent.8
DSL Price Drop



Source: Communications Daily, Feb. 15, 2000; Newsday, Dec. 4, 2000 and company Web sites 2009

Promoting Broadband Deployment
Furthermore, while it cost approximately $50 in 2001 to obtain a 768 kbps connec-
tion, in 2007, $50 could get you a connection with speeds up to 15 mbps. In that same
period, speeds have increased, enabling consumers to purchase service that is over ten
times faster than what was offered back in 2001.9

Wireline Broadband Prices and Speeds

Declining Prices, Increasing Speeds

(Maximum Advertised Price by Download Speed Tiers)
768 kbps - 1.5 mbps
Up to 1.5 mbps
Source: USTelecom: The Broadband Association, Wireline Broadband Pricing 2001-2007, June 2008

Wireline Broadband

Increasing Speeds for $50

(Speeds based on Maximum Advertised Price Dow nstream Speed Tier)
Up to 15 mbps
Up to 7 mbps
Up to 3 mbps
768 kbps
1.5 mbps
Source: USTelecom: The Broadband Association, Wireline Broadband Pricing 2001-2007 , June 2008
As a result, the number of adult Internet users in the United States has increased from
127 million (64 percent of the adult population) in 2001 to 184 million (81 percent of the
adult population) in 2008.10

Promoting Broadband Deployment
Understanding the State of Broadband in the United States
The Commission has worked to gain a better understanding of who has broadband
and the nature of the broadband services being deployed in the marketplace. Recently,
the Commission revised its broadband data gathering program in a way that significantly
improves the utility and value of the data collected. Importantly, the Commission in-
creased the speed of what is considered basic broadband from 200 kbps to 768 kbps. In
addition to basic broadband, the Commission defined seven new upload and download
speed tiers for reporting broadband subscribership data.
This new framework allows for finer distinctions among services with regard to their
practical capabilities. The Commission also for the first time required carriers to report
the number of subscribers in geographic units below the state level. The Commission's
choice of the census tract as the geographic reporting unit has the advantage that it en-
ables the correlation of the collected broadband-subscribership data with a variety of
demographic measures. This, in turn, will facilitate a better understanding of the demo-
graphic and economic factors that affect broadband adoption.
Reporting Broadband Connections: Speed Tiers

Old Tiers

New Tiers

Faster Direction
> 200 kbps, <2.5 mbps
>200 kbps, < 768 kbps
< 200 kbps
>200 kbps, < 768 kbps
768 kbps,< 1.5 mbps
768 kbps,< 1.5 mbps
1.5 mbps,< 3 mbps
1.5 mbps,< 3 mbps
2.5 mbps, <10 mbps
3 mbps,< 6 mbps
3 mbps,< 6 mbps
6 mbps,< 10 mbps
6 mbps,< 10 mbps
10 mbps, < 25 mbps
10 mbps,< 25 mbps
10 mbps,< 25 mbps
25mbps, < 100 mbps
25 mbps,< 100 mbps
25 mbps,< 100 mbps
100 mbps
100 mbps
100 mbps

Ushering in an Era of
Wireless Broadband
Effective Spectrum Policies for Promotion of Wireless Broad-
Increasingly broadband is moving from a wireline to a wireless world. And wire-
less broadband uses spectrum. During Chairman Martin's tenure, the Commission
promoted access to spectrum that will facilitate wireless broadband options for
consumers. Specifically, the Commission has used spectrum auctions to efficiently
and effectively make available as much spectrum as possible to put the next generation of
wireless broadband devices into the hands and homes of consumers. All told, the Com-
mission has made over 354 megahertz of spectrum available over the last four years for
mobile wireless broadband services through auction and flexible use policies, which is a
tremendous increase over the approximately 200 megahertz of spectrum that had previ-
ously been available for such services in the Cellular, Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR)
and Broadband PCS bands.

Increase in Spectrum Available for Wireless Broadband Services







700 MHz




H 300










Source: FCC

Ushering in an Era of Wireless Broadband
The Commission used various tools over recent years to open up this significant
amount of spectrum. The Commission conducted rulemakings and spectrum license auc-
tions in the 700 MHz and AWS-1 bands that have transformed these bands, previously
occupied in part by federal spectrum users and analog television broadcasters. The Com-
mission also approved the unlicensed use of the television (TV) "white spaces" spectrum,
which represents is a significant victory for consumers. The Commission expects that
everything from enhanced home broadband networks, to intelligent peer-to-peer devices,
and even small communications networks will come into being in TV "white spaces."
Putting Licensed Spectrum in the Marketplace
In fact, the 700 MHz and the AWS-1 auctions were the two most successful auctions
in Commission history. The 700 MHz auction put an additional 62 MHz on the mar-
ket and raised a record-breaking $19.1 billion. In the AWS-1 auction 90 MHz was
sold for $13.7 billion.

Comparison of 700 MHz and AWS-1

Auction Revenues vs. All Others

700 MHz Auction
All other
700 MHz & AWS
AWS-1 I auctions
Note: 700 MHz Auction revenues do not account for bidding credits. (FCC, April 2008)

Ushering in an Era of Wireless Broadband
700 MHz band rules and auction. By making available new licenses for 52
megahertz of 700 MHz spectrum, the Commission made possible greater broadband
penetration, which will provide more consumers with benefits from technological ad-
vancements.11 The 700 MHz spectrum is especially well suited for wireless broadband
because it can carry lots of data, penetrate walls easily, travel far distances, and do it with
great efficiency and speed.
The Commission auctioned a total of 1098 licenses (Auction 73), with 4 licenses cov-
ering every location in the nation. The Commission licensed a variety of block sizes and
geographic areas, allowing for broad participation by potential bidders with a variety of
service plans and business models. Block sizes ranged from 6 to 22 megahertz. The geo-
graphic scope of licenses varied from 734 Cellular Market Areas (CMAs) in Block B to
12 Regional Economic Area Groupings in Block C. The auction of this 52 megahertz of
700 MHz spectrum has helped unleash previously latent potential in 18 megahertz of 700
MHz band spectrum that had previously been auctioned.
Note: Map includes 700 MHz A, B, and Upper C Block licenses in the 50 states won by bidders in areas without wired networks.
To ensure that as many people as possible have access to this wireless broadband
service as quickly as possible, licensees in the 700 MHz band must meet stronger and
more effective build out requirements for these wireless licenses, intended to promote
better access to spectrum and broader deployment of broadband service, particularly to
rural areas. In addition, to spur deployment in rural areas, holders of larger licenses must
demonstrate that they meet the applicable benchmarks within each of a number of smaller

Ushering in an Era of Wireless Broadband
geographic subdivisions of their license area. If a licensee fails to meet its interim per-
formance benchmarks, the deadline for compliance with the end-of-term benchmark is
accelerated by two years. If a licensee fails to meet the end-of-term benchmark, it will be
subject to the Commission's "keep-what-you-use" policy, under which the unserved por-
tions of the license area are reclaimed for future use by other service providers.
The Commission's 700 MHz auction brought spectrum ideally suited for wireless
broadband Internet access to the market, with a bidder other than the incumbent DSL or
cable provider winning 700 MHz spectrum in nearly every area in the country. Further,
both nationwide incumbents that participated in the 700 MHz auction have announced
they will deploy the very latest generation of wireless broadband services using this
spectrum, which will operate at speeds competitive with the latest DSL and cable modem

Advanced Wireless Services (AWS-1) Rules and Auction.

The Commission's service
rules and auction process for the AWS-1 Band (1710-1755MHz and 2110-2155MHz) pro-
vided greater certainty to licensees with minimal regulatory intervention, thereby making
possible greater benefits to consumers.
In 2005, the Commission modified the AWS-1 band plan to allow for smaller licenses.
Over the course of two subsequent license auctions (Auction 66 and 78), the Commission
offered and sold 1,122 licenses authorizing use of 90 megahertz throughout the entire
nation. In fact, the Commission issued 6 licenses covering each and every location in
the nation. The Commission created a variety of license types, with differing block sizes
and geographic areas, allowing for broad participation by potential bidders with various
service plans and business models. Block sizes ranged from 10 to 20 megahertz. The
geographic scope of licenses varied from 734 Cellular Market Areas (CMAs) in Block A
to 12 Regional Economic Area Groupings in Block F.
By 2008, wireless carriers began to deploy third generation (3G) wireless systems on
AWS-1 spectrum. Thus, licensing 90 megahertz of AWS-1 spectrum furthered the avail-
ability of broadband access and increased competition in broadband services.

Revised BRS/EBS Rules.

In addition, the Commission worked to transition the
Broadband Radio Service (BRS) and the Educational Broadband Service (EBS) in the
2500-2690 MHz band to a new band plan suitable for advanced mobile broadband ser-
vices. Aided by rule changes adopted in 2006, the transition has been completed in areas
covering 86% of the United States population, and is already underway in areas covering
an additional 8% of the population. Furthermore, Clearwire is using the band to provide
Internet access in approximately fifty markets, and WiMAX service is being offered in
the band in areas from Baltimore to Portland, Oregon, to rural Idaho. The Commission's
actions opening up 194 megahertz of BRS/EBS spectrum for innovative mobile wireless
technologies almost doubles the total spectrum available for such uses.

Ushering in an Era of Wireless Broadband
The additional 354 megahertz of spectrum described above represents a substantial
increase over the spectrum previously available for such services. Prior to 2005, the
Commission made available approximately 206 megahertz in bands such as the Cellular,
Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) and Broadband PCS bands. (Of that amount, approxi-
mately 80 megahertz was made available prior to the advent of Commission spectrum
license auctions in 1994, while 126 megahertz was made available between 1994-2004.)
Innovative Use of Unlicensed Spectrum

TV White Spaces. In addition, the Commission has dramatically increased spec-
trum on an unlicensed basis. In decisions issued in 2006 and 2008, the Com-
mission adopted rules to enable unlicensed fixed and personal portable wireless
devices to operate in the TV broadcast spectrum in what is referred to as "TV
White Spaces." The Commission's action opening the white spaces will encourage the
creation of a WiFi on steroids. It has the potential to improve wireless broadband con-
nectivity and inspire an ever-widening array of new innovative Internet based products
and services for consumers. The newly adopted Part 15 rules provide for unlicensed radio
transmitters to operate in the TV broadcast television spectrum at locations where that
spectrum is not being used by licensed services, making a significant amount of spec-
trum available for new and innovative products and services, including broadband data
and other services for businesses and consumers. The rules are a culmination of several
years of technical evaluation of TV devices and prototype unlicensed devices. The rules
include many safeguards to prevent harmful interference to incumbent communications
services, and are a conservative first step toward deployment of TV band devices.
Other Broadband Spectrum
3650-3700 MHz Band. To facilitate the deployment of wireless broadband, the
Commission has also established innovative services rules and realigned spec-
trum band plans. For example, the Commission finalized an innovative non-ex-
clusive, nationwide licensing scheme for the 3650-3700 MHz band, which facili-
tates access to, and intensive use of, the spectrum for the provision of wireless broadband
services. In 2007, the Commission began issuing licenses and registering links in the
band for use with new high-speed, wireless local area networks and broadband Internet
access operating equipment. Currently, there are 602 nationwide registrations and 1,407
registered links in the band.
This spectrum was available pursuant to a non-exclusive "light" licensing scheme
and required operators to use equipment incorporating a contention-based protocol, i.e.,
technology that permits multiple licensees to share spectrum by ensuring that all licens-
ees have reasonable opportunity to operate without causing harmful interference to each

Ushering in an Era of Wireless Broadband
other. The spectrum environment in the 3650-3700 MHz band is expected to encourage
multiple entrants and stimulate the expansion of broadband service to rural and under-
served areas.


In the satellite sector, the Commission has acted to make use of allocated
spectrum more rational, more efficient and responsive to consumer demands, including
the demand for rural broadband connectivity. For example, the Commission adopted
service rules in 2007 to open spectrum in the 17/24 GHz band to new satellite services.
Additionally, the Commission adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would
enable Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) operators to operate new satellites between the
DBS satellites currently in orbit. Final rules in this area could lead to increased competi-
tion for DBS services. The Commission also acted to grant Ancillary Terrestrial Compo-
nent (ATC) authority to Mobile Satellite Service (MSS) operators to increase their ability
to use their licensed spectrum more efficiently by allowing ground-based repeaters to
strengthen satellite signals in places where it might be difficult to receive a signal directly
from the satellite, such as mountainous or heavily forested areas, or between tall build-
ings in large urban areas. The Commission also made more spectrum available for the
two 2 GHz-band mobile satellite service licensees, which will facilitate the provision of
public safety and rural broadband services, and allow them to compete effectively in the
market for mobile telecommunications services.

Other Licensed Spectrum.

Ground work has also been laid to place even more spec-
trum in the hands of the marketplace, including up to 25 MHz of additional spectrum in
the AWS-3 band. Similarly, we have worked to resolve the longstanding issues regarding
the WCS and SDARS bands, thus opening this spectrum for broadband deployments. In
each instance, we have attempted carefully to balance the rights of incumbent spectrum
holders with the need to encourage the technological innovation that will facilitate the
more efficient use of spectrum, notably in adjacent bands which previously could not be

Other Regulatory Action to Increase Wireless Broadband Deployment.

The Com-
mission has promoted wireless broadband deployment in a number of other ways as well
by eliminating regulatory barriers and approving mergers that promise to increase broad-
band access. For example, the Commission also classified wireless-based broadband In-
ternet access service as an information service, thus ensuring regulatory parity among all
broadband Internet access service competitors. Further, with the Sprint Nextel and Clear-
wire transaction, the Commission has encouraged investment and provided sufficient
spectrum for the building of new nationwide communications infrastructure. That new
company will deploy a new mobile broadband technology -- WiMAX -- nationwide.
These efforts are coupled with other steps that the Commission has taken to increase
the efficient use of spectrum, including the introduction of mandatory narrowbanding
requirements and the introduction of secondary markets initiatives, which allow partition-
ing, disaggregation and spectrum to allow licensees to put unused spectrum back in the
marketplace so that spectrum assets work for them and for consumers.

Ushering in an Era of Wireless Broadband
Wireless Market Developments

Growth, Competition, and Innovation.

The increasing use of mobile data and Inter-
net services by consumers over the past four years has been made possible by the contin-
ued deployment of mobile broadband technologies and the increasing availability of mo-
bile broadband-capable devices. Mobile operators began launching broadband networks
in a few cities in late 2003. These network technologies allow users to access the Internet
at speeds comparable to DSL connections. As of mid-2005, mobile broadband services
were available to around 25 percent of the U.S. population.

Ushering in an Era of Wireless Broadband
By mid-2008, mobile broadband network availability had grown substantially to over
92 percent of the population.

Ushering in an Era of Wireless Broadband
This represents a substantial investment on the part of mobile services providers. For
example, in each of the last 3 years, Verizon Wireless has invested $6.5 billion or more
to expand and advance its network nationwide.12 Since 2006, Sprint Nextel has invested
more than $15 billion in capital largely to enhance its networks.13
Investment is also continuing, and even more deployment is planned. Verizon Wire-
less has indicated it expects to begin deploying next generation LTE wireless broadband
by the end of 2009,14 and Sprint launched a 3G/4G dual mode broadband service in De-
cember 2008.15 As of September 2008, T-Mobile had deployed its UMTS/HSDPA high-
speed data network in 13 major US markets, and expected to have expanded this to 27
markets by year end.16 Clearwire has launched its WiMAX network in both Baltimore,
MD and Portland, OR. It offers "pre-WiMAX" Internet services in 46 markets through-
out the U.S., and as of December 23, 2008, AT&T Mobility's 3G network is available in
335 major metropolitan areas, and expected to reach 350 markets by year end.17
Consumer use of mobile devices that are capable of accessing the Internet at broad-
band speeds has also increased significantly since 2005.
Mobile Broadband Devices In Use







D 10





Source: FCC

Ushering in an Era of Wireless Broadband
In June 2005, just under 400,000 mobile wireless broadband-capable devices were
in use in the United States. By June 2007, this number had grown to 35.3 million.18 In
addition, the percentage of mobile devices with browser capabilities has risen from 22
percent to 75 percent from 2005 to 2008.
Percent of Mobile Devices with
Web Browser Capabilities


Source: ComScore (MMetrics Mar 2008)
More generally, between 2000 and 2008, competition in the wireless marketplace
continued to bring growth and innovation to the wireless industry and to provide signifi-
cant benefits to consumers. The number of mobile phone subscribers rose approximately
Total U.S. Mobile Wireless





2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Source: CTIA-The Wireless Association, as of June of each year.

Ushering in an Era of Wireless Broadband
171 percent between 2000 and 2008, from 97 million to 263 million. This means that
more than 85 percent of all Americans now own a mobile phone.
Consumers also are using their mobile phones and devices more than ever before. In
mid-2008, the average mobile subscriber spent 751 minutes or 12.5 hours talking on
the phone each month. This is an almost 240 percent increase from 221 minutes or 3.7
hours per month in 2000.
Average Minutes-of-Use per Month

M 600



P 300



O 200



Source: CTIA-The Wireless Association, as of June of each year.
At the same time, the per minute price of mobile phone service fell almost 70 percent
from 20.4 cents in 2000 to 6.5 cents in 2008.

Price Per Minute for
Mobile Telephone Service
$0.119 $0.106
$0.090 $0.079 $0.071 $0.068 $0.065
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Source: Calculated using ALMB and Average Minutes of User per Subscriber per Month measures from CTIA-The Wireless Association. As of June of each year.

Ushering in an Era of Wireless Broadband
Americans also are using their mobile devices for much more than talking. Consumers
use mobile data applications and Internet services to a much larger degree now than they
did four years ago. For instance, the number of text messages sent by mobile phone users
has risen tenfold from 57 billion in 2005 to 601 billion in 2008.
Growth in Text/SMS Traffic Volumes
(in billions)






Source: CTIA-The Wireless Association (2005-2008). Annualized, June to June.
The number of photo and video messages ("MMS") sent has also increased dramati-
cally from 285 million in the first half of 2005 to 5.6 billion in the first half of 2008.
While mobile data and Internet services were still nascent in 2005, their use has become
more prevalent in recent years. Analysts estimate that, in 2008, around 57 percent of U.S.
mobile subscribers used mobile data applications.19 One analyst also estimates that the
number of active mobile Internet users (those who use the service at least once a month)
increased 73 percent from May 2006 to May 2008.20
Growth in MMS Traffic






1H 2005
1H 2006
1H 2007
1H 2008
Source: CTIA-The Wireless Association (2005-2008).

Ushering in an Era of Wireless Broadband

International Comparisons.

Over the past four years, mobile subscribers in the U.S.
have experienced lower prices than mobile consumers in Western Europe and comparable
Asia-Pacific countries, and U.S. mobile subscribers have led the world in mobile phone
usage by a wide margin.21

MOU 2Q05












u 200

142 162
145 137




Western Europe


Source: Merrill Lynch, Global Wireless Matrix


RPM 2Q05

RPM 2Q08




Minute $0.15

0.06 0.05




Western Europe


Source: Merrill Lynch, Global Wireless Matrix

In 2005, revenue per minute ("RPM") of mobile service a proxy for per-minute
price was three to four times higher in Western Europe and Japan than in the United
States. This trend became more pronounced in 2008, when RPM was four to five times
higher in Western Europe and Japan than in the U.S. In comparing usage, the amount of
time that mobile subscribers spend talking on the phone is 400 to 500 percent higher in
the United States than in Western Europe and Japan, a trend that has remained constant
over the past four years.

Fostering Innovation
and Open Technology
In addition to pursuing policies to encourage investment in networks we have also
acted to ensure consumers can experience choice and innovation when using these
networks. We have worked to achieve this goal by pursuing a policy of openness
across all sectors including wireless, wireline and video.
A network that is more open to devices and applications can help foster innovation
on the edges of the network. As important, it gives consumers greater freedom to use the
wireless devices and applications of their choice when they purchase service from the
new network owner. When the same decision was made decades ago on the wireline net-
work, we saw an explosion in innovation and choice. Investment in the market increased,
new phones and calling features were developed and consumers benefited. In the wake of
the Carterfone decision, AT&T subscribers went from having to rent boring black rotary
phones to purchasing competitively priced, innovative phones such as cordless phones,
and phones with answering machines. Ultimately, these rules facilitated the development
of the Internet, as consumers were able to attach modems to the network and go anywhere
the Internet could take them without interference from the network owner.
Preserving the Vibrant Nature of the Internet
The Commission has a duty to preserve and promote the vibrant and open charac-
ter of the Internet as the telecommunications marketplace enters the broadband
age. To this end, the Commission, in August 2005, adopted its Internet Policy
Statement comprised of four consumer-oriented principles, to protect consum-
ers' access on the Internet. It contained four consumer-oriented principles:
(1) Consumers are entitled to access the lawful Internet content of their choice;
(2) Consumers are entitled to run applications and use services of their choice, subject to
the needs of law enforcement;
(3) Consumers are entitled to connect their choice of legal devices that do not harm the
network; and
(4) Consumers are entitled to competition among network providers, application and
service providers, and content providers.

Fostering Innovation and
Open Technology Platforms
In adopting these principles the Commission sought to protect consumers' ability to
access content of their choice. When the Commission adopted these principles, it stated
that all of these principles are subject to reasonable network management. Accordingly,
broadband providers may use reasonable network practices to manage their networks, but
they must do so without violating our principles and should do so in a reasonably trans-
parent manner. Moreover, these principles were not adopted for one particular platform.
Since it adopted the Internet Policy Statement, the Commission has been vigilant in
protecting consumers' access to content, applications and services on the Internet. As
described in the section on Protecting Consumers from Harm, the Commission has not
hesitated to enforce these principles when it was presented with evidence of traffic block-
Moving Towards More Open Wireless Platforms
Until only very recently, most wireless carriers operated "closed" networks.
Within these "closed" networks, subscribers were limited to choosing among
only those handsets and applications approved by the carriers themselves. In
July 2007, the FCC adopted an "open platform" rule for one-third of the 700
MHz spectrum auctioned early last year (the "C Block"). The Commission deliberately
took a cautious and limited approach to fostering more openness in the wireless world.
Its plan followed a careful balance of spurring innovation and consumer choice while
encouraging infrastructure investment. The Commission used this targeted approach to
promote the development of networks that are more open to devices and applications.
Requiring licensees of this spectrum to allow consumers to use the devices of their
choice and download applications of their choice has helped push the wireless industry to
embrace more open networks. In less than a year, many wireless providers have evolved
from vocal opponents to vocal proponents of open networks. This more open approach
provides a ripe field for wireless innovation and growth, including opportunities for
equipment manufacturers, software developers, and others.
Indeed, following the adoption of the 700 MHz "open platform" rule, several wireless
carriers announced voluntary plans to deploy an "open platform" beyond the Commis-
sion's C Block requirement. In November 2007, Verizon Wireless issued an announce-
ment that in 2008, its customers would be permitted to use the devices and applications
of their choice on its network. In 2008, Verizon Wireless launched its Open Development
Program, holding conferences and webcasts about certifying devices for use on its net-

Fostering Innovation and
Open Technology Platforms
work, designating independent device testing labs to conduct certification, and certifying
the first third-party devices to be used on its network.
In 2007, the Open Handset Alliance, a group of now more than 30 technology and
mobile companies, was formed to develop the Android platform, a complete, open, and
free mobile operating system. In 2008, T-Mobile with Google unveiled the first Android
device, and three of the four nationwide providers have expressed interest in offering mo-
bile handsets that use Android. Also in 2008, Sprint and Clearwire announced that New
Clearwire would have an open platform. Using only a wireless modem, customers may
use the device of their choice to access Clearwire's wireless broadband Internet service.
Many new and innovative applications have also been launched since the adoption
of the "open platform" rule including those in Apple's App Store. Other manufactur-
ers, including R.I.M. and Palm are planning or have launched similar sites. Using these
portals, wireless device users can download onto their wireless devices applications to
play games, track flights, find friends on the go, and make restaurant reservations, for
example, and much more.
Non-Proprietary Set-Top Boxes

In 2007, the FCC acted to implement a nearly 10-year old statutory requirement
to create a competitive market for
set-top boxes. The Commission no
longer allowed cable operators to
integrate proprietary security elements into
their set-top boxes. As a result, consum-
ers may purchase a box of their choice
instead of having to lease equipment from
their cable providers. Enforcing the
Commission's separable security require-
ment provided consumers electronics
manufacturers the opportunity to develop
and market innovative, feature-rich, state-
of-the-art products. Chairman Martin's
goal of a competitive set-top box market
will give consumers greater choice and the
benefits of innovation.

Competition in the
Video Marketplace
Greater competition in the market for the delivery for multichannel video program-
ming is a primary goal of federal communications policy. Increased competition can lead
to lower prices and more choices for consumers. During Chairman Martin's tenure the
Commission worked to increase competition by eliminating barriers to new entry into the
video market.
Cable Prices
Consumers have seen their cable bills double over the last decade at the same time
the costs for all other communications services have declined. It is almost universally
accepted that cable rates have risen dramatically over the past decade and that consum-
ers' bills for video services are too high. As described below, in recent years, the cost of
basic cable services has gone up disproportionately when compared against other com-
munications sectors. Specifically, since Congress enacted the 1996 Act, cable rates have
risen every year significantly higher than the rate of inflation. In 1995, cable rates were
$22.35 and in 2008 (using prices as of January 1, 2008) cable rates more than doubled to

Chart 1

Cable Price and the CPI, 1995-2008

Expanded Basic Price
CPI - All Items




CPI - All Items
1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008



Promoting Competition in the Video
The increase in cable prices appears even more dramatic when viewed relative to
the prices for a number of other communications services. The price for every service
that the Commission regulates has decreased. For example, the average rate for wireless
service has plummeted more than 85% ($ 0.43 per minute in 1995, compared with $0.07
per minute in 2007), average long distance rates has declined more than half ($0.12 a
minute to $0.06 a minute), and international calls have declined more than 89% ($0.91 a
minute in 1995 to $0.10 in 2007). In contrast, cable prices alone have increased, and they
have risen more than 110% (from an average $22.35 a month in 1995 to more than $49 a
month in 2007).

Rates for Communications Services 1995-2007

Cable Price (expanded basic)
Long Distance Price Per Minute
International Price Per Minute
Wireless Price Per Minute






To state this a different way, before they were reregulated in 1993, average cable pric-
es were $22.23. When adjusted for inflation that average cable price would be $33.88.
Compared against 2007 cable prices of $49.65, we see an increase of nearly 53%. That
is, cable rates are now 50% higher, even when adjusted for inflation, than when Congress
stepped in to reregulate them with the passage of 1992 Cable Act.
Video competition can impact
cable bills. According to our cable
Average Price for Cable Programming as of January 1, 2005
Comparison of Competition from DBS and from 2nd Cable Operator
price survey, where there is no
competition, the average price for
cable programming was $43.33
in January 2005. But in areas
where there was competition from
a second cable operator, the aver-
age price for cable programming
decreased to $35.94.
No Finding of Competition
Competition from DBS
Competition from Second
Cable Operator

Promoting Competition in the Video
Competition from satellite providers did not have the same effect. In areas with
competition from DBS alone, there was only a one cent difference in the price of cable
from when there is no competition at all (with competition from DBS, cable cost one cent
more). The Commission's data shows that DBS and cable do not seem to compete on
price. Rather, the data indicates that only competition from a second cable operator has a
downward impact on prices.
Given this, the Commission has adopted policies designed to encourage more cable
operators to enter the video market. By removing regulatory barriers faced by new cable
operators trying to enter the market, the Commission tried to ensure that consumers have
the ability to choose among more than one cable operator. Such competitive choice will
provide them one of the most important benefits of competition that the Act envisioned:
lower prices.
Video Franchise Reform

As telecommunications companies were spending billions of dollars to upgrade their
networks to provide video services in competition with cable providers, they encountered
roadblocks when they applied for franchises from local franchising authorities. There
were instances where local franchise authorities
did not act upon applications for more than a
year or required extraordinary in-kind contri-
butions. The Commission concluded that the
current operation of the franchising process
constitutes an unreasonable barrier to entry that
impedes the achievement of the interrelated
federal goals of enhanced cable competition
and accelerated broadband deployment. Thus,
under Chairman Martin, the Commission
streamlined the video franchise process by re-
quiring action within a reasonable time period and preventing the imposition of unreason-
able build-out requirements. These actions were designed to speed the delivery of new
video services to consumers and thereby provide them more choices and lower prices.
Apartment Building Access

MDU Access Order.

All consumers, regardless of where they live, should enjoy the
benefits of competition. Approximately 30 percent of Americans live in Multiple Dwell-
ing Units (MDUs) and their numbers are growing. The Commission found that contracts
granting exclusivity access to cable operators harm consumers, competition and broad-
band deployment. Accordingly, the Commission concluded that such exclusive contracts

Promoting Competition in the Video
are unlawful under the Act. The Commission found that prohibiting such clauses would
materially advance the Act's goals of enhancing competition and broadband deployment.
And, such prohibition would provide more competitive choice to the residents of MDUs
who were locked into a exclusive contract with a cable operator. In this manner, a signifi-
cant barrier to entry by competing video providers was eliminated.

Cable Inside Wiring Order.

During Chairman Martin's tenure, the Commission also
made it easier for competitive cable companies to gain access to "inside wiring" in these
apartment buildings in a consistent fashion, further ensuring that all consumers includ-
ing those in apartment buildings benefit from competition in the provision of communi-
cations services.
Fostering Greater Consumer Choice in the Video Market
The Commission has also worked to enhance consumers' choice and control over the
video packages they purchase.

Program Access Order.

In the fall of 2007, the prohibition on exclusive contracts
under the Commission's program access rules was extended for an additional five year
period until October 2012. Ensuring that competitive cable operators have access to
cable affiliated programming is necessary for viable competition in the video distribu-
tion market. By extending this prohibition, the Commission ensured that new entrants,
in addition to existing players, will continue to have access to critical programming on a
nondiscriminatory basis.

Cable Cap Order.

The Commission voted to cap the number of customers a single
cable television company may serve nationwide. This order set a 30 percent limit on
horizontal ownership nationwide, meeting Congress's mandate that no cable operator
should be so large that it can impede the flow of video programming to consumers. In
this manner, Commission promoted video programming diversity by ensuring new video
programmers can enter and compete in the video market. And, the Commission sought to

Promoting Competition in the Video
increase competition in the multichannel video programming market by providing con-
sumers with greater programming choices and diversity.

Leased Access Order.

The Commission also reformed the leased access rules to
foster the development of independent programming channels on cable systems. In this
manner, the Commission sought to ensure that consumers receive a broader and more
diverse range of programming from their cable operators. In addition, the Commission
adopted an expedited complaint process and a more rationale method of determining
leased access rates in order to make it easier for independent channels, including those
owned by minorities and women, to gain carriage from cable operators.
Greater Choice in Packaging and Sale of Video Programming Services. As stated
above, cable rates have risen dramatically over the past decade faster than the rate of in-
flation and faster than the rates of any other communications service. Consumers' video
bills are simply too high.
According to a Nielsen Media Research report, the number of television channels
received by the average household in the United States has more than doubled in the last
decade, increasing from 41.1 in 1995 to 104.2 in 2006. The average household, however,
has increased the number of channels it watches only from 10.5 to 15.7. This means that,
today, cable subscribers are paying for more than 85 channels that they do not want to
watch in order to obtain the approximately 16 channels that they do.
Indeed, a poll by the Associated Press found that 78% of respondents would prefer to
choose and pay for their own tailored selection of cable channels. In response, the Com-
mission has challenged cable and satellite operators to offer more cost effective alterna-
tives, encouraging them to make family-friendly programming packages available and to
offer networks in a more a la carte manner.
The Media Bureau's 2006 Further Report on Packaging and Sale of Video Program-
ming Services to the Public found that themed tiers and a la carte could provide consum-
ers the opportunity to reduce their cable bills by purchasing fewer channels or smaller
packages. Specifically, using assumptions from the Booz-Allen-Hamilton study, the
Bureau found that a consumer purchasing 11 cable channels would face a change in his
bill ranging from a 13% decrease to a 4% increase, with a decrease in 3 out of 4 cases.
Minority consumers, particularly those living in non-English speaking homes, could
also benefit tremendously from a la carte offerings. Currently, cable and satellite provid-
ers require subscribers to purchase dozens, if not hundreds, of channels in order to get
foreign-language programming for which they must pay an additional cost. Under a la
carte, however, non-English speaking consumers could purchase only those channels that
offer programming they understand and desire.

Protecting Consumers
from Harm
Under the leadership of Chairman Martin, the Commission has been vigilant in
protecting consumers from intentional or unintentional harm. The FCC took
action across industries to address the needs and concerns of consumers and
ensure they have the necessary tools to make informed decisions. The Com-
mission preserved consumers' unfettered access to the internet content of their choice,
protected children from inappropriate content, and strengthened consumer privacy.
Enforcing Commission Rules
Strictly enforcing its rules, the Commission under Chairman Martin issued over
$151 million in fines. That total amount is greater than the total combined
amount of fines assessed under the preceding two Chairmen. Moreover, under
Chairman Martin the Commission issued the two highest dollar amount consent
decrees in its history. (Univision $24 million consent decree and XM radio $17.4 million
consent decree.)

Monetary Forfeitures Assessed and Payments Negotiated through Consent Decrees,

Calendar Years 2003 through 2008

Dollars in millions





Protecting Consumers from Harm
Protecting the Open Internet
Spearheaded by Chairman Martin, the Commission affirmed its willingness to
enforce the rights of any consumer to access any content or application on the
Internet. Responding to complaints from broadband subscribers, the FCC in
2008 ordered Comcast to stop arbitrarily delaying subscribers' downloads and
blocking their uploads when using certain peer to peer applications. After an extensive
investigation the Commission concluded that these practices were discriminating among
applications rather than treating all applications equally. Specifically, it found Comcast's
network management practices were arbitrarily focused on individual peer to peer appli-
cations rather than on the amount of congestion in the network or size of a particular file.
The FCC required the company to change its network management practices and to start
disclosing these practices to the FCC and customers.
FCC Protects Consumers from Unreasonable
Broadband Traffic Management Practices
user seeking
peer content
ISP #2
user seeking
peer content

All Internet Users Affected

ISP #1
w/ content
user seeking
Peer connections
peer content
Terminated with
False "reset" message
ISP #3
w/ content
The Commission announced its intention to adjudicate future disputes regarding
federal Internet policy on a case-by-case basis, using an established framework. Spe-
cifically, if legal content is arbitrarily degraded or blocked, and the defense is "network
management," the broadband operator must show that its network management practice
is reasonable. The Commission will look at whether such practice furthers an important
interest and is carefully tailored to serve that interest. Finally, the Commission conclud-

Protecting Consumers from Harm
ed that network management practices should be disclosed to consumers so that they can
make informed decisions when purchasing broadband service.
Protecting Children
Enforcement of Indecency Rules. Families have a right to expect that broad-
casters will not expose children to harmful programming by carrying indecent,
obscene or profane material at times when children are likely to be watching or
listening. Congress therefore prohibits stations from airing indecent or profane
programming at any time between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. The Commission
has taken significant steps both in its own decisions and in the courts to enforce this law.
Responding to hundreds of thousands of viewer complaints about more than 50 televi-
sion programs, the Commission took action against several broadcast licensees for airing
material that was deemed indecent. Specifically, the Commission has issued an Omnibus
Television Order (deciding 48 separate cases) and orders imposing fines relating to the
broadcast of several shows including Without A Trace, Super Bowl XXXVIII, NYPD
Blue and Married by America.

Violence Report.

During Chairman Martin's tenure, the Commission used its exper-
tise on children's television issues to examine the impact
of excessively violent television programming and its
impact on children. The Report found that evidence
indicates exposure to violence in the media can increase
aggressive behavior in children, at least in the short term.
The Commission offered several recommendations to
Congress, including ways in which the industry could
address violent programming, such as providing con-
sumers greater choice in how they purchase their programming.

Childhood Obesity Taskforce.

During Chairman Martin's tenure, the FCC used its
expertise in children's television issues to examine the im-
pact of the media on the rise in childhood obesity. To build
consensus on voluntary steps to combat childhood obesity,
the Commission, along with Senators Harkin and Brown-
back, formed the Joint Task Force on Media & Childhood
Obesity. The task force is composed of representatives
from the media, advertising, food and beverage industries,
along with consumer advocacy groups and health experts.

Protecting Consumers from Harm
The Task Force succeeded in producing some significant voluntary commitments aimed
at reducing the negative impact of the media on children's eating habits and increasing its
positive influence on their behavior. For example, fifteen of the nation's largest food and
beverage manufacturers including Kraft Foods and Kellogg agreed to curtail advertising
of "unhealthy food" to children under age twelve, and others are reformulating current

Children's Programming.

Under Chairman Martin's tenure, the FCC made clear
that it takes seriously the public interest obligations of broadcasters. While reviewing
a planned transfer of Univision to Broadcasting Media Partners in 2007, it came to the
Commission's attention that Univision was not properly meeting a requirement that it air
programs to educate and inform children. The programs Univision had aired to meet this
requirement on 24 of its stations for more than two years were telenovelas similar to teen
soap operas and not educational in nature. In a consent decree with the FCC, Univision
agreed to make a contribution of $24 million to the U.S. Treasury and follow a compli-
ance plan designed to ensure that the needs of children and families are better served in
the future.
Safeguarding Consumers' Privacy

Consumer Calling Records.

companies have a lot of personal and pri-
vate information about their customers and
the law requires the companies to protect
the confidentiality of that information. In
2007, the Commission strengthened its
rules governing the disclosure of consum-
ers' telephone records. Specifically it moved
from an "opt-out" approach that allowed a
carrier to disclose a customer's phone records unless that customer had expressly directed
that the records not be disclosed, to an "opt-in" approach, prohibiting a carrier from
disclosing a customer's phone records unless that customer has given express consent to
such disclosure. The new measures also prohibit carriers from releasing, over the phone,
sensitive personal data or call detail records unless the customer provides a password;
requires providers to notify customers immediately when changes are made to a custom-
er's account; and requires providers to notify their customers in the event of a breach of
confidentiality. Finally, service providers also must annually certify their compliance with
these regulations, inform the Commission of any actions they have taken against data
brokers, and provide a summary of the complaints they receive regarding the unauthor-
ized release of CPNI.

Protecting Consumers from Harm
In order to further enhance customers' privacy protections, the Commission extended
its telecommunications privacy rules to interconnected VoIP service, which many custom-
ers use as an alternative to traditional voice services. To enforce these protections, the
FCC has proposed 25 forfeitures, totaling $2.1 million, and has reviewed more than 5,000
certifications from companies concerning their compliance with these privacy require-

National Do-Not-Call Registry.

Almost everyone has had their privacy disturbed by
a telephone call from someone trying to sell them something. And these calls often come
at very inconvenient times, like during dinner or while the family is watching TV. To
prevent these intrusions, Congress passed a law that lets people join the "National Do-
Not-Call Registry." When their registrations were due to expire in June 2008, 172 mil-
lion telephone consumers would have been left without the protections they had come to
rely on. The Commission therefore stepped in and made registrations with the Do-Not-
Call Registry permanent. In addition, the FCC has proposed forfeitures and entered into
consent decrees totaling nearly $900,000 and has issued over 850 citations for do-not-call
violations. The actions the Commission has taken to ensure compliance with the Registry
and enforce the do-not-call rules, in addition to the sheer volume of telephone numbers
added to the Registry, are strong indicators that the Registry has been successful in curb-
ing the number of unwanted telemarketing calls.

Fax Advertising.

Just like unwelcome sales calls, unsolicited fax advertisements are
intrusive. In 2005, the Commission adopted an order implementing the Junk Fax Preven-
tion Act of 2005 to protect the public from the costs of unwanted fax advertising. The
rules make it unlawful to send unsolicited advertisements to any fax machine without the
recipient's prior express permission, unless the sender has an "established business rela-
tionship" with the recipient. Moreover, even senders of permissible fax advertisements
must include notice and contact information on the fax so recipients have a way to "opt-
out" of future faxes. The Commission has been vigilant in enforcing its Junk Fax rules,
proposing almost $19 million in penalties for violations of this prohibition. It has also
issued 1140 citations for such misconduct.
Addressing Consumers' Needs and Concerns
Early Termination Fees. When the imposition of early termination fees (ETFs)
on wireless subscribers emerged as a significant source of concern for many
consumers, the Commission initiated a proceeding to consider the interrelated
policy and legal implications associated with the use of ETFs. At that time,
the nationwide wireless providers imposed significant flat or fixed charges if a subscriber
canceled his or her wireless service before the end of the contract period, even if the
contract was due to expire soon. In 2008, the Commission held a public hearing that
brought many interested parties from industry and consumer perspectives together
to discuss the complex jurisdictional and policy issues relating to the use of ETFs. As a

Protecting Consumers from Harm
result of the Commission's efforts, AT&T, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless
all announced that they were discontinuing the use of fixed ETFs and adopting ETFs that
diminish over the term of a contract for wireless service.

Cable Services.

The Commission is investigating whether various cable operators
may have unlawfully reduced the service they provide to some of their subscribers with-
out also reducing the rates they charge for that service. The Commission has also investi-
gated whether cable companies have provided the necessary notice to local governmental
authorities when they have changed their service offerings. The Commission has already
proposed forfeitures totaling $67,500 against cable operators for apparent violations in
these areas.

Greater Choice in Packaging and Sale of Video Programming Services.

Congress enacted the 1996 Act, cable rates have increased every year, while the prices
for other services the Commission regulates have decreased. The Commission has chal-
lenged cable and satellite operators to offer more cost effective alternatives, encouraging
them to make family-friendly programming packages available and to offer networks in a
more a la carte manner. The Media Bureau's 2006 Further Report on Packaging and Sale
of Video Programming Services to the Public found that themed tiers and a la carte could
provide consumers the opportunity to reduce their cable bills by purchasing fewer chan-
nels or smaller packages. Moreover, the Media Bureau found that some type of a la carte
option could prove better than today's bundling practices in fostering diverse program-
ming responsive to consumer demand.

Long Distance Usage and Cost.

The Commission acted to protect customers who
make relatively few interstate long distance calls. Specifically, the Commission required
AT&T, Qwest, and Verizon to offer rate plans tailored to the needs of these custom-
ers. These rate plans, which the carriers must maintain for several years, have either no
monthly fee or only a minimal charge. A consumer who makes few interstate long dis-
tance calls can realize substantial savings by subscribing to one of these plans in lieu of a
plan imposing a relatively large monthly fee.

Informing Consumers
Enhanced Disclosure. In 2007, the Commission adopted the Enhanced Disclo-
sure Order, requiring TV broadcasters to file a standardized form on a quarterly
basis that specifically details the type of programming that they air and how
that programming serves their local community. This form will describe a host

Protecting Consumers from Harm
of programming information including local civic affairs, local electoral affairs, public
service announcements and independently produced programming. With a standardized
form and Internet access to it, the public and government officials will now be able to en-
gage broadcasters directly in a discussion about what local commitments they are and/or
should be fulfilling. This Order also requires that much of a television station's public in-
spection file be placed on the station's website, if they have one. Alternatively, it allows
stations to place their public files on the website of their state broadcasters association.
This action will further increase the public's access to this important information.

Payola Consent Decree.

The Commission in 2007 reminded broadcasters that it
won't tolerate payola because it believes the public should know when someone is seek-
ing to influence them or the types of music they hear on the radio. As a result of an FCC
investigation into possible payola violations, four broadcast companies agreed to make
significant contributions to the U.S. Treasury totaling $12.5 million and institute business
reforms to insure their stations and employees do not violate the sponsorship identifica-
tion laws in the future.

Choosing Long Distance Plans.

The Commission recognized that consumers who
make extensive use of the interstate long distance network may not have all the infor-
mation they need to make informed choices among alternative long distance plans. To
address this concern, the Commission required AT&T, Qwest, and Verizon to provide
customers subscribing to certain types of rate plans (e.g., AT&T's rate plans that charge a
single monthly rate for unlimited local and long distance usage) with information regard-
ing their monthly long distance usage. This information should help consumers subscrib-
ing to these rate plans evaluate whether the plans are cost-effective given the consumers'
calling patterns.

Competition for facilities-based voice service has increased substantially since
June 2005. Much of this increase has come from the cable companies. Data
filed with the Commission show that the number of coaxial cable telephone
lines in service in the United States grew from approximately 5.1 million lines
at the end of 2005 to approximately 8.4 million lines at the end of 2007.22 These num-
bers likely understate the extent of cable company penetration into the voice telephone
market. The Commission expects to have more concrete data in the future after changes
it recently implemented to its data gathering efforts take effect.

Competitive Networks Order.

During Chairman Martin's tenure, the Commission
saw that long-term exclusive contracts between owners of residential multi-tenant build-
ings and incumbent cable or telephone operators posed a barrier for new entrants in the
provision of video and voice services. The Commission's Competitive Networks Order
recognized the importance of eliminating barriers to infrastructure investment while
creating regulatory parity among entities seeking to provide communications services
in residential multiple tenant environments (MTEs), such as apartment buildings, con-
dominiums, and co-operatives. Specifically, the Commission prohibited carriers from
entering into contracts that would make them the exclusive provider of telecommunica-
tions services in residential MTEs. The Commission also barred carriers from enforcing
any existing contract to provide exclusive service in residential MTEs. This order placed
essentially the same restrictions on telecommunications carriers as the Commission's
MDU Access Order had placed on cable operators, and so brings regulatory parity among
competitors seeking to serve MTE residents, including those seeking to provide a "triple
play" of voice, video, and broadband Internet access service.

Incumbent LEC Inside Wiring Order.

The Commission also made it easier for
competitive telecommunications and cable companies to gain access to "inside wiring"
owned incumbent LECs in these apartment buildings in a consistent fashion, further en-
suring that all consumers including those in apartment buildings benefit from compe-
tition in the provision of communications services.

Local Number Portability.

The Commission also acted to remove a roadblock that
had been inhibiting many consumers from switching telephone service providers. Local
Number Portability (LNP) gives telephone customers the ability to keep their telephone
number when changing service providers. The availability of LNP thus eliminates a ma-
jor disincentive to switch carriers, helping to facilitate the successful entrance of new ser-

Facilities-Based Competition
vice providers and competition between such new service providers and existing wireline
and wireless carriers. Consumers have ported more than 78 million phone numbers from
one carrier to another during Chairman Martin's term. The average number of ports per
month where customers moved their number from one carrier to another has increased
from 1.6 million in 2004 to about 2.4 million in 2007, with the average number of such
wireline to wireline ports increasing from about 750,000 per month to about 1.3 million
per month during that period.
In 2007, the Commission took steps to facilitate greater competition among telephone
providers by extending LNP obligations to interconnected VoIP providers. This mea-
sure ensures that interconnected VoIP customers have the same ability as customers of
traditional telephone service to keep their telephone numbers when changing telephone
service providers. Enabling customers to port their numbers reliably and expeditiously
when changing carriers whether that carrier is a traditional wireline provider, wireless
carrier, or interconnected VoIP provider gives customers flexibility in the quality, price,
and variety of services they can choose to purchase, which in turn enhances competition.

Interconnection Issues.

The pro-competitive framework that Congress established
in the 1996 Act provides that the state commissions shall arbitrate any disputes that arise
when telecommunications carriers request interconnection agreements with incumbent
carriers. In the Time Warner Order, the Wireline Competition Bureau addressed a situ-
ation in which state commissions had issued conflicting interpretations of federal law in
arbitrating interconnection agreements between local phone companies and requesting
telecommunications providers seeking to provide services wholesale to other service pro-
viders, specifically VoIP providers. Acting on delegated authority, the Bureau affirmed
the Commission's existing policy that "telecommunications service" can be either a
wholesale or retail service. The Bureau went on to make clear that regardless of whether
a third-party provider's retail VoIP service is considered an information service or a tele-
communications service, the wholesale common carrier has the right under section 251 of
the Act to interconnect with the incumbent local phone company.

Localized Regulatory Relief.

As a result of increased competition for voice services
between telephone companies and cable companies, the Commission has been able to
scale back some of its regulations in targeted locations where such "intermodal" com-
petition is most pronounced. Most notably, the Commission conditionally forbore from

Facilities-Based Competition
applying certain network unbundling requirements and dominant carrier rules that ap-
ply to the incumbent wireline carrier, but not the incumbent cable operator, in portions
of the Anchorage study area and the Omaha Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). The
Commission granted even more regulatory relief in Terry, Montana in recognition of the
unique factual circumstances there.

Regulatory Relief for Long Distance.

In the Section 272 Sunset Order, the Com-
mission established a new framework to govern the provision of in-region, long distance
services by the BOCs and their independent incumbent LEC affiliates. This framework,
which is consistent with the relief granted Qwest in the Qwest Section 272 Sunset For-
bearance Order, replaced unnecessarily burdensome regulation with less intrusive mea-
sures that protect important customer interests while allowing AT&T, Qwest, and Veri-
zon to respond to marketplace demands efficiently and effectively. This framework has
increased the BOCs' ability to develop and deploy innovative long distance services that
meet their customers' needs.
The prior regime had forced each BOC to choose between two different regulatory
regimes in providing in-region, long distance services, both of which imposed signifi-
cant burdens and costs: the BOC could provide these services on a nondominant carrier
basis through a section 272 separate affiliate; alternatively, it could provide these services
directly or through an affiliate that is not a section 272 separate affiliate subject to domi-
nant carrier regulation, including rate regulation and tariff-filing requirements. The new
framework recognizes that this regime imposed unnecessary costs and allows each BOC
to provide in-region, interstate, long distance services through the corporate structure it
deems best, as long as it complies with certain targeted safeguards and other continuing

Addressing Public
Safety Needs
It is the Commission's highest obligation to promote the
safety of life and property through the use of communica-
tions. Meeting the needs of public safety has remained
a consistent priority for the Commission over the past
several years. This responsibility is particularly critical when
the market would not otherwise produce these benefits, and
where the social benefit of regulation takes precedence over the
unencumbered functioning of the marketplace. This includes
ensuring consumers have access to help during emergencies,
ensuring all Americans have access to emergency information in
times of crisis, and that the public safety community and citi-
zens have access to reliable communications during and after disasters, whether natural
or manmade.
Consumer Access to Emergency Services and Information
Ensuring Reliable 911/E911 Access Across Platforms. Consumers appropriate-
ly expect to receive emergency help when they dial 911 regardless of whether
they are using a wireline, wireless or VoIP phone. Under Chairman Martin's
leadership, the Commission has made a priority of ensuring that consumers
have access to 911 and E911 emergency services across various communications plat-
In May of 2005, the Commission extended 911 requirements to providers of inter-
connected Voice over Internet Protocol, or "VoIP" services. This action ensured that
interconnected VoIP consumers would be able to dial 911 and receive help. Prior to this
order, when a person dialed 911 from an interconnected VoIP service, that emergency call
might be delayed or misrouted, and in some cases might never reach emergency respond-
ers. Now, when an interconnected VoIP customer dials 911, that call is delivered to the
appropriate local emergency operators along with the caller's telephone number and loca-
tion information, facilitating a more rapid response and enabling emergency responders
to call back if the 911 call is disconnected. More recently, the Commission implemented
the NET 911 Act to provide interconnected VoIP providers rights of access to network
elements necessary to provide 911 and E911 service.
The Commission has long recognized the importance of ensuring that persons with
disabilities can both promptly contact emergency personnel through the telephone sys-
tem and have access to emergency information broadcast on television. As a result, the

Addressing Public Safety Needs
Commission has adopted new TRS rules to ensure that consumers using the Internet-
based forms of Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) can call emergency services
through a relay provider and have the call automatically routed to the appropriate emer-
gency personnel. Similar to interconnected VoIP service, the rules require Video Relay
Service (VRS) and IP Relay providers to obtain from consumers a "registered location"
at which the service will be used, and the provider will use that location to determine the
appropriate emergency services to call. The rules also require providers to answer 911
calls before non-emergency calls. In addition, the VRS interoperability rules are intended
to ensure that consumers can make an emergency call through any provider's service,
regardless of the equipment used to make a call, and therefore that consumers are not
limited to the services of a single provider in the event of an emergency
The Commission's extension of 10-digit numbering to Internet-based TRS, such as
VRS, has also increased 911 access for persons with hearing or speech disabilities. Now,
these 911 calls can be routed directly to appropriate emergency services operators, along
with location information, which can save critical time in an emergency. This gives
Internet-based TRS users access to the same kinds of enhanced 911 protections that voice
telephone customers enjoy.
The Commission has also diligently pursued improvements in the accuracy of the lo-
cation information transmitted to Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) when consum-
ers place 911 calls from their mobile phones, as well as extending location information
requirements to VoIP 911 calls. In this regard, three of the largest wireless carriers have
already committed to meet the accuracy requirements on a county basis.
Since March 2005, the Commission has taken enforcement action against eight carri-
ers, proposing more than $4 million in fines for failing to upgrade their E911 capabilities
to provide information about the location of wireless 911
callers to 911 dispatch centers, thus ensuring that the ben-
efits of the Commission's rules are realized by the public
safety community and consumers, where compliance can
literally be a matter of life and death.

Enhancing the Emergency Alert System.

In the past
three years, the Commission has been proactive in both
extending the reach of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) to consumers, and in laying a
foundation for the roll-out of next generation EAS technology. Thus, in addition to en-
suring that the public will continue to receive emergency alerts from traditional radio and
television broadcasters, the Commission has also extended EAS requirements to a variety
of new communications platforms, such as over-the-air digital TV, satellite radio, satellite
TV, and cable TV.

Addressing Public Safety Needs
In a 2007 Order, the Commission required communications providers to use a
common protocol for transmission of emergency alerts once the protocol is approved by
the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The Commission also required
communications providers to transmit state and local alerts so long as the Commission
has reviewed and accepted the state's EAS plan. This will encourage states to adopt next
generation technologies for their EAS networks.
Finally, to expand the scope of persons receiving EAS
alerts, the Commission has encouraged EAS stakeholders to
provide for multi-lingual EAS alerts, and to enable EAS to better
reach persons with disabilities.

Establishing Commercial Mobile Alert Services for Mobile


In 2008, the Commission successfully implemented the
Warning, Alert and Response Network Act (WARN Act) which
required the Commission to take a number of steps to facilitate
the voluntary transmission of emergency alerts by commercial
mobile service providers to their subscribers.
For example, as required by the WARN Act, the Commis-
sion established and managed the Commercial Mobile Service Alert Advisory Committee
(CMSAAC). This advisory committee, comprised of representatives of the commercial
wireless industry, public safety agencies, Federal government agencies, manufacturers
and other experts, was tasked with recommending technical requirements to facilitate the
voluntary transmission of emergency alerts by commercial mobile service providers.
Based in large part on the CMSAAC's recommendations, the Commission adopt-
ed three orders establishing the Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS) that will en-
able consumers to receive emergency alerts over their mobile handsets. With the CMAS,
consumers, including those with hearing and vision disabilities, will be able to receive
timely Presidential, Imminent Threat (e.g., hurricane) and Amber alerts over their mobile
To date, over 140 commercial wireless mobile carriers, including the major na-
tionwide carriers, have elected to participate in whole or in part in the CMAS.
With this comprehensive wireless mobile alerting system, consumers on the go
will be able to receive emergency alerts in a short timeframe, even where they do not
have access to broadcast radio and television or other sources of emergency information.
The CMAS complements the EAS and other sources of emergency information by ensur-
ing that Americans have the ability to receive emergency alerts and other information
over a wide variety of technologies.

Addressing Public Safety Needs
Launching the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau
Under Chairman Martin's leadership, the Commission launched a new Bureau
on September 25, 2006, dedicated to supporting the needs of the public safety
community and consolidating Commission functions that
address issues that impact consumer access to emergency
services and communications during personal or community crises.
The Bureau's mission is "To collaborate with the public safety com-
munity, industry and other government entities to license, facilitate,
restore and recover communications services used by the citizens of
the United States, including first responders, before, during and after
emergencies by disseminating critical information to the public and by implementing
the Commission's policy initiatives." Through the Public Safety and Homeland Security
Bureau, the Commission's pursuit of this mission is one of its highest goals.
Preparing For and Responding to Emergencies

Hurricane Katrina and the FCC's Rapid Hurricane Response Activities.


ince 2005, the Commission has made tremendous strides in its disaster
recovery preparation, procedures, and implementation. In 2005, Hurricane
Katrina created a communications crisis so widespread that the Commission
operated on an unprecedented 24/7 basis to address widespread communications outages
and assist the communications recovery efforts of public safety providers, commercial
carriers, and other federal agencies. The Commission received almost unanimous praise

Addressing Public Safety Needs
for its efforts and was cited in the White House's "lessons learned" report for its quick ac-
tions "to facilitate the resumption of communications services in the affected area and to
authorize the use of temporary communications services for use by emergency personnel
and evacuees in shelters."
Since the 2005 hurricane season, the Commission has taken significant steps to de-
velop improved procedures for responding to hurricanes and other disasters.
For example, during the 2008 season, FCC personnel were assigned to the field to as-
sist in communications restoration efforts for Tropical Storm Fay and Hurricanes Gustav
and Ike. In addition, the FCC developed a novel system, dubbed Project Roll Call, which
was deployed for the first time during 2008. Project Roll Call uses spectrum analyzing
equipment in conjunction with special software and FCC databases to analyze the spec-
trum environment before and after a storm to determine which systems are up and op-
erating and which are not. This tool is particularly effective for broadcasters and public
safety radio communications networks.
Finally, since Katrina, the Commission has developed and implemented the Disaster
Information Reporting System (DIRS), a voluntary reporting system that provides the
federal government with daily situational information about communications systems
during crises. DIRS was activated for the first time in 2008 and proved very useful to our
federal partner agencies.
Promoting Telecommunications Service Priority and the Wireless
Priority System
The Commission has established two priority communications programs -- telecom-
munications service priority (TSP) and wireless priority system (WPS) -- that are de-
signed to ensure that the public safety community has reliable access to public communi-
cations systems at all times,
especially during disasters
and other emergencies.
TSP helps ensure priority

Telecommunications Service Priority Participation

installation and restora-
tion of telecommunications
services and WPS ensures
s 40000

priority access to wireless



services. These programs

greatly improve the ability
of the emergency response
community to conduct the

Hospitals 911 Call Centers State & Local Governments Federal Government


Addressing Public Safety Needs
communications they need to
protect the American public.
Because of the benefits

Wireless Priority Service Subscribers

these programs provide to
participating public safety
providers, Bureau personnel
have worked over the past
four years to increase enroll-
ment by 911 call centers,




hospitals, and state and local

N 20,000

emergency operations cen-
ters. As a result, enrollment
in TSP has risen by 180%
and enrollment in WPS

Active and Pre-Approved Subscribers

has risen by 220%. However, while considerable progress has been made, many public
safety agencies still have not enrolled in these programs and we therefore plan to con-
tinue our outreach to improve their enrollment.
One-Stop Shopping for Authoritative Public Safety Communica-
tions Information
Through the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, the Commission has
developed a comprehensive approach to interfacing with the public safety community and
the general public to provide information on emergency planning and timely informa-
tion during disasters. In August 2007, the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau
created a Clearinghouse on its website to collect, evaluate, and disseminate the most
current communications information for the public safety community. The Clearinghouse
includes documents generated by both Bureau staff and outside parties, which focus on
such topics as Best Practices, Communications and Interoperability Plans, and Emer-
gency Guidelines. The Clearinghouse also provides links to other federal, state and local
government resources, such as FEMA, the National Communications System (NCS), and
the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The importance of the website to the Bureau's
outreach efforts is highlighted by the heavy usage it has received. Since its creation, the
Clearinghouse has had over 96,000 hits from users. Overall, the website has had over 2
million hits since its creation in 2006.

Addressing Public Safety Needs
Managing Public Safety Spectrum and Devices
Licensing and Interference Resolution. Licens-
ing serves a critical role in ensuring that public
safety agencies will continue to have access
to spectrum for their growing communica-
tions needs, both during routine public safety operations
and in times of major emergencies. The Commission's
Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau currently
administers over 150,000 public safety licenses in mul-
tiple spectrum bands. In the past four years, licensing
staff has processed a total of 173,476 public safety radio
applications to keep pace with the requests of state and
local public safety entities across the country to expand
or modify their spectrum use.
Since March 2005, the FCC's Enforcement Bureau
has investigated and resolved approximately 850 com-
plaints of harmful interference to public safety com-
munications, ensuring that our Nation's first responders
can communicate effectively and efficiently without the
worry of missing vital information.
700 MHz. The past four years has seen significant
developments in the opening of the 700 MHz band to public safety use. After Congress
allocated 24 MHz of spectrum in the band for public safety, the Commission designated
10 MHz for broadband use to address public safety's demonstrated need for access to
advanced wireless broadband technology.
Absent alternatives to fund a nationwide public safety broadband network, the Com-
mission acted to create a public/private partnership between a single nationwide public
safety licensee and a commercial licensee partner that would be awarded an adjacent 700
MHz spectrum block at the same time. However, because the auction did not produce a
winning commercial partner, the Commission has since issued two further notices seek-
ing the best path to ensure successful deployment of a nationwide, fully interoperable
public safety broadband network. This proceeding remains an important priority for the
Commission, as development of this network is critical to the ability of our nation's first
responders to protect the safety of the American public during emergencies.
800 MHz. Over the past three years, the Commission has made significant progress
in the 800 MHz rebanding effort. Although the process has taken longer than originally

Addressing Public Safety Needs
anticipated, 97 percent of Channel 1-120 licensees and 33 percent of NPSPAC and Ex-
pansion Band licensees in non-border areas have completed rebanding of their systems,
and 82 percent of NPSPAC licensees have rebanding agreements with Sprint Nextel.
To ensure the safety of citizens living in border communities, the Commission
worked with colleagues in Canada and Mexico to protect U.S. public safety operations
from interference. The Commission negotiated with both countries on coordination of
vital public safety operations and the development of agreements to govern public safety
operations, including those in the 700 MHz and 800 MHz bands.
In October 2008, the Commission initiated the rebanding process in the U.S.-Canada
border area, and we have also made significant progress in international negotiations with
Mexico to enable rebanding to proceed along the U.S. - Mexico border. These develop-
ments have improved the ability of 800 MHz public safety systems to operate free from
harmful interference. In addition, rebanding is now yielding new spectrum for licensing
to public safety. In the past year, we have established a mechanism for Sprint to relin-
quish all of its Interleaved Band channels to public safety by March 2010, and the first
wave of these channels will become available for public safety licensing later this month.

Encouraging Innovative Public Safety Devices.

Over the past several years, the
Commission has worked with innovators seeking to advance the state of public safety
technology and to put advanced communications tools in the hands of our first respond-
ers. These tools have the potential to save civilian lives, and to make the jobs of the
public safety community safer.
For example, the Commission has granted a number of waivers and approved equip-
ment authorizations for devices such as the Remington Eyeball, an imaging sensor that
provides live audio and video feeds to law enforcement agencies and can be thrown like
a baseball into a remote or confined and potentially hazardous location, thus mitigat-
ing danger to police personnel. This and other devices, such as the SafeScout imaging
device, the Quick Reaction Perimeter Intrusion Detection ("QUPID") fixed surveillance
ultra-wideband ("UWB") imaging system, the Sapphire DART real-time identification
and tracking system and the UltraVision surveillance system may provide unique techno-
logical solutions to protect life and property.


Overseeing the Digital
A successful completion of the digital transition depends upon minimizing the
burdens placed on consumers and maximizing their ability to benefit from it.
The Commission's highest priority is protecting the American consumer. The
conversion to digital television promises movie quality picture and sound as
well as potentially new programming choices. It also will allow us to significantly im-
prove public safety communications and usher in a new era of advanced wireless servic-
es. To prepare for the digital transition, the Commission has worked both on its own and
in coordination with industry, other governmental agencies, and consumer groups to ad-
vance the transition and promote consumer awareness. Our efforts have been three-fold.
First, we have been focused on getting the right policies in place to facilitate a smooth
transition. Second, we have been actively enforcing our rules to protect consumers. And,
third, we have been promoting awareness of the transition through our consumer educa-
tion and outreach efforts. Through all of our activities, the Commission is committed to
ensuring that no American is left in the dark.
Policy Proceedings and Minimizing the Burden on Consumers
The Commission's first priority was to prepare full-power broadcasters for the
transition by putting in place the necessary technical rules to allow broadcast-
ers to construct digital facilities. And, the Commission has initiated numerous
policy proceedings designed to facilitate the nation's transition to digital and
promote consumer awareness of the transition. These are described below.

Broadcaster Readiness.

Today, approximately 98 percent of stations have either
completed construction of their digital facilities or are well on their way to completion.
Specifically, as of the end of 2008, about 90.3 percent of full power television stations are
either fully operational with digital service or are on track to have their full digital ser-
vice operational by February 17, 2009. Another 7.5 percent of all full power stations will
be serving at least 85 percent of their population by February 17, 2009, with final opera-
tions beginning sometime soon thereafter.

Final DTV Table of Allotments and Review.

In 2007, the Commission adopted the
final DTV table of allotments. This order provided virtually all full power television sta-
tions with their final channel assignments for broadcasting in digital.
In 2007, the Commission also completed a proceeding establishing deadlines for
broadcaster construction of their final, post-transition facilities.

Overseeing the Digital Transition
DTV Transition Status Reporting (Form 387). The Commission also adopted a
requirement that all full power stations complete, file, and update a FCC Form 387, as
needed, to keep the Commission and the public apprised of stations' progress in meeting
the transition deadline on February 17, 2009.

Distributed Transmission Systems.

The Commission adopted rules for the use of
distributed transmission system ("DTS") technologies in the digital television service.
DTS will provide broadcasters with an important tool for providing optimum signal cov-
erage for their viewers. For some broadcasters that are changing channels or transmitting
locations for their digital service, DTS may offer the best option for continuing to provide
over-the-air service to current analog viewers, as well as for reaching viewers that have
historically been unable to receive a good signal due to terrain or other interference. Fur-
thermore, DTS may be a useful tool for stations to prevent some loss of service to exist-
ing analog viewers resulting from changes to the station's service area in the transition to
digital service.
Translator Replacement Service. The Commission initiated a Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking that proposes the creation of a new "replacement" digital television transla-
tor service to permit full-service television stations to continue to provide service to loss
areas that have occurred as a result of their digital transition. This proposal would also
allow broadcasters to apply for special temporary authority to use such translators during
the pendency of the rulemaking.

Viewability Order.

Chairman Martin led the Commission in taking action to make
sure cable operators continued to make signals of all broadcast stations viewable after the
transition. Specifically, under Chairman Martin's leadership, the Commission ensured
that all Americans with cable regardless of whether they are analog or digital subscrib-
ers are able to watch the same broadcast stations the day after the digital transition that
they were watching the day before the transition. In this manner, the Commission made
sure analog cable subscribers were not shortchanged after the digital transition. Under
the Commission's "Viewability Order" cable operators must ensure that all "must carry"
local broadcast stations carried are "viewable" by all cable subscribers. Enforcement was
stepped up to make sure consumers did not unknowingly buy televisions that would not
receive broadcast stations following the transition.

Labeling Order.

The Commission imposed a television labeling obligation that
required sellers to alert consumers if they were selling TV equipment with only an analog
tuner to make sure consumers did not unknowingly buy televisions that would not receive
broadcast stations following the transition.

DTV Consumer Education Order.

The Commission adopted a DTV Consumer Edu-
cation Order to require broadcasters, MVPDs, manufacturers, and others to convey infor-
mation on the digital transition to consumers on a regular and continuing basis through
the end of the transition.

Overseeing the Digital Transition

Analog Nightlight Order.

The Commission has moved swiftly to implement the
Short-Term Analog Flash and Emergency Readiness Act. This legislation and the Com-
mission's implementing rules allow and encourage broadcasters to provide emergency
and transition information to viewers for up to 30 days after February 17. To the extent
that any viewers remain unaware of or unprepared for the transition, this temporary con-
tinuation of analog service should help alleviate customer confusion and ensure that these
viewers have access to emergency information.
DTV Enforcement Activities
The Commission's DTV-related enforcement efforts are focused on protect-
ing consumers from the unknowing purchase of television equipment without
integrated digital tuners. DTV-related enforcement actions are centered on four
areas: (1) the labeling requirement for equipment with analog-only tuners; (2)
the prohibition on the importation and shipment of television receivers without integrated
digital tuners; (3) the obligation of various industry segments to inform consumers about
the transition; and (4) V-Chip requirements.

Labeling Requirement.

The Commission actively enforced its rules requiring stores
to place warning labels on any analog television they sell. The labels notify consumers
that these televisions generally will not be able to receive over-the-air television signals
without additional equipment. Not long after this rule was adopted, the Enforcement Bu-
reau began inspecting thousands of stores and websites across the country to assess their
compliance. Although most retailers complied with the DTV labeling rule, the Enforce-
ment Bureau has issued over 350 citations warning retailers of labeling violations in their
stores. Where we found repeat violations, we took stronger enforcement action. Since
adoption of the rule in the Spring 2007, the Commission released over $4.7 million in en-
forcement decisions against 22 retailers for apparent violations of the DTV labeling rule.
After we began issuing these citations and enforcement actions, retailers improved their
compliance with the rule, and the number of new violations dropped dramatically.

DTV Tuner Requirement.

The Commission actively enforced its rules barring im-
porters from bringing analog televisions into the United States. By prohibiting the impor-
tation of those televisions, the rules ensure that consumers will be able to buy televisions
capable of receiving digital signals. The Enforcement Bureau reviews U.S. Customs data
and complaints to identify potential violations of this requirement. During Chairman
Martin's tenure, the Commission has taken more than $3.7 million in enforcement actions
against eight companies for possible violations of this rule. As the digital transition date
approaches, we have seen a significant decrease in the number and scale of such viola-

Overseeing the Digital Transition

Consumer Education Requirements.

The Commission actively enforced its rules
requiring broadcasters, cable operators, telecommunications companies and others to
educate the public about the digital television transition. Because of the importance of
the transition, we initiated investigations of companies in several industries to assess their
compliance with these rules. Those investigations have generated a number of enforce-
ment actions. For example, one telecommunications company recently paid $51,000
after receiving an Enforcement Bureau order regarding the company's apparent failure
to notify its customers of the transition as required under our rules. The Commission is
considering an Enforcement Bureau order proposing $11.25 million in fines against seven
companies for the same type of violation. The Enforcement Bureau is reviewing addi-
tional information submitted by broadcasters, cable operators, and telecommunications
carriers to determine their compliance with the DTV consumer education rules.

V-Chip Requirements.

As the Commission has encouraged the availability of digital
televisions, we have worked hard to ensure that those devices comply with Commission
rules relating to safety and other requirements. One important requirement is the "V-
Chip" rule, which requires all digital televisions to include technology allowing consum-
ers to program their devices to block offensive or objectionable programming based on
the broadcaster ratings for offensive language, sexual content, and violence. That rule
also requires that digital televisions be able to update their blocking software to future
ratings systems, which might include issues like smoking, drug use, or other activities.
When the Enforcement Bureau investigated whether manufacturers were complying
with these rules, we learned that many companies were not complying with the updating
requirement. As of the end of 2008, the Commission has released enforcement decisions
imposing more than $12.6 million in fines against 11 manufacturers.
DTV Consumer Education and Outreach
Chairman Martin guided the Commission through one of the most massive
projects the agency has faced, that of preparing consumers for the nationwide
transition from analog to digital broadcasting on February 17, 2009, as man-
dated by Congress. In particular, the Commission's outreach and education
efforts are focused on the 82 markets with the highest over-the-air populations. In these
and other markets, the Commission in actively partnering with local government (e.g.,
libraries, senior centers, social services, school districts); local broadcasters; community
and grassroots organizations; charitable organizations; faith-based organizations; profes-
sional, semi-professional and collegiate sports teams; and other community and regional
stakeholders to educate consumers about the transition, and specifically, how to order
converter box coupons and install converter boxes.

Overseeing the Digital Transition

Consumer Awareness and Pre-

paredness. Awareness of the digital
transition has been growing. The
Commission's focus has been on
ensuring that as many Americans as
possible and in particular, those
segments of the population that are
predominantly over-the-air viewers
including the elderly, people with dis-
abilities, and minorities are aware of
the upcoming transition.
The consumer outreach and edu-
cation activities that the Commission
and other industry members have undertaken appear to have been effective. The National
Association of Broadcasters (NAB) reported in October 2008 that the national aware-
ness level is at 92 percent. This is up from 79 percent in January of 2008. And recent
NAB polling also indicates that minorities are increasingly aware of the upcoming transi-
tion. Specifically, NAB reported that 92 percent of Hispanic respondents were aware the
broadcast television signals will be switching to an all-digital format, a four point jump
since NAB's May 2008 survey. This number equals the national awareness number. The
poll also found that African-American awareness of the DTV transition is at 86 percent,
up one point from May 2008.
It is critical that people are not just aware of the transition but they must also be
prepared for it. In December 2008, Nielsen issued a survey that found that "Unreadiness
among U.S. households continues to decline, and the pace at which U.S. households are
getting ready has increased. Between November 2008 and December 2008, the penetra-
tion of completely unready households in the U.S. declined by six-tenths of a percentage
point one of the largest drops we have seen since we began reporting readiness status in
May 2008."
Wilmington Test. On September 8th, Wilmington, North Carolina became the first
market in the country to transition from analog to digital television. The early switch to
digital in Wilmington was instrumental in helping the Commission identify, understand,
and hopefully prevent some future problems when the rest of the nation transitions on
February 17, 2009.
The majority of Wilmington viewers were aware of and prepared for the transition.
Importantly, the consumer education campaign that was conducted appears to have been
effective. Prior to the transition on September 8th, NAB released a survey indicating
that 97 percent of Wilmington residents were aware of the switch to digital. Consumer
calls received by the Commission at its call center also indicated that the vast majority of

Overseeing the Digital Transition
the 400,000 television viewers in the Wilmington-area were aware of the transition and
prepared for it.
The measure of success in Wilmington is not what happened on September 8th, Sep-
tember 15th or October 15th. Rather, it is how we are going to take what we learned in
Wilmington and apply that knowledge to the rest of the country.

Nationwide 82-Area Tour.

In August 2008, Chairman Martin announced a nation-
wide initiative to increase awareness about the upcoming transition to digital television.
As part of our efforts to prepare consumers for the transition, the Commission identi-
fied television markets in which the largest number of viewers will have to take action
to be prepared for the transition. Specifically, 82 target television markets were identi-
fied for specific DTV outreach, including all those markets in which more than 100,000
households or at least 15 percent of the households rely solely on over-the-air signals for
television. Within these markets, we are aiming to educate those groups most vulnerable
to the transition such as senior citizens and non-English speakers. Chairman Martin and
the Commissioners, as well as other Commission staff, are fanning out to these markets
to raise awareness and educate consumers in the days leading up to the digital television
transition on February 17, 2009. At each stop, there is a public event, such as a town
hall meeting, workshop, or roundtable to highlight the digital transition. In coordination
with these visits, the Commission is working with local broadcasters and radio stations to
increase the broadcasts of Radio and TV DTV PSAs and run stories about these visits.
As part of this nationwide tour, the Commission is also coordinating with the broad-
casters to explore whether at the same time these stations may participate in a temporary
turn off of their analog signals. During these so-called "soft tests" analog customers
would see a message on their screens informing them of the transition and how to become
prepared. Two nationwide soft tests have also been conducted.
Grassroots Bid. The Commission selected 12 grassroots organizations and local
agencies to help overthe-air viewers prepare for the digital transition. These selections
are worth up to $8.4 million and are the culmination of a full and open procurement
process. The Commission sought proposals to conduct outreach in all parts of the country,
with a particular focus on the 82 markets with the highest over-the-air television popula-
tions. In particular, the FCC selected organizations dedicated to serving across popula-
tions across the country most at risk in the digital transition including senior citizens,
people with disabilities and Spanish-speaking households. Specifically, the FCC sought
the assistance of local, regional and national organizations with converter box procure-
ment and installation, establishment and staffing of local call centers, educating consum-
ers about the transition and other local grass roots efforts.

U.S. Postal Service Partnership.

We are displaying DTV education posters in all
34,000 post offices across the country. We have worked with the U.S. Postal Service to
install updated posters beginning December 1, 2008 running through the end of the tran-

Overseeing the Digital Transition
sition period. The new posters are targeted to instill a greater sense of urgency to con-
sumers and use the slogan "On February 17, 2009 your TV is changing. Are you ready?"

Media Outreach (PSAs and Educational Video).

The FCC has created 12 television
and 17 radio PSAs, in English and Spanish. The PSAs feature the Commissioners. In
addition, a new educational video released
in November walks consumers through the
basic steps of the transition, and demonstrates
how to hook up a converter box.

Nationwide Billboards and Transit Ads.

The Commission obtained donated space for
one to two months in 72 high-target popula-
tion markets throughout the country. See
example of a billboard placed in Seattle, WA.

Nationwide Magazine Ads.

The Com-
mission, in partnership with AARP, is includ-
ing DTV information and a tear-out converter box coupon application in widely distrib-
uted AARP publications, AARP The Magazine, AARP's Segunda Juventud, and The
AARP Bulletin. In addition, the FCC will be advertising in fifteen additional magazines
including American Profile, Better Homes &
Gardens, Ebony - Marketplace section, Es-
sence, Family Circle, Farm Journal, Hispanic,
People en Espanol, People Magazine, Reader's
Digest, Soap Opera Digest, TV Y Novelas, US
Weekly - back of book, USA Weekend, and

DTV Awareness Sessions.

The Commis-
sion has conducted over 2,750 DTV Aware-
ness sessions, attended more than 2,310
conferences, events and partnership meetings,
established 1,768 partnerships, and made over
11,290 visits to various organizations around
the country to disseminate DTV information.
In addition, the Commission's Enforcement
Bureau has used its resources in the field to
assist in the Commission's DTV outreach
efforts. Specifically, members of the Enforce-
ment Bureau's 24 Field Offices have made
more than 10,000 DTV education visits and conducted nearly 2,100 awareness sessions
throughout the country to educate consumers about the DTV transition.

Overseeing the Digital Transition

Information Distribution.

A key part of the Commission's education and outreach
efforts has been the development and distribution of consumer literature. These tools are
a cost-effective means to provide information about the transition. As of the end of 2008,
over 14 million pages of DTV-related publications and over 111,286 posters have been
distributed. In addition, the six most popular DTV publications have been translated into
29 languages in addition to English. The language including Spanish, Amharic, Arabic,
Cambodian, Chinese, Creole, Farsi, French, Greek, Hmong, Italian, Japanese, Korean,
Kurdish, Laotian, Navajo, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Somali, Taiwanese,
Tagalog, Vietnamese, and Yupik. The publications include the one-pager, Frequently
Asked Questions, and information sheets on converter box set-up, antennas, troubleshoot-
ing, and recycling. In addition, the entire website is available in Spanish.

Speakers Bureau.

In August 2008, the Chairman also announced that the Commis-
sion has launched a Speakers Bureau for groups throughout the country to request speak-
ers to discuss the upcoming digital transition. As of the end of 2008, we have received
184 requests for speakers. The requests are being handled by staff traveling for confer-
ences and events, as part of the outreach for our town hall meetings, and by our field
Other DTV Activities
Converter Box Testing. The Commission's laboratory in Columbia, Maryland,
part of OET, has tested DTV converter boxes in support of NTIA's coupon
eligible converter box program. The laboratory has tested more than 200 con-
verter boxes and is turning its attention under NTIA's guidance to compliance
of DTV converter boxes that are on the market.

DTV Mapping.

The Commission released two reports that show changes in the
coverage of the nation's full-power television (TV) stations as they prepare to transition
from analog to digital broadcasting on February 17, 2009. The first report provides maps
showing the analog and digital coverage areas for each of the 1749 full-power TV sta-
tions in the United States. The vast majority of TV stations throughout the country will
experience a significant increase in the population that can receive their signals. Some
stations, however, are expected to experience some losses in the population that will be
served by digital service as compared to their existing analog service. The second report
contains maps and other information for the 319 stations where more than two percent of

Ensuring Access to
Communications by
All Citizens
Every American, regardless of physical location or physical condition, should
have access to our nation's communications technologies. As the communica-
tions landscape evolves, we must ensure that all Americans continue to have
access to the economic, educational, and health care opportunities available on
the communications network. Because market forces alone may not ensure equal access
to communications, the Commission must be prepared to play a role to make sure this
important social goal is met.
Congress charged the Commission with implementing universal service and telecom-
munications relay service programs that are designed to expand access to communica-
tions services. During the tenure of Chairman Martin, the Commission has advanced the
goals of these programs, and put the Commission on a path toward strengthening and
modernizing them, while implementing safeguards to ensure that these programs contin-
ue to operate as Congress intended. The Commission also promoted disability access by
updating and enforcing its closed captioning and hearing aid compatibility rules.
Connecting Health Care Providers and Schools and Libraries

Improving Access to Health Care.

In 2006, the Commission adopted a pilot program
to facilitate broadband deployment to health care providers, bringing the benefits of in-
novative telehealth and, in particular, telemedicine services to those areas of the country
where the need for those benefits is most acute.
In 2007, the Commission selected 69 participants covering 42 states and three U.S.
territories to be eligible to receive funding for up to 85 percents of the costs associated
with: (1) the construction of a state or regional broadband network and the advanced
telecommunications and information services provided over that network; (2) connecting
to Internet2 or National LambdaRail (NLR); and (3) connecting to the public Internet.
The networks will connect over 6,000 health care providers across the country, including
hospitals, clinics, public health agencies, universities and research facilities, behavioral

Ensuring Access to Communications by
All Citizens
health sites, community health care centers, and others. Many of these health care pro-
viders are located in insular areas and isolated regions, where transportation costs are
high and health care specialists are concentrated in distant urban centers.
All of the networks will construct innovative and highly efficient regional broadband
networks, either by building new, comprehensive networks or upgrading existing ones.
All of these networks, as discussed above, will be able to connect to the public Internet as
well as to one of the nation's dedicated Internet backbones: Internet2, or National Lamb-
daRail. When the projects funded through the Pilot Program are completed, this is what
the National Health Care Network will look like.
The Commission has worked closely with Pilot Program participants to ensure the
success of this program. Changes to initial applications, through aggregation of projects,
upgrading, replacing technology, or adding eligible health care providers to networks
without increasing the underlying cost of the projects, have increased the benefits that
health care providers and consumers will receive under the Pilot Program. For example,
the California Telehealth Network has been able to work within its awarded Pilot Pro-
gram funding amount of $22 million to more than double the health care providers it
plans to connect increasing from 300 facilities to over 700 facilities.

Ensuring Access to Communications by
All Citizens

Bringing Broadband to Schools and


The E-rate program provides
schools and libraries with discounts on eli-
gible telecommunications and Internet ac-
cess services up to a total amount of $2.25
billion each funding year. This funding has
enabled schools and libraries to dramati-
cally increase their access to broadband ser-
vices. In a 2007 study, the National Center
for Education Statistics (NCES) found that
access to the Internet is ubiquitous in public
schools.23 NCES found that nearly 100 percent of public schools in the United States
had Internet access, and 97 percent of these schools used broadband connections to ac-
cess the Internet.
Preserving Universal Service
Congress created the universal service fund to ensure that all Americans, regard-
less of where they live, have equal access to communications services. In
many parts of rural America
however, it is cost prohibitive
for one, let alone multiple, phone compa-
nies to provide service at a reasonable cost
to consumers. It is only through direct
grants from the universal service fund
that consumers in those high-cost areas
can have the same phone service enjoyed
by consumers in more urban areas. The universal service fund also provides discounts
on telecommunications and Internet access services to rural health care providers and to
schools and libraries, and helps low-income consumers obtain and pay for the costs of
telephone service.

Stabilizing the High-Cost Fund.

In 2008, the Commission reined in explosive
growth in high-cost universal service support disbursements. The Commission imposed
an interim cap on the amount of high-cost support available to those entities responsible
for the most dramatic increases in high-cost support disbursements, competitive eligible
telecommunications carriers. The cap will contain the growth of universal service in
order to preserve and advance the benefits of the fund and protect the ability of people in
rural areas to continue to be connected. In addition, the cap will help to prevent exces-
sive contributions from consumers who support the fund. Contributions to the universal
service fund are based on a percentage of carriers' interstate and international revenue.

Ensuring Access to Communications by
All Citizens
Since the cap has been put in place, this percentage has decreased approximately 17 per-
cent, from 11.4 percent to 9.5 percent.

Broadening the Contribution Base.

The Commission also acted to preserve univer-
sal service by expanding the base of contributions to the universal service fund in 2006.
First, to better reflect the growing demand for wireless services, the Commission raised
the "safe harbor" percentage used by wireless providers to estimate interstate revenue.
Second, the Commission extended universal service contribution obligations to providers
of interconnected voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, service. These actions stabilized
the contribution base for the universal service fund in the near-term and minimized the
effects of any changes on consumers, contributors, and universal service fund adminis-
tration, while the Commission considers more fundamental reform of the contribution

Improving Program Administration.

The Commission has strengthened its oversight
and management of the current universal service fund administrator, the Universal Ser-
vice Administrative Company (USAC). The Commission established memorandums of
understanding (MOUs) with USAC to ensure greater clarity in administrative and man-
agement functions. In addition, the Commission established performance measures and
goals for the universal service fund and USAC, and required USAC to develop customer
service standards and to prepare, review, and report data concerning the quality of service
USAC provides to universal service fund stakeholders. The Commission also adopted
rules that establish rigorous document retention requirements for program participants.
The Commission's new rules also create additional penalties for bad actors; specifically,
the Commission can now prohibit any party that defrauds any of the universal service dis-
bursement programs from continued participation in the program. Moreover, the Com-
mission continues to explore additional safeguards to protect the fund.

Auditing and Enforcing Program Rules.

The Commission's Inspector General has
conducted 459 audits of universal service beneficiaries and contributors, and, based on
the results of those audits, is now overseeing a second round of 650 audits. These audits
have resulted in recovery of improperly disbursed funds and enforcement action against
entities that apparently violated Commission rules. The Commission has followed-up on
investigations by taking strong enforcement action against bad actors. The Commission
has issued Notices of Apparent Liability and Consent Decrees totaling over $21 million
and recovered in excess of $230 million in underpayments to the Universal Service Fund.
The Commission has also issued suspensions and debarments against 14 individuals and
four companies.

Ensuring Access to Communications by
All Citizens
Improving Access for Persons With Disabilities
Congress required the creation of a nationwide TRS program to allow persons
with hearing and speech disabilities access to the nation's telephone network.
TRS must be made available to the extent possible and in the most efficient
manner. In addition, TRS must offer telephone system access that is "function-
ally equivalent" to voice telephone services. Functional equivalency means individuals
with disabilities having access to the same services as everyone else. This equal access is
vital to accessing jobs, education, public safety, and simple communications with family,
friends, and neighbors.
Similarly, the Commission has adopted closed captioning and hearing aid compatibil-
ity rules to provide persons with hearing and visual disabilities with the same access to
services and information as persons without such disabilities.

Improving TRS.

The Commission recognizes many forms of TRS from traditional
TTY calls to more recent forms like Video Relay Service. Over the past several years,
the Commission has continued to recognize other forms of TRS to meet the more specific
communication needs of persons with disabilities. The Commission recognized ASL-to-
Spanish VRS as a form of TRS so that persons who are deaf and communicate via ASL
can make telephone calls to persons who speak Spanish. In addition, the Commission
recognized IP Captioned Telephone Service so that persons with some residual hearing
have more choices in how they make captioned telephone calls and are not tied to any
particular equipment or technology.
The Commission also continues to adapt its rules to improve the quality of TRS and
meet consumer needs. In a significant step forward, Internet-based TRS users can now
obtain ten-digit telephone numbers that are the same as those used by voice telephone
users to make and receive calls. The Commission also adopted speed of answer rules (so

Ensuring Access to Communications by
All Citizens
that consumers do not have to wait an unreasonable period of time to place a call) and in-
teroperability rules (so that equipment can be used to make a call through any provider).
At the same time, the Commission has worked to protect the TRS program from
waste, fraud and abuse. The Commission adopted new cost reimbursement methodolo-
gies for each form of TRS to ensure that the providers are compensated in accordance
with the TRS rules. The Commission also prohibited certain incentive and marketing
practices that have the intent or effect of encouraging consumers to make unnecessary
calls calls that the consumer does not pay for but for which the provider gets compen-
sated. The Commission addressed the misuse of IP Relay by persons using that service
to defraud merchants by making credit card purchases over the telephone. And the
Commission has audited providers, including the minutes of use submitted for payment,
to ensure the legitimacy of both the use of TRS and payments made from the Fund to pro-

Enhancing Closed Captioning.

The Commission's closed captioning rules ensure
that persons with hearing disabilities can fully enjoy television programming by reading
what is being spoken as text on the screen. Over the past
several years, the Commission has improved captioning qual-
ity standards and adopted procedures to aid consumers when
they have concerns about their closed captioning service.
The Commission also addressed captioning issues raised by
the transition to Digital Television and the use of converter
boxes, to ensure that consumers continue to benefit from
closed captioning after the transition is completed.
In addition, broadcasters must provide emergency information either through closed
captioning or a visual presentation so that persons with hearing disabilities have access
to potentially life-saving information. The Commission has fined TV broadcasters who
failed to provide emergency information in an accessible format, proposing forfeitures
of nearly $125,000 against seven television stations for failing to provide persons with
hearing disabilities timely visual access to the same emergency information the stations
provided to their hearing audiences in connection with their coverage of various emer-
gency events involving wildfires, tornado warnings, and hurricanes.

Ensuring Hearing Aid Compatibility.

The hearing aid compatibility rules ensure
that consumers with impaired hearing have access to handsets that function properly with
hearing aids. In 2007, the Commission began a new proceeding to reexamine rules, as
applied to wireless handsets. Building upon a "consensus plan"
proposed by representatives of consumer groups and the wireless
telecommunications industry, the Commission adopted significant
revisions. The new rules are designed to ensure that consumers
will have available to them an increasingly broader selection of
hearing aid-compatible handsets, regardless of technology or fre-
quency bands (including newly available frequency bands) used

Ensuring Access to Communications by
All Citizens
by their handsets. In addition, the Commission has issued NALs or consent decrees for
violations of the wireless hearing aid compatibility handset and labeling requirements.
Increasing Access to Ownership
Access to Capital Conference. The Commission held an en banc hearing and
conference on overcoming barriers to communications financing. This con-
ference was designed to enhance the knowledge of the Commission and at-
tendees about: (i) the present state of capital markets as those markets impact
ownership diversity in the media and telecom industries and, particularly, the success of
minorities and women entrepreneurs; (ii) how financing is secured for new, diverse, re-
source-limited ventures, focusing on actual problems encountered by women and minori-
ties attempting to secure financing for media and telecom deals; and (iii) potential ways
the Commission can help facilitate financing opportunities for minorities and women.

Ensuring Localism and Diversity in Broadcasting.

The Commission took action
to maintain the three long-standing core goals of Commission media ownership policy
competition, localism and diversity. Chairman Martin led the Commission in taking
steps to increase diversification of ownership in the broadcast services by promoting op-
portunities for new entrants. In addition, the Commission completed a long-standing ini-
tiative to study localism in broadcasting and made proposals to ensure that local stations
air programming responsive to the needs of their service communities.

Spectrum Sharing.

As television stations transition from analog to digital, the Com-
mission has a rich opportunity to foster the entry of many more new, independent and
diverse voices on the air. One idea that takes advantage of the potential for digital tech-
nology to serve a more diverse array of consumers is spectrum sharing. Spectrum sharing
is one of the most significant opportunities presented by the DTV transition, and is not a
new idea. The Commission already has rules in place to allow spectrum-sharing arrange-

Ensuring Access to Communications by
All Citizens
ments for broadcast stations. In the digital environment, the ability to share spectrum,
rather than having to purchase new stations or spectrum, provides an entry-level oppor-
tunity for new entrants to cut some overhead costs and get into the business of broadcast-
ing. Chairman Martin proposed allowing broadcasters to create more diverse and locally
oriented channels by sharing their digital spectrum with entities offering such program-
Ion Media Networks recently joined with a minority-owned new entrant in the tele-
vision broadcasting industry, Urban Television, with a share-time proposal that would
launch targeted programming serving the needs and interests of African-American view-
ers. The proposal presumes that the share-time stations created by the arrangement would
be entitled to mandatory carriage without carriage, the proposal would not be feasible.
By granting the applications for the Ion-Urban Television share-time arrangement, the
Commission would give birth to the nation's first over-the-air African American televi-
sion network. Groups such as the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, MMTC, the NAACP, and
the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law have all encouraged the Com-
mission to grant the proposal. This is an important example of the type of opportunity the
Chairman has advocated to address the serious financial and logistical barriers lack of
access to capital and spectrum that plague most new entrants.
Reforming Universal Service and Intercarrier Compensation
Although the Commission has taken interim steps to ensure the continued vi-
ability and affordability of the universal service fund for American consum-
ers, further reform is needed. In moving to an IP-based world, consumers
require access to broadband services. The Commission must explore ways to
utilize universal service funds to provide broadband service to all Americans.
In November, the Commission sought comment on proposals to tie receipt of high-
cost universal service support to a provider's commitment to offer broadband service
ubiquitously throughout its service area. The Commission also sought comment on es-
tablishing a Broadband Lifeline/Link Up Pilot Program to examine how the low-income
universal service support mechanisms (the Lifeline and Link Up programs) can be used to
enhance access to broadband Internet access services for low-income Americans. More-
over, the Commission sought on proposals to reform the universal service contribution
base by assessing contributions based, wholly or in part, on telephone numbers. Such
reform will be necessary to broaden and stabilize our universal service contribution base
as demand for new services strains the size of the fund.

Ensuring Access to Communications by
All Citizens
At the same time, the Commission sought comment on proposals to reform the inter-
carrier compensation regime. Under the current regime, carriers assess different rates for
different types of traffic exchanged via the public switched telephone network.

Disparate Rates

Small ILEC


CLEC Interstate

Large ILEC

CLEC Intrastate


Small ILEC




Large ILEC









Evidence of increasing regulatory arbitrage, as well as increased competition and
changes in technology, has led the Commission to consider comprehensive reform of
intercarrier compensation. The differences in existing intercarrier compensation regimes
impose significant inefficiencies on users and distort carriers' investment incentives,
which can result in losses of billions of dollars in consumers and producers surplus. Pos-
sibly more important, these legacy regulatory regimes pose an obstacle to the transition
to an all-IP broadband world. Because carriers currently can receive significant revenues
from charging above-cost rates to terminate telecommunications traffic, they have a re-
duced incentive to upgrade their networks to the most efficient technology or to negotiate
interconnection agreements that are designed to accommodate the efficient exchange of
IP traffic, as both actions would likely lead to reduced intercarrier payments.

Ensuring Access to Communications by
All Citizens

Uniform Rates

Small ILEC


CLEC Interstate

Large ILEC

CLEC Intrastate


Small ILEC



RC Non-ISP- InterMTA


Large ILEC







To preclude these negative effects, intercarrier compensation rates must be transi-
tioned to a regime where traffic is exchanged at the same rate, regardless of the technol-
ogy used.

Technological advances, converging business models, and the digitalization of
services have created unparalleled opportunities and considerable challenges.
Under Chairman Martin's leadership, the Commission has produced meaningful
results for consumers. It put in place the appropriate regulatory framework that
achieves the twin goals of spurring investment and establishing open platforms to deliver
choice and innovation to consumers. In almost all cases vigorous competition has enabled
consumers to get newer and more innovative technologies and communications ser-
vices at ever-declining prices. Television programs are sold on the Internet and streamed
wirelessly to mobile devices; teenagers communicate over IM, SMS and MySpace, not
the landline phone; DVRs mean you watch your TV when and where you want; mobile
phones show movies, play songs, photograph your kids, and even send you emergency
messages. The Commission's efforts in recent years have helped all Americans reap the
rewards of convergence and the broadband revolution.

TION: BROADBAND IN AMERICA 2007 34, tbl. 7 (2008),
2 Saul Hansell, Verizon's FiOS: A Smart Bet or a Big Mistake?, N.Y. TIMES, Aug. 19, 2008, at C1.
TION: BROADBAND IN AMERICA 2007 34, tbl. 7 (2008),
4 Michael Render, US Fiber to the Home Market Update, at 12 (Dec. 15, 2008), available at http://www.ftthcouncil.
org/documents/176173.pdf (last visited Jan. 13, 2009).
8, Wireline Broadband Pricing 20012007, at 2,
Broadband.Pricing.Document.pdf (last visited January 8, 2009).
9 Id.
10, The Harris Poll--Four Out of Five Adults Now Use the Internet, http://www.harrisinterac- (last visited January 8, 2009).
11 In addition, the Commission is continuing with its efforts to use an additional 10 megahertz of related spectrum (D
Block) to foster a Public/Private Partnership creating a nationwide interoperable broadband network for public safety
12 See,
13 See,
14 Stephen Lawson, Verizon Aims for LTE Deployment in 2009, PC World,
15 See,
16 See,
17 See,
18 High-Speed Services for Internet Access: Status as of June 30, 2006, FCC, Mar. 2008, Table 1.
19 Critical Mass The Worldwide State of the Mobile Web, Nielsen Mobile, July 2008, at 3; Sharon Armbrust, Wire-
less Investor: U.S. Mobile Wireless Projections: Data Dollars Outgrow Voice 8-to-1, WIRELESS INVESTOR, SNL
Kagan, July 15, 2008, at 4.
20 Critical Mass The Worldwide State of the Mobile Web, Nielsen Mobile, July 2008, at 3-4.
21 Merrill Lynch, Interactive Global Wireless Matrix 3Q08.
22 Local Telephone Competition: Status as of December 31, 2007, table 5 (WCB/IATD rel. Sept. 2008), available at:
23 "Internet Access in U.S. Public Schools and Classrooms: 1994-2005," U.S. Dept. of Education, Institute of Educa-
tion Sciences, NCES 2007-020.

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