Tag Archive | Federal Communications Commission

Commons Lab and FCC Releases New Report on the National Broadband Map

The National Broadband Map: A Case Study on Open Innovation for National Policy

To download the report and watch the archived video, click here.

Commons Lab Blog, October 2012

The National Broadband Map, designed to provide consumers nationwide reliable information on broadband internet connections, was built incorporating emerging technology.  It protects consumers, holds the government and private sector accountable, and engages the public across the United States.  In a time of budgetary constraint, the Map made a series of remarkable policy innovations that allowed the project to be completed in minimal time and at a reduced cost. The public was engaged before, during, and after the project.  Citizens generated speed testing data.  They provided comments and feed back on improving internet connectivity.  They used a National Broadband Map crowdsource utility to let the FCC know whether the information they posted was accurate.  The data collected is open, freely available to anyone.  The application itself was built using open-source software unchained by licensing fees, enhancing its flexibility and accessibility.  The development process broke from traditional government procurement, and programmers regularly communicated with uses to better understand the needs of the project: this avoided cost overruns and unused features.

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Live Webcast: The National Broadband Map: A Case Study on Open Innovation for National Policy

Live webcast, Oct 15 at 9:30 AM Eastern:

The National Broadband Map, designed to provide consumers nationwide reliable information on broadband internet connections, was built incorporating emerging technology.  It protects consumers, holds the government and private sector accountable, and engages the public across the United States.  In a time of budgetary constraint, the Map made a series of remarkable policy innovations that allowed the project to be completed in minimal time and at a reduced cost.

The public was engaged before, during, and after the project.  Citizens generated speed testing data.  They provided comments and feed back on improving internet connectivity.  They used a National Broadband Map crowdsource utility to let the FCC know whether the information they posted was accurate.  The data collected is open, freely available to anyone.  The application itself was built using open-source software unchained by licensing fees, enhancing its flexibility and accessibility.  The development process broke from traditional government procurement, and programmers regularly communicated with uses to better understand the needs of the project: this avoided cost overruns and unused features.

The incorporation of geographic information systems allows users to identify broadband internet options in their area, and policy makers to identify geographic gaps in service needing support.  This combination of techniques created a flexible resource that has already guided appropriations through the Connect America Fund. It continues to be applied to other communications challenges such as mobile broadband connectivity.  The National Broadband Map demonstrates that there is room for agencies to innovate and promotes a national conversation on how to improve government outcomes in the 21st century.

The National Broadband Map is a vital example of the benefits available to all when government prioritizes transparency, allows itself to be guided by the public, and directs policy based on robust and reliable data.

To RSVP for the event, watch the live webcast, or download a copy of the report, click here.

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FCC Seeks Public Comment on Mobile Carrier Privacy Policies Following Data Collection Controversy

Summary:
In re-launching the inquiry into carriers’ data privacy and security practices, the FCC argues that not informing customers about the software or its data practices may have violated the carriers’ responsibility pursuant to Section 222 of the Communications Act of 1934 to protect customer data “that is made available to a carrier solely by virtue of the carrier-customer relationship.”  The law allows such data to be used only in “limited circumstances,” a term which is not defined in Section 222.  It appears that one of the goals of the renewed inquiry is for the FCC to define the scope of the “limited circumstances.”

View the entire entry:
http://www.infolawgroup.com/2012/06/articles/privacy-law/fcc-seeks-public-comment-on-mobile-carrier-privacy-policies-following-data-collection-controversy/index.html

Bill Requires Permission for Mobile Device Monitoring Software

by Aaron Brauer-Rieke, CDT, February 8, 2012

Against the backdrop of controversy surrounding the use of monitoring software pre-installed on mobile phones, Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA) recently released a draft bill requiring clear disclosure and express consent before monitoring software is used. … Markey’s bill requires several kinds of companies to clearly disclose details about monitoring software and obtain express consent before putting such software to use. The entities obligated to observe these requirements are those that (1) sell mobile phones, (2) provide commercial mobile services, (3) manufacture phones, or (4) operate a “website or other online service from which a consumer downloads monitoring software.” The bill also requires the user to consent to the software’s operation before it can begin collecting and transmitting information. …

For a summary and analysis of this bill by the Center for Technology and Democracy, visit Bill Requires Permission for Mobile Monitoring Software | Center for Democracy & Technology.

LightSquared Sees Bias in GPS Expert’s Advice – POLITICO.com

LightSquared foe bias on GPS? By Eliza Krigman, Politico.com, October 20, 2011

When Bradford Parkinson wrote to the Federal Communications Commission in August, urging the commission to scuttle LightSquared’s plans for a nationwide wireless network, he signed off as vice chairman of a board of independent experts that advises federal agencies on GPS-related matters. Here’s what he didn’t mention: Parkinson is heavily invested — to the tune of millions of dollars — in Trimble, a GPS company at the center of an all-out lobbying blitz against LightSquared in Congress and federal agencies, including the FCC. …

For full text of the article, visit LightSquared foe bias on GPS? – Eliza Krigman – POLITICO.com.

New LightSquared Plan Fails To Ease GPS Interference Worries

By Debra Werner, Space News, September 9, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO — A recent proposal by LightSquared to modify its plans to deploy a U.S. broadband network in a way that would decrease its interference with GPS receivers has done little to allay concerns raised by representatives of federal agencies that rely on precise GPS signals for transportation, communications, weather forecasting, disaster response and scientific research. Government executives testifying Sept. 8 before the U.S. House Science, Space and Technology Committee called for additional testing of the proposed LightSquared network in light of the company’s plan submitted June 30 to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to mitigate its interference on GPS receivers by concentrating its initial service to a 10-megahertz block of the L-band spectrum that is farther from the GPS spectrum band than the portion of the spectrum the Reston, Va.-based startup previously planned to use. That proposal was submitted to the FCC shortly after a government working group completed extensive testing of the LightSquared network and concluded that it would cause serious interference with GPS receivers.

For full text of the article, visit New LightSquared Plan Fails To Ease GPS Interference Worries | SpaceNews.com.

Congressional Testimony on LightSquared Interference Issue

Artist Interpretation of GPS satellite, image ...

Image via Wikipedia

Space-Based Positioning Navigation and Timing (PNT) National Executive Committee, PNT Website, September 8, 2011

U.S. Government officials delivered the following testimony during a hearing of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, held September 8, 2011. The hearing focused on the scientific impacts of potential GPS interference from the terrestrial 4G network planned by LightSquared Subsidiary LLC.

For links to the testimony and video broadcast, visit Science Committee Testimony on LightSquared Interference Issue.

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