Tag Archive | FCC

Why Maps Matter

by Frank Konkel, FCW, March 17, 2014

And as mapping technology advances, it allows for far more than foolproof directions. Federal agencies now use geospatial data, geo-analytics and multi-layered maps for myriad purposes, including gathering intelligence, predicting disease outbreaks and sharing data pools with the public.

For full text of the article, please click here.

Wilson Center Report and Video on Crowdsourcing for the National Broadband Map

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

by Zachary Bastian, Wilson Center‘s Commons Lab, and Michael Byrne, FCC.

The National Broadband Map is a powerful consumer protection tool developed by the FCC to provide consumers nationwide reliable information on broadband internet connections. Through consistent public engagement and the use of emerging crowdsourcing technologies and open-source software, the project was able to promote government transparency and trust in government, while finishing on time and avoiding cost overruns. The National Broadband Map is a vital example of the benefits to all when government prioritizes transparency, allows itself to be guided by the public, and directs national policy based on robust and reliable data. Published by the Commons Lab of the Science and Technology Innovation Program, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC September 2012.

To download a copy of the REPORT, click on the Commons Lab Scribed webpage here.

To watch the archived VIDEO on the rollout event, visit the Commons Lab YouTube page.

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

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.”

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Roadmap for a Digital Government | The White House

Posted by Steven VanRoekel, Office of Management and Budget, on May 23, 2012

When the Internet revolution arrived in the 1990s, the U.S. Government embraced this new medium to interact with the American people. Today, what started as basic information pages has evolved into sophisticated transactional systems that allow us to pay taxes online, download medical records, and so much more. Like the 1990s, we are now in the midst of another important shift in how people consume and deliver information and services. In 2011, global smartphone shipments exceeded personal computer shipments for the first time in history, and more Americans will soon access the Internet via mobile devices than desktop PCs. The rise of mobile further compounds the challenge of providing high-quality digital services in a cost-effective and efficient manner. That’s why President Obama issued a directive today to make important services accessible from your phone and charged me with developing a comprehensive strategy to build a 21st Century Digital Government that delivers better digital services to the American people. Today marks the launch of that Digital Government Strategy.

via Roadmap for a Digital Government | The White House.

FCC Bars the Use of Airwaves for LightSquared Broadband Plan

By Edward Wyatt, NYT, February 14, 2012

A proposed wireless broadband network that would provide voice and Internet service using airwaves once reserved for satellite-telephone transmissions should be shelved because it interferes with GPS technology, the Federal Communications Commission said Tuesday. The F.C.C. statement revokes the conditional approval for the network given last year. It comes after an opinion by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, which said that “there is no practical way to mitigate the potential interference at this time” with GPS devices. The telecommunications and information agency oversees telecommunications policy at the Commerce Department. …

For full text of the article, visit F.C.C. Bars the Use of Airwaves for a Broadband Plan – NYTimes.com.

LIVE WEBCAST: Improving Emergency Communications Through Private Sector Innovation

Improving Emergency Communications through the Private Sector Innovation

WASHINGTON— Closing the gap between the public safety community and private sector innovators has the potential to save lives by vastly improving the way emergency responders communicate during an incident with each other, the authorities, and the citizens they serve.

To discuss the current and future technology innovations that aim to enhance emergency operations the Wilson Center and the National Alliance for Public Safety GIS Foundation will convene a panel of experts from the private sector and the Department of Homeland Security. The panel will debate the methods for forging the public-private partnerships necessary for the success of a national public safety broadband network.


Morgan Wright, Vice-President, Global Public Safety Segment, Alcatel-Lucent (Moderator)
Bill Maheu, Senior Director, Qualcomm
Bronwyn Agrios, Project Manager – Social Media, ESRI
Rick Zak, Director of Justice & Public Safety Solutions, Microsoft
Chris Essid, Director, Office of Emergency Communications, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

When:             Tuesday, November 1, 2011, 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. EDT

Where:           The Wilson Center, 5th Floor Board Room, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW (Federal Triangle Metro)

To follow the discussion on Twitter use the hashtag: #EComms
To get directions or to watch the LIVE webcast, please click here.

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.

FCC, FEMA offer new tech tips for emergencies – CNN.com

By Amy Gahran, Special to CNN, September 22, 2011

(CNN) — In an emergency, do you know how to best use your cell phone to stay safe, informed and in touch? Recognizing that Americans have been getting mixed messages from many sources, this week the Federal Communication Commission and the Federal Emergency Management Administration teamed up to publish a new list of tips for communicating before, during and after a disaster. … For full text of the article, visit FCC, FEMA offer new tech tips for emergencies – CNN.com

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