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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Public Safety Communications and Spectrum Resources: Policy Issues for Congress
This report discusses pieces of legislation passed by Congress that are intended to help surmount failures in public safety radio communications such as (1) insufficient interoperability among radio systems, a problem that hampered rescue efforts on and after September 11; and (2) insufficiently robust networks, a shortcoming revealed after Hurricane Katrina struck in August 2005. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc626906/
Text and Multimedia Messaging: Emerging Issues for Congress
This report covers issues for Congress regarding text and multimedia messaging. The increasing use of text and multimedia messaging has raised several policy issue, such as distracted driving, SMS spam, the inability of consumers to disable text messaging, text messaging price fixing, carrier blocking of common short code messages, deceptive and misleading common short code programs, protecting children from inappropriate content on wireless devices. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627167/
Public Safety Communications and Spectrum Resources: Policy Issues for Congress
This report discusses pieces of legislation passed by Congress that are intended to help surmount failures in public safety radio communications such as insufficient interoperability among radio systems, a problem that hampered rescue efforts on and after September 11; and insufficiently robust networks, a shortcoming revealed after Hurricane Katrina struck in August 2005. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627012/
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA): An Overview of Programs and Funding
This report provides an overview of funding and programs of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) bureau. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505465/
The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and All-Hazard Warnings
This report discusses the mainstays of the U.S. capacity to issue warnings: the Emergency Alert System (EAS), which relies primarily on broadcasting media, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio All-Hazards Network. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505468/
Access to Broadband Networks: The Net Neutrality Debate
This report discusses the current debate over "net neutrality." While there is no single accepted definition of "net neutrality," most agree that any such definition should include the general principles that owners of the networks that compose and provide access to the Internet should not control how consumers lawfully use that network, and they should not be able to discriminate against content provider access to that network. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505418/
The Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program: Background, Funding, and Activities
This report discusses the federal government's role in the country's information technology (IT) research and development (R&D) activities. The government's support of IT R&D began because it had an important interest in creating computers and software that would be capable of addressing the problems and issues the government needed to solve and study. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505596/
Access to Broadband Networks: The Net Neutrality Debate
This report discusses the current debate over "net neutrality." While there is no single accepted definition of "net neutrality," most agree that any such definition should include the general principles that owners of the networks that compose and provide access to the Internet should not control how consumers lawfully use that network, and they should not be able to discriminate against content provider access to that network. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505574/
The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and All-Hazard Warnings
This report discusses the mainstays of the U.S. capacity to issue warnings: the Emergency Alert System (EAS), which relies primarily on broadcasting media, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio All-Hazards Network. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505423/
Public Safety Communications and Spectrum Resources: Policy Issues for Congress
This report discusses the availability of radio frequency spectrum that is considered essential to developing a modern, interoperable communications network for public safety. To resolve the debate and move the planning process forward, Congress may decide to pursue oversight or change existing law. Actions proposed to Congress include authorizing the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reassign spectrum and changing requirements for the use of spectrum auction proceeds. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505407/
The FCC's Rules and Policies Regarding Media Ownership, Attribution, and Ownership Diversity
This report discusses the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) broadcast media ownership rules, which restrict the number of media outlets that a single entity may own or control. Its attribution rules define which relationships the FCC counts as ownership. In 2004 and again in 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, directed the FCC to review its broadcast ownership diversity policies in conjunction with the media ownership rules. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505484/
The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and All-Hazard Warnings
This report discusses the mainstays of the U.S. capacity to issue warnings: the Emergency Alert System (EAS), which relies primarily on broadcasting media, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio All-Hazards Network. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505575/
The Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program: Funding Issues and Activities
This report discusses the federal government's role in the country's information technology (IT) research and development (R&D) activities. The government's support of IT R&D began because it had an important interest in creating computers and software that would be capable of addressing the problems and issues the government needed to solve and study. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505509/
Social Networking and Constituent Communications: Member Use of Twitter During a Two-Month Period in the 111th Congress
This report examines Twitter usage by Members of Congress during August and September 2009. It includes background about Twitter and data analysis of Member registration, usage, tweets, and followers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505624/
The First Responder Network (FirstNet) and Next-Generation Communications for Public Safety: Issues for Congress
This report provides and introduction to key provisions in the Spectrum Act to improve public safety communications and discusses planning authority, state and local participation, federal governance and other issues regarding the evolving network technologies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503548/
Automated Political Telephone Calls ("Robo Calls") in Federal Campaigns: Overview and Policy Options
This report provides an overview of how automated political calls are used in federal campaigns, including attention to recent spending estimates and polling data regarding these calls. The report also discusses legislation that would affect the calls, with descriptions of various policy options and how the options or their regulation may be related to campaign finance law and to the First Amendment. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503372/
Access to Broadband Networks: The Net Neutrality Debate
This report discusses the continued debate amongst congressional policymakers regarding telecommunications reform. A major point of the ongoing discussion is whether action is needed to ensure unfettered access to the Internet. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503673/
Universal Service Fund: Background and Options for Reform
This report discusses the idea that all Americans should be able to afford access to the telecommunications network; this is commonly called the "universal service concept" and can trace its origins back to the 1934 Communications Act. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503469/
Universal Service Fund: Background and Options for Reform
This report discusses the idea that all Americans should be able to afford access to the telecommunications network; this is commonly called the "universal service concept" and can trace its origins back to the 1934 Communications Act. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503454/
Emergency Communications: The Future of 911
This report discusses possible paths toward the modernization of the 911 infrastructure. Efforts to splice newer, digital technologies onto the aging infrastructure have created points of failure where a call can be dropped or misdirected, sometimes with tragic consequences. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503295/
Government Access to Phone Calling Activity and Related Records: Legal Authorities
This report summarizes legal authorities regarding access by the government, for either foreign intelligence or law enforcement purposes, to information related to telephone calling patterns or practices. Where pertinent, it also discusses statutory prohibitions against accessing or disclosing such information, along with relevant exceptions to those prohibitions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503528/
Trade in Services: The Doha Development Agenda Negotiations and U.S. Goals
The report provides a brief background section on the significance of trade in services to the U.S. economy. It then explains briefly the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and the structure and agenda of the services negotiations in the Doha Development Agenda (DDA) round, including U.S. objectives in the negotiations. The report concludes with a status report on the negotiations and an examination of potential results. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503539/
Emergency Communications: Broadband and the Future of 911
This report discusses the current 911 infrastructure and possible options for modernizing the system to Next Generation 911 technology (NG9-1-1). It includes information about relevant legislation and policy, funding and grants, ways to create a base for change, the potential role of the Department of Homeland Security, and Congressional policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503582/
The Proposed Comcast-NBC Universal Combination: How It Might Affect the Video Market
This report discusses the proposed combination of Comcast, the largest distributor of video services in the United States, and NBC Universal (NBCU), a major producer and aggregator of video content, which would create a huge, vertically integrated entity with potentially enormous negotiating power at a time when market forces already are altering traditional content provider/distributor relationships. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503568/
The Federal Communications Commission: Current Structure and Its Role in the Changing Telecommunications Landscape
This report discusses current issues regarding the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which is an independent federal agency charged with regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable. The mission of the FCC is to ensure that the American people have available--at reasonable cost and without discrimination--rapid, efficient, nation- and world-wide communication services, whether by radio, television, wire, satellite, or cable. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503396/
Access to Broadband Networks: The Net Neutrality Debate
This report discusses the continued debate amongst congressional policymakers regarding telecommunications reform. A major point of the ongoing discussion is whether action is needed to ensure unfettered access to the Internet. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503368/
Universal Service Fund: Background and Options for Reform
This report discusses the idea that all Americans should be able to afford access to the telecommunications network; this is commonly called the "universal service concept" and can trace its origins back to the 1934 Communications Act. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503605/
Emergency Communications: The Future of 911
This report discusses possible paths toward the modernization of the 911 infrastructure. Efforts to splice newer, digital technologies onto the aging infrastructure have created points of failure where a call can be dropped or misdirected, sometimes with tragic consequences. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503419/
U.S. Initiatives to Promote Global Internet Freedom: Issues, Policy, and Technology
This report provides information regarding the role of U.S. and other foreign companies in facilitating Internet censorship by repressive regimes overseas. The report is divided into several sections: Examination of repressive policies in China and Iran, Relevant U.S. laws, U.S. policies to promote Internet freedom, Private sector initiatives, and Congressional action. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501844/
The Federal Communications Commission: Current Structure and Its Role in the Changing Telecommunications Landscape
The report discusses the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)-Related Congressional Actions in the 112th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501818/
Telework for Executive Agency Employees: A Side-by-Side Comparison of Legislation Pending in the 111th Congress
The 111th Congress is considering legislation (S. 707 and H.R. 1722) to foster the development of telework in executive agencies of the federal government. Legislation to augment telework in executive agencies of the federal government is currently pending in the 111th Congress. S. 707, the Telework Enhancement Act of 2009, and H.R. 1722, the Telework Improvements Act of 2010, were introduced on March 25, 2009, by Senator Daniel Akaka and Representative John Sarbanes, respectively. This report presents a side-by-side comparison of the provisions of S. 707, as reported, and H.R. 1722, as ordered to be reported. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501677/
Telework for Executive Agency Employees: A Side-by-Side Comparison of Legislation Pending in the 111th Congress
The 111th Congress is considering legislation (S. 707 and H.R. 1722) to foster the development of telework in executive agencies of the federal government. Legislation to augment telework in executive agencies of the federal government is currently pending in the 111th Congress. S. 707, the Telework Enhancement Act of 2009, and H.R. 1722, the Telework Improvements Act of 2010, were introduced on March 25, 2009, by Senator Daniel Akaka and Representative John Sarbanes, respectively. This report presents a side-by-side comparison of the provisions of S. 707, as reported, and H.R. 1722, as ordered to be reported. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501699/
Access to Broadband Networks: The Net Neutrality Debate
This report discusses the continued debate amongst congressional policymakers regarding telecommunications reform. A major point of the ongoing discussion is whether action is needed to ensure unfettered access to the Internet. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501905/
Telework for Executive Agency Employees: A Side-by-Side Comparison of Legislation Pending in the 111th Congress
S. 1000, the Telework Enhancement Act of 2007, and H.R. 4106, the Telework Improvements Act of 2008, are currently pending in the 110th Congress. Under the pending legislation and Senate amendments, the heads of executive branch agencies would be required to establish policies under which employees (with some exceptions) could be eligible to participate in telework. This report presents a side-by-side comparison of the provisions of S. 1000, as reported; H.R. 4106, as passed by the House. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501949/
Spectrum Policy: Provisions in the 2012 Spectrum Act
This report discusses the Spectrum Act, a provision of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. It includes an overview of the Spectrum Act, the specific policy revisions (deficit reduction, directed auctions, incentive auctions, federal spectrum use and reallocation, and unlicensed spectrum) and a conclusion discussing geographic coverage of spectrum licenses, spectrum caps, and planning for future needs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501507/
Access to Broadband Networks: The Net Neutrality Debate
This report discusses the current debate over "net neutrality." While there is no single accepted definition of "net neutrality," most agree that any such definition should include the general principles that owners of the networks that compose and provide access to the Internet should not control how consumers lawfully use that network, and they should not be able to discriminate against content provider access to that network. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501794/
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA): An Overview of Programs and Funding
This report provides an overview of funding and programs of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) bureau. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501759/
Radio Broadcasting Chips for Smartphones: A Status Report
This report provides information on consumer and industry trends in radio and wireless network communications to give perspective on the proposal for widespread deployment of FM radio chips in smartphones as an emergency preparedness measure. It also provides a brief overview of the role of technology in disseminating emergency alerts and information. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501523/
Telework for Executive Agency Employees: A Side-by-Side Comparison of Legislation Pending in the 111th Congress
S. 1000, the Telework Enhancement Act of 2007, and H.R. 4106, the Telework Improvements Act of 2008, are currently pending in the 110th Congress. Under the pending legislation and Senate amendments, the heads of executive branch agencies would be required to establish policies under which employees (with some exceptions) could be eligible to participate in telework. This report presents a side-by-side comparison of the provisions of S. 1000, as reported; H.R. 4106, as passed by the House. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501791/
Spectrum Policy in the Age of Broadband: Issues for Congress
This report considers the possibility of modifying spectrum policy: (1) to support national goals for broadband deployment by placing more emphasis on attracting new providers of wireless broadband services; and (2) to accommodate the wireless broadband needs of industries that are considered by many to be the economic drivers of the future, not only communications, but also areas such as energy, health care, transportation, and education. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491240/
Spectrum Policy in the Age of Broadband: Issues for Congress
This report discusses some of the commercial and federal radio frequency spectrum policy changes required by the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. It also summarizes new policy directions for spectrum management under consideration in the 112th Congress, such as the encouragement of new technologies that use spectrum more efficiently. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491218/
Spectrum Policy in the Age of Broadband: Issues for Congress
This report discusses spectrum policy issues in the 111th Congress. In formulating spectrum policy, mainstream viewpoints generally diverge on whether to give priority to market economics or social goals. Among the spectrum policy initiatives that have been proposed in Congress in recent years are: allocating more spectrum for unlicensed use; auctioning airwaves currently allocated for federal use; and devising new fees on spectrum use, notably those collected by the FCC's statutory authority to implement these measures is limited. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491358/
Public Safety Communications and Spectrum Resources: Policy Issues for Congress
This report discusses the availability of radio frequency spectrum that is considered essential to developing a modern, interoperable communications network for public safety. Also, other critical discussed are (1) building the network to use this spectrum and (2) developing and deploying the radios to the new standards required for mobile broadband. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491212/
The National Broadband Plan
This report discusses the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) National Broadband Plan (NBP), which mandated by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) is a 360-page document composed of 17 chapters containing 208 specific recommendations directed to the FCC, to the Executive Branch (both to individual agencies and to Administration as a whole), to Congress, and to nonfederal and nongovernmental entities. The ARRA specified that the NBP should "seek to ensure that all people of the United States have access to broadband capability." digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491376/
Access to Broadband Networks: The Net Neutrality Debate
This report discusses the current debate over "net neutrality." While there is no single accepted definition of "net neutrality," most agree that any such definition should include the general principles that owners of the networks that compose and provide access to the Internet should not control how consumers lawfully use that network, and they should not be able to discriminate against content provider access to that network. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491321/
The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and All-Hazard Warnings
This report discusses the mainstays of the U.S. capacity to issue warnings: the Emergency Alert System (EAS), which relies primarily on broadcasting media, the NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards Network. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490957/
Spectrum Policy in the Age of Broadband: Issues for Congress
This report discusses spectrum policy issues in the 111th Congress. In formulating spectrum policy, mainstream viewpoints generally diverge on whether to give priority to market economics or social goals. Among the spectrum policy initiatives that have been proposed in Congress in recent years are: allocating more spectrum for unlicensed use; auctioning airwaves currently allocated for federal use; and devising new fees on spectrum use, notably those collected by the FCC's statutory authority to implement these measures is limited. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491087/
Spectrum Policy in the Age of Broadband: Issues for Congress
This report discusses spectrum policy issues in the 111th Congress. In formulating spectrum policy, mainstream viewpoints generally diverge on whether to give priority to market economics or social goals. Among the spectrum policy initiatives that have been proposed in Congress in recent years are: allocating more spectrum for unlicensed use; auctioning airwaves currently allocated for federal use; and devising new fees on spectrum use, notably those collected by the FCC's statutory authority to implement these measures is limited. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491057/
Public Safety Communications and Spectrum Resources: Policy Issues for Congress
The availability of radio frequency spectrum is considered essential to developing a modern, interoperable communications network for public safety. Equally critical is building the radio network to use this spectrum. Opinions diverge, however, on such issues as how much spectrum should be made available for the network, who should own it, who should build it, who should operate it, who should be allowed to use it, and how it might be paid for. This report discusses potential paths forward for Congress in regards to modernizing communications. To resolve the debate and move the planning process forward, Congress may decide to pursue oversight or change existing law. Actions proposed to Congress include (1) authorizing the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reassign spectrum and (2) changing requirements for the use of spectrum auction proceeds. In particular, legislation in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-171) might be modified. This law mandated the termination of analog television broadcasting and the release of those channels for other uses, including public safety. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491484/
Spectrum Policy in the Age of Broadband: Issues for Congress
This report considers the possibility of modifying spectrum policy: (1) to support national goals for broadband deployment by placing more emphasis on attracting new providers of wireless broadband services; and (2) to accommodate the wireless broadband needs of industries that are considered by many to be the economic drivers of the future, not only communications, but also areas such as energy, health care, transportation, and education. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491445/
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