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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Regulation of Broadcast Indecency: Background and Legal Analysis

Regulation of Broadcast Indecency: Background and Legal Analysis

Date: December 2, 2005
Creator: Welborn, Angie A & Cohen, Henry
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Digital Television: An Overview

Digital Television: An Overview

Date: January 6, 2006
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G
Description: Digital television (DTV) is a new television service representing the most significant development in television technology since the advent of color television in the 1950s. DTV can provide sharper pictures, a wider screen, CD-quality sound, better color rendition, and other new services currently being developed. A successful deployment of DTV requires: the development by content providers of compelling digital programming; the delivery of digital signals to consumers by broadcast television stations, as well as cable and satellite television systems; and the widespread purchase and adoption by consumers of digital television equipment. A key issue in the Congressional debate over the digital transition has been addressing the millions of American over-the-air households whose existing analog televisions will require converter boxes in order to receive digital signals when the analog signal is turned off.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Spectrum Use and the Transisition to Digital TV

Spectrum Use and the Transisition to Digital TV

Date: January 10, 2006
Creator: Moore, Linda K
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Wireless Technology and Spectrum Demand: Advanced Wireless Services

Wireless Technology and Spectrum Demand: Advanced Wireless Services

Date: January 20, 2006
Creator: Moore, Linda K
Description: Advances in wireless telecommunications technology are converging with Internet technology to foster new generations of applications and services. Presently, the United States and other countries are moving to third-generation (3G) and fourth-generation mobile telephony. The defining feature of these technologies is that transmission speeds are significantly faster than prevailing technologies. A related trend is the growth in use of Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity) and WiMAX (an industry designation for a specific broadband standard). This report describes various legislation relating to this expansion and ongoing telecommunications development.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Communications Act Revisions: Selected Issues for Consideration

Communications Act Revisions: Selected Issues for Consideration

Date: January 23, 2006
Creator: Gilroy, Angele A
Description: This report provides an overview of selected topics which the 109th Congress may address in its examination of telecommunications issues. The issues included in this report cover: broadband Internet regulation and access; broadcast indecency; digital television transition; Federal Communications Commission structure and reform; intercarrier compensation; media ownership rules; municipal deployment of broadband; public safety communications, the “savings clause” and monopoly issues; spectrum auctions; and universal service fund reform.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
An Emergency Communications Safety Net: Integrating 911 and Other Services

An Emergency Communications Safety Net: Integrating 911 and Other Services

Date: January 30, 2006
Creator: Moore, Linda K
Description: The 9/11 Commission Report recommended that 911 call centers — also called Public Safety Answering Points, or PSAPs — be included in planning for emergency responses.1 Congress, which has since 1999 passed two bills to further the deployment of 911, is reviewing ways to expand 911 capabilities and make it more accessible and effective. Congress is also evaluating ways to improve emergency alerts2 and interoperable communications for public safety.3 Operational convergence of emergency communications seems to many to be inevitable, a question of “when,” not “if.” This report deals primarily with 911 and its recent history. It also summarizes some of the proposals that would improve 911 through new approaches and integration with other services.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Digital TV Transition: A Brief Overview

The Digital TV Transition: A Brief Overview

Date: February 15, 2006
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G. & Moore, Linda K.
Description: This report briefly discusses key points about the digital TV transition process: background, the impact on broadcasting, spectrum policy, and recent legislative activity. The transition has two major policy components: (1) how best to move television broadcasters and their viewers to digital technology, and (2) radio frequency spectrum management and allocation. The public interest goals for these paths are not well aligned, presenting Congress with difficult choices for completing the transition.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Tsunamis: Monitoring, Detection, and Early Warning Systems

Tsunamis: Monitoring, Detection, and Early Warning Systems

Date: February 23, 2006
Creator: Morrissey, Wayne A
Description: This report discusses proposals for international tsunami early warning systems and examines U.S. policy regarding tsunamis.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Data Security: Protecting the Privacy of Phone Records

Data Security: Protecting the Privacy of Phone Records

Date: February 28, 2006
Creator: Stevens, Gina Marie & Rainson, Tara Alexandra
Description: This report discusses recent legislative and regulatory efforts to protect the privacy of customer telephone records, and efforts to prevent the unauthorized use, disclosure, or sale of such records by data brokers. In addition, it provides a brief overview of the confidentiality protections for customer information established by the Communications Act of 1934.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The FCC's "a la Carte" Reports

The FCC's "a la Carte" Reports

Date: March 30, 2006
Creator: Goldfarb, Charles B
Description: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released two reports on a la carte pricing of cable television networks that reach contradictory conclusions. The purpose of this report is to explain how these two reports reached differing conclusions and to analyze the different assumptions and calculations used in each.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The FCC's "a la Carte" Reports

The FCC's "a la Carte" Reports

Date: March 30, 2006
Creator: Goldfarb, Charles B
Description: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released two reports on a la carte pricing of cable television networks that reach contradictory conclusions. The purpose of this report is to explain how these two reports reached differing conclusions and to analyze the different assumptions and calculations used in each.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Spectrum Management: Auctions

Spectrum Management: Auctions

Date: April 6, 2006
Creator: Moore, Linda K
Description: This report discusses the radio frequency spectrum that is used for all forms of wireless communications, including cellular telephony, paging, personal communications service, radio and television broadcast, telephone radio relay, aeronautical and maritime radio navigation, and satellite command and control.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Digital Television: An Overview

Digital Television: An Overview

Date: May 5, 2006
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G.
Description: Digital television (DTV) is a new television service representing the most significant development in television technology since the advent of color television in the 1950s. DTV can provide sharper pictures, a wider screen, CD-quality sound, better color rendition, and other new services currently being developed. This report discusses a key issue in the Congressional debate over the digital transition has been addressing the millions of American over-the-air households whose existing analog televisions will require converter boxes in order to receive digital signals when the analog signal is turned off.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
An Emergency Communications Safety Net: Intergrating 911 and Other Services

An Emergency Communications Safety Net: Intergrating 911 and Other Services

Date: May 5, 2006
Creator: Moore, Linda K
Description: The 9/11 Commission Report recommended that 911 call centers — also called Public Safety Answering Points, or PSAPs — be included in planning for emergency responses.1 Congress, which has since 1999 passed two bills to further the deployment of 911, is reviewing ways to expand 911 capabilities and make it more accessible and effective. Congress is also evaluating ways to improve emergency alerts2 and interoperable communications for public safety.3 Operational convergence of emergency communications seems to many to be inevitable, a question of “when,” not “if.” This report deals primarily with 911 and its recent history. It also summarizes some of the proposals that would improve 911 through new approaches and integration with other services.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The National Institute of Standards and Technology: An Overview

The National Institute of Standards and Technology: An Overview

Date: May 8, 2006
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H.
Description: This report discusses the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) that has a mandate to increase the competitiveness of U.S. companies.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Digital Surveillance: The Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act

Digital Surveillance: The Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act

Date: May 10, 2006
Creator: Figliola, Patricia Moloney
Description: The Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA, P.L. 103- 414, 47 USC 1001-1010), enacted October 25, 1994, is intended to preserve the ability of law enforcement officials to conduct electronic surveillance effectively and efficiently despite the deployment of new digital technologies and wireless services that have altered the character of electronic surveillance. CALEA requires telecommunications carriers to modify their equipment, facilities, and services, wherever reasonably achievable, to ensure that they are able to comply with authorized electronic surveillance actions.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Net Neutrality: Background and Issues

Net Neutrality: Background and Issues

Date: May 16, 2006
Creator: Gilroy, Angele A
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Data Security: Protecting the Privacy of Phone Records

Data Security: Protecting the Privacy of Phone Records

Date: May 17, 2006
Creator: Stevens, Gina Marie & Rainson, Tara Alexandra
Description: This report discusses recent legislative and regulatory efforts to protect the privacy of customer telephone records, and efforts to prevent the unauthorized use, disclosure, or sale of such records by data brokers. In addition, it provides a brief overview of the confidentiality protections for customer information established by the Communications Act of 1934.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Government Access to Phone Calling Activity and Related Records: Legal Authorities

Government Access to Phone Calling Activity and Related Records: Legal Authorities

Date: May 17, 2006
Creator: Bazan, Elizabeth B; Stevens, Gina Marie & Yeh, Brian T
Description: This report summarizes statutory authorities regarding access by the Government, for either foreign intelligence or law enforcement purposes, to information related to telephone calling patterns or practices.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
An Emergency Communications Safety Net: Integrating 911 and Other Services

An Emergency Communications Safety Net: Integrating 911 and Other Services

Date: June 12, 2006
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Description: The present capability and future effectiveness of America's network of emergency telecommunications services are among the issues under review by Congress and other entities. As technologies that can support 911 improve, many are seeing the possibility of integrating 911 into a wider safety net of emergency communications and alerts. One of the intents of Congress in passing the Wireless Communications and Public Safety Act of 1999, and of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in implementing the act, is to make 911 technology universally available throughout the United States. Legislation in the 109th Congress covering 911 or call centers all focus on assuring access to 911 call centers for users of Voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) telephone service and on improving the delivery of 911 services nationwide. This report reviews key points about the implementation of 911.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Wireless Technology and Spectrum Demand: Advanced Wireless Services

Wireless Technology and Spectrum Demand: Advanced Wireless Services

Date: June 12, 2006
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Description: Advances in wireless telecommunications technology are converging with Internet technology to foster new generations of applications and services. Presently, the United States and other countries are moving to third-generation (3G) and fourth-generation mobile telephony. The defining feature of these technologies is that transmission speeds are significantly faster than prevailing technologies. A related trend is the growth in use of Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity) and WiMAX (an industry designation for a specific broadband standard). This report describes various legislation relating to this expansion and ongoing telecommunications development.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Open Access Publishing and Citatation Archives: Background and Controversy

Open Access Publishing and Citatation Archives: Background and Controversy

Date: June 22, 2006
Creator: Knezo, Genevieve J
Description: This report begins with an inventory of basic information: definitions and guides to histories of the growth of open access publishing and citation archives and descriptions of selected major open access activities. It moves on to summarize major points of difference between proponents and opponents of nongovernmental open access publishing and databases, and then highlights federal, including National Institutes of Health (NIH), open access activities and contentious issues surrounding these developments. The report also briefly describes open access developments in the United Kingdom (where a number of governmental and nongovernmental initiatives have occurred) and in the international arena. Finally, controversial issues which could receive attention in the 109th Congress are summarized.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Emergency Communications: The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and All-Hazard Warnings

Emergency Communications: The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and All-Hazard Warnings

Date: July 17, 2006
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Description: The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is built on a structure conceived in the 1950s when over-the-air broadcasting was the best-available technology for widely disseminating emergency alerts. Bills in the 109th Congress that would improve emergency alert systems, domestically and internationally, include S. 50 (Senator Inouye) and H.R. 296 (Representative Menendez); these bills were prompted by the tsunami disaster but include measures that also apply to the need for a better all-hazard warning system in the United States. The report summarizes the technology and administration of EAS and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/National Weather Service (NWS) all-hazard network, new programs in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and some of the key proposals for change.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Emergency Communications: The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and All-Hazard Warnings

Emergency Communications: The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and All-Hazard Warnings

Date: July 17, 2006
Creator: Moore, Linda K
Description: The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is one of several federally managed warning systems. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) jointly administers EAS with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in cooperation with the National Weather Service (NWS), an organization within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The NOAA/NWS weather radio system has been upgraded to an all-hazard warning capability. This report summarizes the technology and administration of EAS and the NOAA/NWS all-hazard network, and some of the key proposals for change
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department