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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Constitutionality of Applying the FCC's Indecency Restriction to Cable Television

Constitutionality of Applying the FCC's Indecency Restriction to Cable Television

Date: December 1, 2005
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Description: Various federal officials have spoken in favor of extending the Federal Communication Commission’s indecency restriction, which currently applies to broadcast television and radio, to cable and satellite television. This report examines whether such an extension would violate the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Cybercrime: The Council of Europe Convention

Cybercrime: The Council of Europe Convention

Date: December 1, 2005
Creator: Archick, Kristin
Description: This report discusses the Europe’s Convention on Cybercrime of November 2001, which includes forty-two countries and the United States.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Military Space Programs: Issues Concerning DOD's SBIRS and STSS Programs

Military Space Programs: Issues Concerning DOD's SBIRS and STSS Programs

Date: November 25, 2005
Creator: Smith, Marcia S
Description: This report discusses the Space Tracking and Surveillance System (STSS, formerly SBIRS-Low), managed by the Missile Defense Agency, which performs missile tracking and target discrimination for missile defense objectives.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Spectrum Management: Auctions

Spectrum Management: Auctions

Date: November 4, 2005
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
Spectrum Auctions and Deficit Reduction: FY2006 Budget Reconciliation

Spectrum Auctions and Deficit Reduction: FY2006 Budget Reconciliation

Date: October 31, 2005
Creator: Moore, Linda K & Kruger, Lennard G
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Deficit Reduction and Spectrum Auctions: FY2006 Budget Reconciliation

Deficit Reduction and Spectrum Auctions: FY2006 Budget Reconciliation

Date: October 20, 2005
Creator: Moore, Linda K & Kruger, Lennard G
Description: The Congressional Budget Office has informally estimated a value of $10 billion from auction proceeds for these commercial channels; many believe the amount could be higher. Broadcasters are holding this valuable spectrum (channels 52-69) but would be required to relinquish it after the transition to digital television (DTV) is achieved. Without a hard deadline, the transition to digital television has been delayed and the spectrum has not been made available for other uses. Congress anticipates applying some of the proceeds received from auctions of the spectrum to be cleared to help meet deficit-reduction goals passed in H.Con.Res. 95.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Communications Act Revisions: Selected Issues for Consideration

Communications Act Revisions: Selected Issues for Consideration

Date: September 19, 2005
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
Open Access Publishing and Citation Archives: Background and Controversy

Open Access Publishing and Citation Archives: Background and Controversy

Date: September 12, 2005
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
Trade in Services: The Doha Development Agenda Negotiations and U.S. Goals

Trade in Services: The Doha Development Agenda Negotiations and U.S. Goals

Date: September 12, 2005
Creator: Cooper, William H.
Description: This report is designed to assist Congress to understand and monitor progress of the negotiations and the major issues that the negotiators are addressing. The report provides a brief background section on the significance of 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 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.
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: September 2, 2005
Creator: Moore, Linda K & Reese, Shawn
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
An Emergency Communications Safety Net: Integrating 911 and Other Services

An Emergency Communications Safety Net: Integrating 911 and Other Services

Date: September 1, 2005
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: August 12, 2005
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G & Moore, Linda K
Description: Congressional policymakers are seeking a way to accelerate the nation’s transition to digital television and to expedite the transfer of radio frequency channels from the broadcast industry to public safety and commercial users no later than 2009. Broadcasters are holding spectrum in the 700MHz band (channels 52-69) that they would be required to relinquish after the transition to digital television (DTV) is achieved. Without a hard deadline, the transition to digital television has been postponed. Meanwhile, public safety officials want 700 MHz spectrum that has been assigned to them, but not delivered, in order to build new interoperable networks, while the commercial wireless industry would like access to the spectrum for new services.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Spectrum Use and the Transisition to Digital TV

Spectrum Use and the Transisition to Digital TV

Date: August 12, 2005
Creator: Moore, Linda K
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Telecommunications Act: Competition, Innovation, and Reform

Telecommunications Act: Competition, Innovation, and Reform

Date: August 12, 2005
Creator: Goldfarb, Charles B
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department