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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
An Emergency Communications Safety Net: Integrating 911 and Other Services
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7692/
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting: Federal Funding Facts and Status
Congressional policymakers are closely examining federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). Overall, 15.6% of all public television and radio broadcasting funding comes from the federal appropriations that CPB distributes. The CPB’s appropriation is allocated through a distribution formula established in its authorizing legislation. It has historically received two-year advanced appropriations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7550/
The First Responder Network and Next- Generation Communications for Public Safety: Issues for Congress
Background of provisions in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 for planning, building, and managing a new, nationwide, broadband network for public safety communications. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86635/
The First Responder Network and Next- Generation Communications for Public Safety: Issues for Congress
This report covers a background of provisions in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 for planning, building, and managing a new, nationwide, broadband network for public safety communications. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122227/
Video Relay Service: Program Funding and Reform
This report provides an introduction on how video relay service works and the program overview. It discusses the fundamental restructuring of the program to support innovation and competition. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc267860/
Video Relay Service: Program Funding and Reform
This report provides an introduction about how the video relay service works and and overview of the program. It discusses the fundamental restructuring of the program to support innovation and competition. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332885/
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 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/
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/
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/
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/
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/metadc491661/
Emergency Communications: Broadband and the Future of 911
Today's 911 system is built on an infrastructure of analog technology that does not support many of the features that most Americans expect to be part of an emergency response. Efforts to splice newer, digital technologies onto this aging infrastructure have created points of failure where a call can be dropped or misdirected, sometimes with tragic consequences. Callers to 911, however, generally assume that the newer technologies they are using to place a call are matched by the same level of technology at the 911 call centers, known as Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs). This report discusses possible paths toward the modernization of the 911 infrastructure. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491651/
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/metadc490998/
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/metadc491287/
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/metadc462054/
Reauthorization of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELA)
This report provides background information regarding satellite retransmission of broadcast signals. The report discusses the 1988 Satellite Home Viewer Act (SHVA) and most recently amended by the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELA., digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462259/
The First Responder Network and Next-Generation Communications for Public Safety: Issues for Congress
This report discusses provisions in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 for planning, building, and managing a new, nationwide, broadband network for public safety communications. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462539/
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/metadc463336/
The First Responder Network and Next-Generation Communications for Public Safety: Issues for Congress
This report covers a background of provisions in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 for planning, building, and managing a new, nationwide, broadband network for public safety communications. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc461893/
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/
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/
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 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/
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/
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/
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 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/
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/
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/
E-Rate for Schools: Background on Telecommunications Discounts Through the Universal Service Fund
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1982/
Emergency Communications: Meeting Public Safety Spectrum Needs
This report has two main sections. In the first section “Identifying Public Safety Needs,” some of the organizations involved with public safety telecommunications are introduced, and key activities dealing with wireless and spectrum issues are summarized. The second main section, “Spectrum for Public Safety,” is organized by the major spectrum bands where public safety wireless communications are in use or planned. These are at: 100-512 MHz; 700 MHz; 800 MHz; 900 MHz and 4.9 GHz. Ultra-wide band (UWB), that broadcasts across a broad range of frequencies, is also discussed. The final section of this report recaps recent activities and legislation in the 107th and 108th Congresses regarding public safety and spectrum use. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5389/
Emergency Communications: Meeting Public Safety Spectrum Needs
This report has two main sections. In the first section “Identifying Public Safety Needs,” some of the organizations involved with public safety telecommunications are introduced, and key activities dealing with wireless and spectrum issues are summarized. The second main section, “Spectrum for Public Safety,” is organized by the major spectrum bands where public safety wireless communications are in use or planned. These are at: 100-512 MHz; 700 MHz; 800 MHz; 900 MHz and 4.9 GHz. Ultra-wide band (UWB), that broadcasts across a broad range of frequencies, is also discussed. The final section of this report recaps recent activities and legislation in the 107th and 108th Congresses regarding public safety and spectrum use. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5390/
Digital Surveillance: The Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9149/
Telephone Industry Residential Subscriber Line Charges and the Lifeline Option
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9244/
Government Access to Phone Calling Activity and Related Records: Legal Authorities
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9164/
Meeting Public Safety Spectrum Needs
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3417/
Meeting Public Safety Spectrum Needs
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3418/
Meeting Public Safety Spectrum Needs
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3419/
Funding Emergency Communications: Technology and Policy Considerations
This report identifies areas where changes in existing policies and practices may facilitate achievement of the important goals for emergency communications that Congress and others have identified. Why these goals have become important, and recent planning efforts to achieve these goals, is discussed first. Next, possible barriers to achieving these goals are identified and described. The conclusion revisits key options presently under consideration by Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93875/
Funding Emergency Communications: Technology and Policy Considerations
The 112th Congress is under renewed pressure to come to a decision about the assignment of a block of radio frequency spectrum licenses referred to as the D Block, and to provide a plan for federal support of broadband networks for emergency communications. The cost of constructing new networks (wireless and wireline) is estimated by experts to be in the tens of billions of dollars over the long term, with similarly large sums needed for maintenance and operation. Identifying money for federal support in the current climate of budget constraints provides a challenge to policy makers. The greater challenge, however, may be to assure that funds are spent effectively toward the national goals that Congress sets. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40278/
Public Safety Communications and Spectrum Resources: Policy Issues for Congress
This report discusses possible actions for improving emergency communications. Congress has before it an opportunity to bring public safety communications into the 21st century by assuring that a nationwide, interoperable communications network is put in place. The tools at its disposal include homeland security policy, spectrum policy, funding programs, and leadership. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491012/
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/
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/metadc271998/
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/metadc33009/