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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Telecommunications Act: Competition, Innovation, and Reform
In 1996, Congress enacted comprehensive reform of the nation’s statutory and regulatory framework for telecommunications by passing the Telecommunications Act, which substantially amended the 1934 Communications Act. The general objective of the 1996 Act was to open up markets to competition by removing unnecessary regulatory barriers to entry. This report discusses the history of the law and examines current issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822467/
Spectrum Management: Auctions
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. The issues discussed here refer principally to spectrum management for terrestrial technologies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc806615/
Spectrum Management: Auctions
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. The issues discussed here refer principally to spectrum management for terrestrial technologies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc817978/
The Transition to Digital Television: Is America Ready?
This report discusses the background and potential effects of the DTV Delay Act, which directs that all over-the-air full-power television broadcasts will become digital only. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821450/
The V-Chip and TV Ratings: Monitoring Children’s Access to TV Programming
This report discusses the V-Chip, created to assist parents in supervising the television viewing habits of their children, its rating system, and relevant legislation in the 109th and 110th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821458/
Trade in Services: The Doha Development Agenda Negotiations and U.S Goals
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821974/
Emergency Communications Legislation: Implications for the 110th Congress
Since September 11, 2001, several bills introduced in the U.S. Congress have included provisions to assist emergency communications. Key provisions from a number of these bills have become law. This report discusses legislation addressing communications among first responders. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc809320/
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. The policymakers, including some in Congress, have long called for varying degrees and types of reform to the FCC. Most proposals fall into two categories: (1) procedural changes made within the FCC or through congressional action that would affect the agency's operations or (2) substantive policy changes requiring congressional action that would affect how the agency regulates different services and industry sectors. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93990/
Spectrum Management: Auctions
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. The issues discussed here refer principally to spectrum management for terrestrial technologies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822634/
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. The policymakers, including some in Congress, have long called for varying degrees and types of reform to the FCC. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700857/
"Spam": An Overview of Issues Concerning Commercial Electronic Mail
This report discusses Spam, also called unsolicited commercial email (UCE) or "junk email." Not only can Spam be a nuisance, but its cost may be passed on to consumers through higher charges from Internet service providers who must upgrade their systems to handle the traffic. Proponents of UCE insist it is a legitimate marketing technique that is protected by the First Amendment. This report discusses this issue in detail, as well as related legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700800/
Spectrum Management: Auctions
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. The issues discussed here refer principally to spectrum management for terrestrial technologies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc816043/
Public-Private Partnership for a Public Safety Network: Governance and Policy
This report summarizes salient points of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) actions regarding the creation of a public-private partnership to build and manage a national communications network for public safety use. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743576/
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/
The Transition to Digital Television: Is America Ready?
This report discuses the following questions; what is digital television? why is nation transitioning to digital vision? how will the digital transition affect cable and satellite household? digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700853/
Phantom Traffic" -- Problems Billing for the Termination of Telephone Calls: Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of "phantom traffic" -- i.e., telephone calls for which a carrier is unable to obtain appropriate compensation. The report discusses the causes of phantom traffic, phantom traffic and rural companies, issues, and related proposals. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743361/
The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and All-Hazard Warnings
This report gives an overview of issues and legislation relating to the Emergency Alert System (EAS). It includes a discussion of the EAS administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radios, all-hazard warning technology, proposals and programs, the executive order regarding the public alert and warning system and legislation from the 109th and 110th Congresses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462028/
Retroactive Immunity Provided by the FISA Amendments Act of 2008
This report discusses the various retroactive immunity mechanisms that were proposed to be included in the FISA Amendments Act, one of which was ultimately adopted, and their likely effect on lawsuits facing telecommunications providers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743652/
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/
Wireless Technology and Spectrum Demand: Advanced Wireless Services
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10566/
Spectrum Management: Auctions
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. The issues discussed here refer principally to spectrum management for terrestrial technologies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc817660/
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/metadc700779/
The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and All-Hazard Warnings
This report gives an overview of issues and legislation relating to the Emergency Alert System (EAS). It includes a discussion of the EAS administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radios, all-hazard warning technology, proposals and programs, the executive order regarding the public alert and warning system and legislation from the 109th and 110th Congresses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463007/
The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and All-Hazard Warnings
This report gives an overview of issues and legislation relating to the Emergency Alert System (EAS). It includes a discussion of the EAS administration, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radios, all-hazard warning technology, proposals and programs, the executive order regarding the public alert and warning system and legislation from the 109th and 110th Congresses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93989/
Spectrum Management: Auctions
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. The issues discussed here refer principally to spectrum management for terrestrial technologies rather than satellite transmissions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc770616/
The Siting of Wireless Communications Facilities: An Overview of Federal, State, and Local Law
The siting of wireless communications facilities has been a topic of controversy in communities all over the United States. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 governs federal, state, and local regulation of the siting of communications towers by placing certain limitations on local zoning authority without totally preempting state and local law. This report provides an overview of the federal, state, and local laws governing the siting of wireless communications facilities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10561/
Emergency Communications Legislation: Implications for the 110th Congress
This report discusses legislation addressing communications among first responders and the issues such as interoperability -- the capability of different systems to connect. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795626/
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/
Net Neutrality: Background and Issues
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10669/
Public-Private Partnership for a Public Safety Network: Governance and Policy
This report summarizes salient points of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) actions regarding the creation of a public-private partnership to build and manage a national communications network for public safety use. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795381/
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/metadc700861/
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 Management: Auctions
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. The issues discussed here refer principally to spectrum management for terrestrial technologies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc818507/
Emergency Communications: 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 are part of an emergency response. Recognizing the importance of providing effective 911 service, Congress has passed three major bills supporting improvements in the handling of 911 emergency calls. This report includes a detailed overview of the 911 system, as well as related legislation and policies currently in consideration by Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26292/
V-Chip and TV Ratings: Monitoring Children's Access to TV Programming
This report discusses the V-Chip, created to assist parents in supervising the television viewing habits of their children, its rating system, and relevant legislation in the 108th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795533/
Fairness Doctorine: History and Constitutional Issues
The Fairness Doctrine was a policy of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) that required broadcast licensees to cover issues of public importance and to do so in a fair manner. In 1987, after a period of study, the FCC repealed the Fairness Doctrine. The debate in Congress regarding whether to reinstate the doctrine continues today. This report covers the history of such debates. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83897/
Emergency Communications: The Future of 911
This report discusses possible paths toward the modernization of the 911 emergency response system's infrastructure. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689170/
The Transition to Digital Television: Is America Ready?
This report discusses the background and potential effects of the DTV Delay Act, which directs that all over-the-air full-power television broadcasts will become digital only. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700633/
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/
The Transition to Digital Television: Is America Ready?
This report discusses the background and potential effects of the DTV Delay Act, which directs that all over-the-air full-power television broadcasts will become digital only. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700535/
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/metadc743583/
Net Neutrality: Background and Issues
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/metadc700873/
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/metadc700606/
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 that would be capable of addressing the problems and issues the government needed to solve and study. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700806/
The Transition to Digital Television: Is America Ready?
This report discusses the background and potential effects of the DTV Delay Act, which directs that all over-the-air full-power television broadcasts will become digital only. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700742/
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/metadc689386/
Emergency Communications: 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 are 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. This report discusses efforts to modernize and update 911 emergency response technology, the funding for such efforts, and related pieces of legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26293/
The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and All-Hazard Warnings
The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is built on a structure conceived in the 1950's when over-the-air broadcasting was the best-available technology for widely disseminating emergency alerts. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), working with the Association of Public Television Stations, is implementing a program that will disseminate national alert messages over digital broadcast airwaves, using satellite and public TV broadcast towers. This program is referred to as the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS). Legislation was passed at the end of the 109th Congress to assure funding to public television stations to install digital equipment to handle national alerts. The 111th Congress may pursue additional oversight to related programs that would continue to improve the nation's capability to provide alerts and information before, during, and after an emergency. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26220/
Spectrum Policy in the Age of Broadband: Issues for Congress
The convergence of wireless telecommunications technology and Internet protocols is fostering new generations of mobile technologies. This transformation has created new demands for advanced communications infrastructure and radio frequency spectrum capacity that can support high-speed, content-rich uses. 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/metadc26172/
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/