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Telecommunications: Additional Federal Efforts Could Help Advance Digital Television Transition

Telecommunications: Additional Federal Efforts Could Help Advance Digital Television Transition

Date: November 8, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The transition to broadcast digital television (DTV) will provide new television services and the improved picture quality of "high definition television." It will also allow some portions of the radiofrequency spectrum used for broadcasting to be returned for public safety and commercial uses. The Congress set December 2006 as the target date for completing the DTV transition and turning off the analog broadcast signals. However, this date can be extended if fewer than 85 percent of households in a market are able to receive the digital signals. GAO was asked to assess issues related to the DTV transition."
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Telecommunications: Better Coordination and Enhanced Accountability Needed to Improve Spectrum Management

Telecommunications: Better Coordination and Enhanced Accountability Needed to Improve Spectrum Management

Date: September 30, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The radiofrequency spectrum is the medium that enables wireless communications of all kinds, such as mobile phone and paging services, radio and television broadcasting, radar, and satellite-based services. As new spectrum-dependent technologies are developed and deployed, the demand for this limited resource has escalated among both government and private sector users. Meeting these needs domestically is the responsibility of the Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) for federal government users and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for all other users. The current legal framework for domestic spectrum management evolved as a compromise over the questions of who should determine how spectrum is allocated among competing users and what standard should be applied in making this determination. Current methods for allocating spectrum face difficulties, and FCC and NTIA's efforts are not guided by a national spectrum strategy. Since nearly all of the usable radio spectrum has been allocated already, accommodating more services and users generally involves redefining current radiofrequency allocations. One method used by FCC and NTIA is to increase the amount of spectrum that is designated for shared use, so that additional types ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Telecommunications: Characteristics and Choices of Internet Users

Telecommunications: Characteristics and Choices of Internet Users

Date: February 16, 2001
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Americans' use of the Internet has grown dramatically during the last few years. Nationally, more than half of all households have a computer and more than 80 percent of those households have access to the Internet. Yet, during the last few years, even as Internet usage has continued to expand, concerns have arisen about whether access to the Internet and other advanced telecommunications services is limited for Americans in lower socioeconomic classes or who live in rural areas. GAO found that Internet users are more likely to be white and well-educated and have higher-than-average household incomes. There is no noticeable difference between the genders when it comes to Internet usage. GAO also found that the availability of some services is limited by location. Some of this information points to the existence of the "digital divide," but the evidence is not clear. It is important, however, to ensure that the differences in Internet availability do not adversely affect existing societal divisions."
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Telecommunications: Characteristics and Competitiveness of the Internet Backbone Market

Telecommunications: Characteristics and Competitiveness of the Internet Backbone Market

Date: October 16, 2001
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Although most Americans are familiar with Internet service providers that give consumers a pathway, or "on-ramp," to the Internet, few are familiar with Internet backbone providers and backbone networks. At the Internet's core are many high-capacity, long-haul "backbone" networks that route data traffic over long distances using high-speed fiber lines. Internet backbone providers compete in the marketplace and cooperate in the exchange of data traffic. The cooperative exchange of traffic among backbone providers is essential if the Internet is to remain a seamless and widely accessible public medium. Interconnection among Internet backbone providers varies both in terms of the physical structure and financial agreements of data traffic exchange. The physical structure of interconnection takes two forms: (1) the exchange of traffic among many backbone providers at a "network access point"--a common facility--and (2) the exchange of traffic between two or more backbone providers at "private" interconnection points. No publicly available data exist with which to evaluate competitiveness in the Internet backbone market. Evolution of this market is likely to be largely affected by two types of emerging services. First, demand is likely to rise for time-sensitive ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Telecommunications: Comprehensive Review of U.S. Spectrum Management with Broad Stakeholder Involvement Is Needed

Telecommunications: Comprehensive Review of U.S. Spectrum Management with Broad Stakeholder Involvement Is Needed

Date: January 31, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The radiofrequency spectrum--a natural resource used for wireless communications--is a critical input to various commercial and government functions. Because of expanding commercial and government demand for spectrum, there is increasing debate on how best to manage this resource to meet current and future needs. GAO was asked to examine whether future spectrum needs can be met, given the current regulatory framework; what benefits and difficulties have arisen with the application of market mechanisms to spectrum management; and what barriers exist to reforming spectrum management."
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Telecommunications: Data Gathering Weaknesses In FCC's Survey Of Information on Factors Underlying Cable Rate Changes

Telecommunications: Data Gathering Weaknesses In FCC's Survey Of Information on Factors Underlying Cable Rate Changes

Date: May 6, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Description: Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Over 65 percent of American households currently subscribe to cable television service. There has been increasing concern that cable television rates have been rising aster than the rate of inflation for the last few years. As required, on a yearly basis, FCC prepares a report on cable rates in areas that face and those that do not face effective competition--a term defined by statute. For information used in this report, FCC maintains information on the competitive status of cable franchises and annually surveys a sample of cable franchises. GAO examined (1) the reliability of information that cable companies provided to FCC in its annual survey regarding cost factors underlying cable rate increases and (2) FCC's process for updating and revising cable franchise classifications as to whether they face effective competition."
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Telecommunications: Development of Competition in Local Telephone Markets

Telecommunications: Development of Competition in Local Telephone Markets

Date: January 25, 2000
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the development of competition in telecommunications markets, focusing on the: (1) development of competition in local telephone markets and the market strategies employed by new carriers in five states under the 1996 Telecommunications Act; and (2) key issues affecting that development and the enforcement activities of federal and state regulators to address those issues."
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Telecommunications: FCC Does Not Know if All Required Fees Are Collected

Telecommunications: FCC Does Not Know if All Required Fees Are Collected

Date: August 31, 1999
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the effectiveness of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) fee collection activities, focusing on: (1) FCC's controls for ensuring that required regulatory and application fees are paid; and (2) the extent to which FCC is collecting the civil monetary penalties resulting from its enforcement actions against entities that have violated its regulations."
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Telecommunications: FCC Should Include Call Quality in Its Annual Report on Competition in Mobile Phone Services

Telecommunications: FCC Should Include Call Quality in Its Annual Report on Competition in Mobile Phone Services

Date: April 28, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Over the past decade, Americans have come to rely increasingly on mobile phones to meet their business and personal needs. However, because of the nature of radio transmission and other constraints, consumers are not always able to complete calls or to hear their calls clearly. As reliance on mobile phones has increased, state officials, consumer groups, the media, and others have raised concerns about the extent of call quality problems. With regard to call quality, GAO agreed to describe the regulatory framework; determine the extent to which consumers are experiencing problems; and discuss actions for improving call quality suggested by interested parties."
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Telecommunications: Federal and State Universal Service Programs and Challenges to Funding

Telecommunications: Federal and State Universal Service Programs and Challenges to Funding

Date: February 4, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins ""Universal service" means providing residential customers with affordable, nationwide access to basic phone service. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 extended support for universal service to eligible schools, libraries, and rural health care providers. Universal service programs are generally funded by mandatory contributions from telecommunications companies. New technologies, however, are putting this funding source in jeopardy. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued many orders designed to implement the act's universal service reforms. The Universal Service Administration Company runs the day-to-day operations of federal universal service programs on FCC's behalf, although FCC retains responsibility for oversight and ensuring compliance with its rules. At the state level, public utility commissions generally regulate rates for local and long-distance phone service and implement universal service programs. Public utility commissions subsidize local phone service from the rates set for urban and business phone service and for "vertical" services, such as caller ID and call waiting. Although the use of digital technologies and internet protocol networks for communications has risen rapidly during the past decade, the providers of these services are not required to contribute to the universal service fund. As these ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department