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Communications Act Revisions: Selected Issues for Consideration

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.
Date: September 19, 2005
Creator: Gilroy, Angele A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Communications Act Revisions: Selected Issues for Consideration

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.
Date: January 23, 2006
Creator: Gilroy, Angele A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The First Responder Network (FirstNet) and Next-Generation Communications for Public Safety: Issues for Congress

Description: This report discusses the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), which is a federal agency that includes private sector and other non-federal representation on its board of directors. FirstNet was created by Congress with provisions in Title VI (Spectrum Act) of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-96) to ensure the deployment and operation of a nationwide, broadband network for public safety communications.
Date: June 28, 2016
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Postal Service: Background and Analysis of H.R. 2309 and S. 1789 in the 112th Congress

Description: This report looks at how the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has taken steps to save money. It also covers how bills H.R. 2309 and S. 1789 include major reforms, such as reductions in service, expansion of the USPS's authority to provide products and services, and alterations to the postal employees pension and healthcare plans.
Date: July 9, 2012
Creator: Kosar, Kevin R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act

Description: President George W. Bush signed the Postal Enhancement and Accountability Act (P.L. 109-435) on December 20, 2006. This report briefly describes Congress’s pursuit of postal reform, summarizes the major provisions of the new postal reform law, and identifies possible P.L. 109-435 oversight issues for Congress.
Date: January 22, 2007
Creator: Kosar, Kevin R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Public Safety Communications and Spectrum Resources: Policy Issues for Congress

Description: The availability of radio frequency spectrum is considered essential to developing a modern, interoperable communications network for public safety. Equally critical is building the radio network to use this spectrum. Opinions diverge, however, on such issues as how much spectrum should be made available for the network, who should own it, who should build it, who should operate it, who should be allowed to use it, and how it might be paid for. This report discusses potential paths forward for Congress in regards to modernizing communications. To resolve the debate and move the planning process forward, Congress may decide to pursue oversight or change existing law. Actions proposed to Congress include (1) authorizing the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reassign spectrum and (2) changing requirements for the use of spectrum auction proceeds. In particular, legislation in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-171) might be modified. This law mandated the termination of analog television broadcasting and the release of those channels for other uses, including public safety.
Date: July 15, 2010
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Reauthorizing the Satellite Home Viewing Provisions in the Communications Act and the Copyright Act: Issues for Congress

Description: This report discusses the regulatory framework for the retransmission of broadcast television signals by satellite television operators,the Satellite Home Viewer Act of 1994, the 1999 Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act (SHVIA), and the 2004 Satellite Home Viewer Extension and Reauthorization Act (SHVERA)
Date: October 9, 2009
Creator: Goldfarb, Charles B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Secret Sessions of the House and Senate: Authority, Confidentiality, and Frequency

Description: Secret, or closed, sessions of the House and Senate exclude the press and the public. They may be held for matters deemed to require confidentiality and secrecy-such as national security, sensitive communications received from the President, and Senate deliberations during impeachment trials. Although Members usually seek advance agreement for going into secret session, any Member of Congress may request a secret session without notice. When the House or Senate goes into secret session, its chamber and galleries are cleared of everyone except Members and officers and employees specified in the rules or designated by the presiding officer as essential to the session. After the chamber is cleared, its doors are closed.
Date: November 30, 2011
Creator: Palmer, Betsy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

FCC Media Ownership Rules: Issues for Congress

Description: The Federal Communications Commission adopted an order on June 2, 2003 that modified five of its media ownership rules and retained two others.1 The new rules will go into effect on September 4, 2003 – thirty days after their appearance in the Federal Register. Because of the potential that changes in these rules – which set limits on national television ownership, newspaper-broadcast and radio-television cross-ownership in a market, and ownership of multiple television or radio stations in a market – could have far-reaching effects, a number of bills have been introduced in the 108th Congress that reflect a range of positions on these issues. This report analyzes each of the areas that have changed as a result of the FCC action or may change as a result of congressional action. The various positions in the debate also are summarized.
Date: August 28, 2003
Creator: Goldfarb, Charles B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

FCC Media Ownership Rules: Issues for Congress

Description: The Federal Communications Commission adopted an order on June 2, 2003 that modified five of its media ownership rules and retained two others. The new rules were scheduled to go into effect on September 4, 2003, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit stayed implementation of the new rules pending adjudication of claims that the rules are unlawful. (Prometheus Radio Project v. FCC, 3rd Cir., No 03-3388, stay issued 9/3/03). Because of the potential that changes in these rules – which set limits on national television ownership, newspaper-broadcast and radio-television cross-ownership in a market, and ownership of multiple television or radio stations in a market – could have far-reaching effects, a number of bills have been introduced in the 108th Congress that reflect a range of positions on these issues. This report analyzes each of the areas that have changed as a result of the FCC action or may change as a result of congressional action. The various positions in the debate also are summarized.
Date: September 17, 2003
Creator: Goldfarb, Charles B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The U.S. Postal Service's Use of Contractors to Deliver Mail: Background and Recent Developments

Description: Currently, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is collectively bargaining with the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) and National Rural Letter Carriers Association (NRLCA). One issue that may or may not be settled is the Postal Service's use of non-USPS employees (i.e., contractors) to deliver mail. If the parties cannot come to a satisfactory arrangement, Congress may be approached to consider the matter.
Date: May 29, 2012
Creator: Kosar, Kevin R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Proposed AT&T/T-Mobile Merger: Would It Create a Virtuous Cycle or a Vicious Cycle?

Description: This report discusses the pros and cons of a proposed AT&T and T-Mobile merger. The largest con would be that the merged company would have over 70% of the cell phone market share. The largest pro would be that a merged company would be able to provide better service to its customers. The report also gives a brief overview of the mobile phone industry as a whole.
Date: May 10, 2011
Creator: Goldfarb, Charles B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Journalists' Privilege: Overview of the Law and Legislation in the 109th and 110th Congresses

Description: This report discusses the journalists' privilege, provides and overview of the law, describes the Grand Jury Subpoena related to the Judith Miller case, and gives an overview of the congressional response in the 109th and 110th Congresses.
Date: July 29, 2008
Creator: Cohen, Henry & Ruane, Kathleen Ann
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Naming Post Offices Through Legislation

Description: This report describes how the practice of naming post offices through public law originated and how it is commonly done today. House and Senate practices for approving legislation and procedures followed by the U.S. Postal Service in organizing a dedication ceremony, are also described. An increasingly common form of legislation is the naming of post offices for former Members of Congress or other figures of local or national renown. About one in six public laws passed by the 108th Congress was a post office naming bill approved under suspension of the rules. Unanimity of a state's congressional delegation is required for the movement of naming bills to the floor of the House or Senate. The costs of dedicating a post office in the name of an individual are modest, and this action results in no change in public identification of the facility by its geographic location.
Date: January 13, 2005
Creator: Stevens, Nye
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Obscenity, Child Pornography, and Indecency: Brief Background and Recent Developments

Description: The First Amendment provides that “Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. ...” The First Amendment applies, with two exceptions, to pornography, with that term being used to refer to any words or pictures of a sexual nature. This report discusses the two exceptions, which are obscenity and child pornography; because these are not protected by the First Amendment, they may be, and have been, made illegal. Pornography and “indecent” material that are protected by the First Amendment may nevertheless be restricted in order to limit minors’ access to them.
Date: October 6, 2009
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Open Access Publishing and Citatation Archives: Background and Controversy

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.
Date: June 22, 2006
Creator: Knezo, Genevieve J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Open Access Publishing and Citation Archives: Background and Controversy

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.
Date: July 26, 2005
Creator: Knezo, Genevieve J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department