Congressional Research Service Reports - 42 Matching Results

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Cable and Satellite Television Network Tiering and a la Carte Options for Consumers: Issues for Congress

Description: The large cable programmers, who provide most of the popular cable (and broadcast) television programming, respond that a single large expanded basic service tier represents the most efficient way to offer programming and that allowing customers to obtain networks on an a la carte basis or in small tiers would raise costs – and hence prices to consumers – and also reduce the diversity of programs offered, so that consumer welfare would suffer in the long run. In this report, the pros and cons of offering subscribers only a single large expanded basic service tier and also of the various proposals to provide consumers more options are presented.
Date: June 9, 2004
Creator: Goldfarb, Charles B
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Telecommunications Act: Competition, Innovation, and Reform

Description: 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.
Date: June 7, 2007
Creator: Goldfarb, Charles B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Public-Private Partnership for a Public Safety Network: Governance and Policy

Description: 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.
Date: June 2, 2008
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Telework for Executive Agency Employees: A Side-by-Side Comparison of Legislation Pending in the 111th Congress

Description: 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.
Date: June 11, 2008
Creator: Schwemle, Barbara L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

An Emergency Communications Safety Net: Integrating 911 and Other Services

Description: The present capability and future effectiveness of America's network of emergency telecommunications services are among the issues under review by Congress and other entities. As technologies that can support 911 improve, many are seeing the possibility of integrating 911 into a wider safety net of emergency communications and alerts. One of the intents of Congress in passing the Wireless Communications and Public Safety Act of 1999, and of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in implementing the act, is to make 911 technology universally available throughout the United States. Legislation in the 109th Congress covering 911 or call centers all focus on assuring access to 911 call centers for users of Voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) telephone service and on improving the delivery of 911 services nationwide. This report reviews key points about the implementation of 911.
Date: June 12, 2006
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Telemarketing: Dealing with Unwanted Telemarketing Calls

Description: This report provides summaries of the federal laws and regulations particular to telemarketing, the establishment of a national do-not-call registry, and the options that are available to consumers to limit the calls that they receive from telemarketers and to report questionable telemarketing practices to local or federal authorities. The report also lists sources of additional information with addresses, phone numbers, and Internet sites (if available).
Date: June 30, 2003
Creator: Riehl, James R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Digital Television: An Overview

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.
Date: June 13, 2002
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Digital Television: An Overview

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.
Date: June 22, 2005
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Funding Emergency Communications: Technology and Policy Considerations

Description: This report covers U.S. efforts to find a solution that assures seamless communications among first responders and emergency personnel at the scene of a major disaster. Legislation in the 112th Congress includes the Public Safety Spectrum and Wireless Innovation Act, the Broadband for Public Safety Act of 2011, the Broadband for First Responders Act, and the Strengthening Public-safety and Enhancing Communications Through Reform, Utilization, and Modernization (SPECTRUM) Act.
Date: June 23, 2011
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
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 17, 2016
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Spectrum Management: Auctions

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.
Date: June 29, 2004
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
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

Wireless Technology and Spectrum Demand: Advanced Wireless Services

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.
Date: June 12, 2006
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

"Junk E-mail": An Overview of Issues and Legislation Concerning Unsolicited Commercial Electronic Mail ("Spam")

Description: Unsolicited commercial e-mail (UCE), also called “spam” or “junk e-mail,” aggravates many computer users. 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 and protected by the First Amendment. While 33 states have anti-spam laws, there is no federal law. Six bills addressing the spam issue are pending in the 108th Congress: H.R. 1933 (Lofgren), H.R. 2214 (Burr-Tauzin-Sensenbrenner), S. 563 (Dayton), S. 877 (Burns-Wyden), S. 1052 (Nelson-FL), and S. 1231 (Schumer). Spam on wireless devices such as cell phones is discussed in CRS Report RL31636, Wireless Privacy: Availability of Location Information for Telemarketing.
Date: June 18, 2003
Creator: Smith, Marcia S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

"Junk E-mail": An Overview of Issues and Legislation Concerning Unsolicited Commercial Electronic Mail ("Spam")

Description: Unsolicited commercial e-mail (UCE), also called “spam” or “junk e-mail,” aggravates many computer users. 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. Also, some spam involves fraud, or includes adult-oriented material that offends recipients or that parents want to protect their children from seeing. Proponents of UCE insist it is a legitimate marketing technique that is protected by the First Amendment. While 34 states have anti-spam laws, there is no federal law specifically concerning spam. Nine “antispam” bills are pending in the 108th Congress: H.R. 1933 (Lofgren), H.R. 2214 (Burr-Tauzin-Sensenbrenner), H.R. 2515 (Wilson), S. 563 (Dayton), S. 877 (Burns-Wyden), S. 1052 (Nelson-FL), S. 1231 (Schumer), S. 1293 (Hatch), and S. 1327 (Corzine). Tables providing brief “side-by-side” comparisons of the bills are included in this report.
Date: June 25, 2003
Creator: Smith, Marcia S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Electronic Payments and the U.S. Payments System

Description: This report provides a framework for understanding the paper-based and electronic components of the current U.S. payments system. It begins with a basic overview of the payments system, explaining the relative size and growth of various methods of payment. The report discusses paper-based payments and then examines the operations of wholesale and retail electronic payments. Finally, the report discusses some of the major policy issues concerning the regulation and supervision of electronic payments.
Date: June 27, 2002
Creator: Eubanks, Walter W. & Smale, Pauline
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting: Federal Funding Facts and Status

Description: The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, created in 1967, receives approximately 15% of its annual funding from federal appropriations. In turn, the CPB, acting as an umbrella agency, is required to spend 89 percent of the appropriations in grants to members of Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), National Public Radio (NPR), Public Radio International (PRI), and other affiliated public television and radio broadcasters.
Date: June 22, 2005
Creator: McLoughlin, Glenn J
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department