Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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Current Legal Status of the FCC’s Media Ownership Rules
This report discusses the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) media ownership regulations, which place limits on the number of broadcast radio and television outlets one owner can possess in a given market and place cross-ownership restrictions on these outlets and on the cross-ownership of broadcast properties and newspapers.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA): Policies, Programs, and Funding
This report discusses the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which is an agency of the Department of Commerce set up to advise on domestic and international telecommunications and information policies.
Communications Act Revisions: Selected Issues for Consideration
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.
Communications Act Revisions: Selected Issues for Consideration
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.
Proposals for Revision of the Communications Act of 1934: Telecommunications Issues
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Telephone Industry Issues
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Telecommunications Act: Competition, Innovation, and Reform
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Third Generation ("3G") Mobile Wireless Technologies and Services
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Seafarer: Extremely Low Frequency Naval Communications System
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Telework for Executive Agency Employees: A Side-by-Side Comparison of Legislation Pending in the 111th Congress
This report discusses legislation (S. 707 and H.R. 1722) designed to foster the development of telework in executive agencies of the federal government.
Telework for Executive Agency Employees: A Side-by-Side Comparison of Legislation Pending in the 111th Congress
The 111th Congress is considering legislation (S. 707 and H.R. 1722) to foster the development of telework in executive agencies of the federal government. Legislation to augment telework in executive agencies of the federal government is currently pending in the 111th Congress. S. 707, the Telework Enhancement Act of 2009, and H.R. 1722, the Telework Improvements Act of 2010, were introduced on March 25, 2009, by Senator Daniel Akaka and Representative John Sarbanes, respectively. This report presents a side-by-side comparison of the provisions of S. 707, as reported, and H.R. 1722, as ordered to be reported.
Telework for Executive Agency Employees: A Side-by-Side Comparison of Legislation Pending in the 111th Congress
The 111th Congress is considering legislation (S. 707 and H.R. 1722) to foster the development of telework in executive agencies of the federal government. Legislation to augment telework in executive agencies of the federal government is currently pending in the 111th Congress. S. 707, the Telework Enhancement Act of 2009, and H.R. 1722, the Telework Improvements Act of 2010, were introduced on March 25, 2009, by Senator Daniel Akaka and Representative John Sarbanes, respectively. This report presents a side-by-side comparison of the provisions of S. 707, as reported, and H.R. 1722, as ordered to be reported.
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.
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.
Telework for Executive Agency Employees: A Side-by-Side Comparison of Legislation Pending in the 111th Congress
This report discusses legislation (S. 707 and H.R. 1722) designed to foster the development of telework in executive agencies of the federal government.
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.
Is Broadband Deployment Reasonable and Timely?
This report briefly discusses the state of broadband Internet in America as determined by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in its latest Broadband Progress Report.
U.S. Initiatives to Promote Global Internet Freedom: Issues, Policy, and Technology
This report provides information regarding the role of U.S. and other foreign companies in facilitating Internet censorship by repressive regimes overseas. The report is divided into several sections: Examination of repressive policies in China and Iran, Relevant U.S. laws, U.S. policies to promote Internet freedom, Private sector initiatives, and Congressional action.
Charter-Time Warner Cable-Bright House Networks Mergers: Overview and Issues
The combination of Charter, Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC), and Bright House Networks (BHN) would create a single entity providing cable television and broadband access service to 23.9 million customers in 41 states, making it the nation’s second-largest cable television operator and broadband access provider. At the federal level, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) must approve the transactions before they can close.This report describes recent trends in the television industry, the events leading up to the proposed transactions, and the criteria and process of regulatory review.
Telecommunications Discounts for Schools and Libraries: The “E-Rate” Program and Controversies
This report addresses the controversial issues surrounding the E-rate program’s implementation and subsequent legislative measures introduced to address these issues. An additional issue, concern that minors may gain access to “inappropriate” material through the Internet has also had an impact on the E-rate program.
Telemarketing Regulation: National and State Do Not Call Registries
This report will outline the laws underpinning the National Do Not Call List; describe the regulations implementing the list; answer some of the most frequently asked questions related to the list; and discuss the possible penalties for violating the rules. The report will also briefly discuss some of the ways the various states have implemented their own do not call lists.
Satellite Television: An Analysis of Legislation Creating Loan Guarantees for Providing Local Broadcast TV Signals
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Radiofrequency Spectrum Management
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Public Safety Communications Policy
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V-Chip and TV Ratings: Helping Parents Supervise Their Children's Television Viewing
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Next Steps for Auction of TV Broadcast Airwaves to Commercial Carriers
This report discusses the incentive auction process to license airwaves currently used for television broadcasting. The proceeds of the auction are expected to pay billions of dollars to broadcasters that relinquish their spectrum holdings and may alter the competitive environment for wireless broadband if new entrants acquire spectrum licenses in the auction.
V-Chip and TV Ratings: Helping Parents Supervise Their Children's Television Viewing
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V-Chip and TV Ratings: Helping Parents Supervise Their Children's Television Viewing
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Telephone Bills: Charges on Local Telephone Bills
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Telephone Bills: Charges on Local Telephone Bills
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Telephone Bills: Charges on Local Telephone Bills
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Telephone Bills: Charges on Local Telephone Bills
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An Emergency Communications Safety Net: Integrating 911 and Other Services
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.
Public Safety Communications Policy
Since September 11, 2001, the effectiveness of America's communications capabilities in support of the information needs of first responders and other public safety workers has been a matter of concern to Congress. Most public safety advocates consider that the communications failures following the onslaught of Hurricane Katrina demonstrate that there is much still to be done to provide the United States with adequate communications capabilities in emergencies. This report explores several pieces of legislation aimed at improving the emergency management the emergency communications infrastructure.
Social Media and Disasters: Current Uses, Future Options, and Policy Considerations
This report summarizes how social media have been used by emergency management officials and agencies. It also examines the potential benefits, as well as the implications, of using social media in the context of emergencies and disasters.
Net Neutrality: Background and Issues
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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.
Cybercrime: The Council of Europe Convention
This report discusses the Europe’s Convention on Cybercrime of November 2001, which includes forty-two countries and the United States.
The American Telephone and Telegraph Divestiture: Background, Provisions, and Restructuring
On January 1, 1984, The American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) divested itself of a major portion of its organizational structure and functions. Under the post-divestiture environment the once fully-integrated Bell System is now reorganized into the "new" AT&T and seven Ladependent regional holding companies -- American Information Technologies Corp., 3ell Atlantic Corp., 3ell- South Corp., NYNEX Corp., Pacific Telesis Group., Southwestern Bell Corp., and U.S. West, Inc. The following analysis provides an overview of the pre- and post-divestiture organizational structure and details the evolution of the antitrust action which resulted in this divestiture.
Telecommunications Services Trade and the WTO Agreement
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Telecommunications Services Trade and the WTO Agreement
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FCC Media Ownership Rules: Current Status and Issues for Congress
The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) adopted an order on June 2, 2003 that modified five of its media ownership rules and retained two others. The new rules have never gone into effect. Congress passed the FY2004 Consolidated Appropriations Act (P.L. 108-199), Sec. 629 of which instructs the FCC to modify one of the rules — the National Television Ownership rule. This report examines these rules and relevant policy issues.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA): Issues for the 113th Congress
This report examines the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which is is the executive branch's principal advisory office on domestic and international telecommunications and information policies. The report specifically focuses on the new responsibilities granted to the NTIA under the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-96).
Reauthorizing the Satellite Home Viewing Provisions in the Communications Act and the Copyright Act: Issues for Congress
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)
The FCC's "a la Carte" Reports
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released two reports on a la carte pricing of cable television networks that reach contradictory conclusions. The purpose of this report is to explain how these two reports reached differing conclusions and to analyze the different assumptions and calculations used in each.
The FCC's "a la Carte" Reports
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released two reports on a la carte pricing of cable television networks that reach contradictory conclusions. The purpose of this report is to explain how these two reports reached differing conclusions and to analyze the different assumptions and calculations used in each.
Spectrum Policy: Provisions in the 2012 Spectrum Act
This report discusses the Spectrum Act, a provision of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. It includes an overview of the Spectrum Act, the specific policy revisions (deficit reduction, directed auctions, incentive auctions, federal spectrum use and reallocation, and unlicensed spectrum) and a conclusion discussing geographic coverage of spectrum licenses, spectrum caps, and planning for future needs.
Spectrum Policy: Provisions in the 2012 Spectrum Act
This report discusses the Spectrum Act, a provision of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. It includes an overview of the Spectrum Act, the specific policy revisions (deficit reduction, directed auctions, incentive auctions, federal spectrum use and reallocation, and unlicensed spectrum) and a conclusion discussing geographic coverage of spectrum licenses, spectrum caps, and planning for future needs.
Spectrum Policy: Provisions in the 2012 Spectrum Act
This report discusses the Spectrum Act, a provision of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. It includes an overview of the Spectrum Act, the specific policy revisions and a conclusion discussing geographic coverage of spectrum licenses, spectrum caps, and planning for future needs.
The Digital TV Transition: A Brief Overview
This report briefly discusses key points about the digital TV transition process: background, the impact on broadcasting, spectrum policy, and recent legislative activity. The transition has two major policy components: (1) how best to move television broadcasters and their viewers to digital technology, and (2) radio frequency spectrum management and allocation. The public interest goals for these paths are not well aligned, presenting Congress with difficult choices for completing the transition.