Congressional Research Service Reports - 23 Matching Results

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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

"Spam": An Overview of Issues Concerning Commercial Electronic Mail

Description: Spam, also called unsolicited commercial email (UCE) or “junk email,” 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, and that some consumers want to receive such solicitations. This report discusses this issue in detail, as well as related legislation.
Date: September 16, 2004
Creator: Smith, Marcia S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The "E-Rate" Program and Controversies

Description: Passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-104) codified the long standing policy commitment to ensure universal service in the provision of telecommunications services. The 1996 Act also expanded the concept to include, among other principles, that elementary schools and classrooms, and libraries should have access to telecommunications services for educational purposes at discounted rates. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was tasked with implementing the universal provisions of the Act and on May 7, 1997, adopted its order detailing its guidelines.
Date: September 15, 2000
Creator: Gilroy, Angele A.
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: September 12, 2003
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Emergency Communications: The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and All-Hazard Warnings

Description: The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is one of several federally managed warning systems. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) jointly administers EAS with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in cooperation with the National Weather Service (NWS), an organization within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The NOAA/NWS weather radio system has been upgraded to an all-hazard warning capability. This report summarizes the technology and administration of EAS and the NOAA/NWS all-hazard network, and some of the key proposals for change
Date: September 2, 2005
Creator: Moore, Linda K. & Reese, Shawn
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: September 19, 2005
Creator: Gilroy, Angele A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

An Emergency Communications Safety Net: Integrating 911 and Other Services

Description: The 9/11 Commission Report recommended that 911 call centers — also called Public Safety Answering Points, or PSAPs — be included in planning for emergency responses.1 Congress, which has since 1999 passed two bills to further the deployment of 911, is reviewing ways to expand 911 capabilities and make it more accessible and effective. Congress is also evaluating ways to improve emergency alerts2 and interoperable communications for public safety.3 Operational convergence of emergency communications seems to many to be inevitable, a question of “when,” not “if.” This report deals primarily with 911 and its recent history. It also summarizes some of the proposals that would improve 911 through new approaches and integration with other services.
Date: September 1, 2005
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Siting of Wireless Communications Facilities: An Overview of Federal, State, and Local Law

Description: 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.
Date: September 4, 2008
Creator: Ruane, Kathleen
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Spectrum Policy in the Age of Broadband: Issues for Congress

Description: 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.
Date: September 22, 2009
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Social Networking and Constituent Communication: Member Use of Twitter During a Two-Week Period in the 111th Congress

Description: This report examines Member use of one specific new electronic communication medium: Twitter. After providing an overview and background of Twitter, the report analyzes patterns of Member use of Twitter during two one-week periods in July and August 2009. This report is inherently a snapshot in time of a dynamic process. As with any new technology, the number of Members using Twitter and the patterns of use may change rapidly in short periods of time.
Date: September 21, 2009
Creator: Glassman, Matthew Eric; Straus, Jacob R. & Shogan, Colleen J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Amber Alert Program Technology

Description: This report discusses Amber Alerts (also referred to as AMBER plans) which use technology to disseminate information about child abductions in a timely manner. Technologies used for alerts include the Emergency Alert System (EAS), highway messages boards, telephone alert systems, the Internet, text messaging, and email.
Date: September 9, 2009
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Spectrum Policy: Public Safety and Wireless Communications Interference

Description: This report discusses the rebanding plan announced by the Federal Communications Commission in 2004 to consolidate public safety frequencies and those used by some other operators, such as utilities. The plan was announced in an attempt to eliminate interference caused by the close proximity and interleaving of commercial and public safety channels.
Date: September 22, 2009
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. The issues discussed here refer principally to spectrum management for terrestrial technologies rather than satellite transmissions.
Date: September 2, 2008
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
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: September 12, 2005
Creator: Knezo, Genevieve J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Trade in Services: The Doha Development Agenda Negotiations and U.S. Goals

Description: 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.
Date: September 12, 2005
Creator: Cooper, William H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department