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Telecommunications: Preliminary Information on the Federal Communications Commission's Spectrum Allocation and Assignment Process

Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The radiofrequency spectrum is a natural resource used to provide an array of wireless communications services, such as mobile voice and data services, radio and television broadcasting, radar, and satellite-based services, which are critical to the U.S. economy and national security. Historically, concern about interference among users has been a driving force in the management of spectrum. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC)--an independent agency that regulates spectrum use for nonfederal users, including commercial users--and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)--an agency within the Department of Commerce that regulates spectrum for federal government users--have worked to minimize interference through the "allocation" and "assignment" of spectrum. Allocation involves designating "bands" of spectrum for specific types of services or classes of users, such as designating certain bands for commercial use and others for government use. Assignment provides an authorization or license to use a specific portion of spectrum to entities, such as wireless companies. Demand for the radiofrequency spectrum has exploded over the past several decades as new technologies and services have been and continue to be brought to the market in the private sector and new mission needs unfold among government users of spectrum, including wireless communications critical for public safety officials responding to natural and man-made disasters. As a result, nearly all parties are becoming increasingly concerned about the availability of spectrum for future needs, because most of the usable spectrum in the United States has already been allocated to existing services and users. Therefore, to promote a more efficient use of this resource and meet future needs, FCC has increasingly adopted more market-oriented approaches to spectrum management in recent years, including using a competitive bidding process, or auctions, to assign spectrum to commercial users. Prior to auctions, ...
Date: November 10, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Telecommunications: Subscriber Rates and Competition in the Cable Television Industry

Description: Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "In recent years, rates for cable service have increased at a faster pace than the general rate of inflation. GAO agreed to (1) examine the impact of competition on cable rates and service, (2) assess the reliability of information contained in the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) annual cable rate report, (3) examine the causes of recent cable rate increases, (4) assess the impact of ownership affiliations in the cable industry, (5) discuss why cable operators group networks into tiers, and (6) discuss options to address factors that could be contributing to cable rate increases. GAO issued its findings and recommendations in a report entitled Telecommunications: Issues Related to Competition and Subscriber Rates in the Cable Television Industry (GAO-04-8). In that report, GAO recommended that the Chairman of FCC take steps to improve the reliability, consistency, and relevance of information on cable rates and competition in the subscription video industry. In commenting on GAO's report, FCC agreed to make changes to its annual cable rate survey, but FCC questioned, on a cost/benefit basis, the utility of revising its process to keep the classification of effective competition up to date. GAO believes that FCC should examine whether cost-effective alternative processes could help provide more accurate information. This testimony is based on that report."
Date: March 25, 2004
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Telecommunications: German DTV Transition Differs from U.S. Transition in Many Respects, but Certain Key Challenges Are Similar

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In Berlin, Germany, the transition from analog to digital television (DTV), the DTV transition, culminated in the shutoff of analog television signals in August 2003. As GAO previously reported, the December 2006 deadline for the culmination of the DTV transition in the United States seems unlikely to be met. Failure to meet this deadline will delay the return of valuable spectrum for public safety and other commercial purposes. Thus, the rapid completion of the DTV transition in Berlin has sparked interest among policymakers and industry participants in the United States. At the request of the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, House Committee on Energy and Commerce, GAO examined (1) the structure and regulation of the German television market, (2) how the Berlin DTV transition was achieved, and (3) whether there are critical components of how the DTV transition was achieved in Berlin and other areas of Germany that have relevance to the ongoing DTV transition in the United States."
Date: July 21, 2004
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Telecommunications: Options for and Barriers to Spectrum Reform

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The radio-frequency spectrum is used to provide an array of wireless communications services that are critical to the U.S. economy and various government missions, such as national security. With demand for spectrum exploding, and most useable spectrum allocated to existing users, there is growing concern that the current spectrum management framework might not be able to respond adequately to future demands. This testimony, which is based on previous GAO reports, provides information on (1) the extent to which the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted market-based mechanisms for commercial use, (2) the extent to which market-based mechanisms have been adopted for federal government users of spectrum, (3) options for improving spectrum management, and (4) potential barriers to spectrum reform."
Date: March 14, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Telecommunications: Market Developments in the Global Satellite Services Industry and the Implementation of the ORBIT Act

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In 2000, the Congress passed the Open-market Reorganization for the Betterment of International Telecommunications Act (ORBIT Act) to help promote a more competitive global satellite services market. The ORBIT Act called for the full privatization of INTELSAT, a former intergovernmental organization that provided international satellite services. In this testimony, GAO discusses (1) the impetus for the privatization of Intelsat as competition developed in the 1990s, (2) the extent to which the privatization steps required by the ORBIT Act have been implemented, and (3) whether access by global satellite companies to non-U.S. markets has improved since the enactment of the ORBIT Act."
Date: April 14, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Telecommunications: Concerns Regarding the Structure and FCC's Management of the E-Rate Program

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Since 1998, the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) E-rate program has committed more than $13 billion to help schools and libraries acquire Internet and telecommunications services. Recently, allegations of fraud, waste, and abuse by some E-rate program participants have come to light. As steward of the program, FCC must ensure that participants use E-rate funds appropriately and that there is managerial and financial accountability surrounding the funds. This testimony is based on GAO's February 2005 report GAO-05-151, which reviewed (1) the effect of the current structure of the E-rate program on FCC's management of the program, (2) FCC's development and use of E-rate performance goals and measures, and (3) the effectiveness of FCC's program oversight mechanisms."
Date: March 16, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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."
Date: May 6, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Telecommunications: Application of the Antideficiency Act and Other Fiscal Controls to FCC's E-Rate Program

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Since 1998, the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) E-rate program has committed more than $13 billion to help schools and libraries acquire Internet and telecommunications services. As steward of the program, FCC must ensure that participants use E-rate funds appropriately and that there is managerial and financial accountability surrounding the funds. This testimony is based on GAO's February 2005 report GAO-05-151, which reviewed (1) the effect of the current structure of the E-rate program on FCC's management of the program, including the applicability of the Antideficiency Act, (2) FCC's development and use of E-rate performance goals and measures, and (3) the effectiveness of FCC's program oversight mechanisms."
Date: April 11, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Telecommunications: Challenges to Assessing and Improving Telecommunications for Native Americans on Tribal Lands

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "An important goal of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, is to ensure access to telecommunications services for all Americans. This testimony is based on GAO's January 2006 report GAO-06-189, which reviewed 1) the status of telecommunications subscribership for Native Americans living on tribal lands; 2) federal programs available for improving telecommunications on these lands; 3) barriers to improvements; and 4) how some tribes are addressing these barriers."
Date: March 7, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Telecommunications: History and Current Issues Related to Radio Spectrum Management

Description: Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "As new technologies that depend on the radio spectrum continue to be developed and used more widely, managing the spectrum can grow increasingly challenging. The current legal framework for domestic spectrum management evolved as a compromise over the questions of who should determine the distribution of the spectrum among competing users and what standard should be applied in making this determination. Although initially, all responsibility for spectrum management was placed in the executive branch, this responsibility has been divided between the executive branch for managing federal use and an independent commission for managing non-federal use since 1927 . The current shared U.S. spectrum management system has processes for allocating spectrum, but these processes have occasionally resulted in lengthy negotiations between the Federal Communications Commission and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) over allocation issues. The United States also faces challenges in effectively preparing for World Radiocommunication Conferences. NTIA has several activities to encourage efficient spectrum use by federal agencies, but it lacks the assurance that these activities are effective. NTIA is required to promote efficiency in the federal spectrum it manages, which included more than 270,000 federal frequency assignments at the end of 2000. To do this, NTIA directs federal agencies to use only as much of the spectrum as they need."
Date: June 11, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Telecommunications: Metropolitan Area Acquisition Program Implementation and Management

Description: Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "This testimony discusses the implementation and management of the General Services Administration's (GSA) Metropolitan Area Acquisition (MAA) program, which encourages competition for telecommunication services in large cities. GAO found that as of June 2001, GSA had awarded 37 MAA contracts for 20 metropolitan areas. Existing GSA contracts were to become MAA contracts within nine months after contractors were authorized to begin work. This goal was met in only two of the 14 metropolitan areas in which authorization was given. GSA charges customer agencies two types of fees to recover the costs of their contract management and administration activities. Although GSA does not yet allow MAA contractors to offer FTS2001 services, it is taking steps to allow crossover between the two programs."
Date: June 13, 2001
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Telecommunications: Overview of the Cramming Problem

Description: Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed Internet-related cramming, which is the inclusion of unauthorized, misleading, or deceptive charges on a consumer's telephone bill, focusing on: (1) the extent of cramming complaints; (2) state and federal regulatory initiatives to protect consumers from cramming; and (3) state and federal enforcement actions against companies engaged in cramming."
Date: October 25, 1999
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Broadband Data Privacy and Security: What's Net Neutrality Got to Do With It?

Description: This report is the third in a series discussing the potential impact of the Federal Communications Commission's proposal to reclassify broadband Internet access services (BIAS). This report focuses on the proposal's possible effect on the regulation of BIAS providers' privacy practices.
Date: June 8, 2017
Creator: Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Prospects for Privatization of the Turkish Telecommunications System

Description: Turkey is considering privatizing its telecommunications system. Any developing country must analyze whether its economic, social, and institutional environment is appropriate for the privatization of a utility. The purposes of this study are (1) to establish a model to assist policy makers, (2) to analyze whether Turkey meets the prerequisites for telecommunications privatization, and (3) to provide Turkish leaders pragmatic policy alternatives pertaining to privatization of the Turkish Telecommunications system.High inflation rate, weakness of the private sector and the lack of regulatory regime are the major impediments facing Turkey's privatization efforts. Turkey might consider several options including (1) not privatizing at all, (2) retaining public ownership of the network operations while privatizing only the physical equipment market, or (3) following the British privatization model.
Date: December 1992
Creator: Eroglu, Ismail
Partner: UNT Libraries

Telecommunications: Direct Broadcast Satellite Subscribership Has Grown Rapidly, but Varies across Different Types of Markets

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Since its introduction in 1994, direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service has grown dramatically, and this service is now the principal competitor to cable television service. Although DBS service has traditionally been a rural service, passage of the Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act of 1999 enhanced the competitiveness of DBS service in suburban and urban markets. GAO agreed to examine (1) how DBS subscribership changed since 2001; (2) how DBS penetration rates differ across urban, suburban, and rural areas; (3) how DBS penetration rates differ across markets based on the degree and type of competition provided by cable operators; and (4) the factors that appear to influence DBS penetration rates across cable franchise areas. To complete this report, GAO prepared descriptive statistics and an econometric model using data from the Federal Communications Commission's annual Cable Price Survey and the Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association's subscriber count database."
Date: April 6, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Telecommunications: Greater Involvement Needed by FCC in the Management and Oversight of the E-Rate Program

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Since 1998, the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) E-rate program has committed more than $13 billion to help schools and libraries acquire Internet and telecommunications services. Recently, however, allegations of fraud, waste, and abuse by some E-rate program participants have come to light. As steward of the program, FCC must ensure that participants use E-rate funds appropriately and that there is managerial and financial accountability surrounding the funds. GAO reviewed (1) the effect of the current structure of the E-rate program on FCC's management of the program, (2) FCC's development and use of E-rate performance goals and measures, and (3) the effectiveness of FCC's oversight mechanisms in managing the program."
Date: February 9, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Telecommunications: FCC's Performance Management Weaknesses Could Jeopardize Proposed Reforms of the Rural Health Care Program

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Telemedicine offers a way to improve health care access for patients in rural areas. The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Rural Health Care Program, established in 1997, provides discounts on rural health care providers' telecommunications and information services (primary program) and funds broadband infrastructure and services (pilot program). GAO was asked to review (1) how FCC has managed the primary program to meet the needs of rural health care providers, and how well the program has addressed those needs; (2) how FCC's design and implementation of the pilot program affected participants; and (3) FCC's performance goals and measures for both the primary program and the pilot program, and how these goals compare with the key characteristics of successful performance goals and measures. GAO reviewed program documents and data, interviewed program staff and relevant stakeholders, and surveyed all 61 pilot program participants with recent participation in the program."
Date: November 17, 2010
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Telecommunications: Information Collection and Management at the Federal Communications Commission

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates industries that affect the lives of virtually all Americans. FCC-regulated industries provide Americans with daily access to communications services, including wireline and wireless telephone, radio, and television. To ensure FCC is carrying out its mission, the commission requires a significant amount of information, such as ownership and operating information from radio and television stations. In prior reports, GAO has found weaknesses with FCC's information collection, management, and reporting processes. While FCC has taken action, the commission has not implemented all the recommendations associated with information collection, management, and reporting. As requested, this report provides information on (1) the information FCC collects; (2) how FCC collects and manages information; (3) the strengths and weaknesses, if any, in FCC's information collection and management practices; and (4) the status of FCC's internal review of its information collection and management practices. To complete this work, GAO gathered information on FCC's information collection efforts, reviewed information collection and management practices for 30 collection instruments, interviewed agency officials and industry stakeholders, and reviewed relevant laws and guidance. FCC provided comments which discuss its efforts to improve data management."
Date: January 29, 2010
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Telecommunications: Issues Related to Federal Funding for Public Television by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "For fiscal year 2002 (the most recent data), the Corporation for Public Broadcasting provided about 16 percent of public television's revenues of $1.63 billion. GAO agreed to review the statutory allocations for federal funding of public television, the Corporation's distribution of funds through its Community Service Grant and Television Future Fund programs, its distribution of funds for the Public Broadcasting Service's National Program Service and for local programming, and its grant programs for assisting public television's transition to digital technologies and services."
Date: April 30, 2004
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Telecommunications: Long-Term Strategic Vision Would Help Ensure Targeting of E-rate Funds to Highest-Priority Uses

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Schools and Libraries Universal Service Support Mechanism--also known as the E-rate program--is a significant source of federal funding for information technology for schools and libraries, providing about $2 billion a year. As requested, GAO assessed issues related to the E-rate program's long-term goals, including (1) key trends in the demand for and use of E-rate funding and the implications of these trends; (2) the rate of program participation, participants' views on requirements, and FCC's actions to facilitate participation; and (3) FCC's performance goals and measures for the program and how they compare to key characteristics of successful goals and measures. To perform this work, GAO analyzed data going back to the first year of the program, surveyed a sample of participating schools and libraries, reviewed agency documents, and interviewed agency officials and program stakeholders."
Date: March 27, 2009
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Telecommunications: Enhanced Data Collection and Analysis Could Inform FCC's Efforts to Complete the Digital Transition of Low-Power Television Stations and Reallocate Spectrum

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Television stations that broadcast at lower power levels were not required to meet the 2009 digital transition deadline for full-power stations. These low-power television stations transmit over a smaller area, and most are less regulated than full-power stations. Low-power television stations use valuable radio frequency spectrum, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) noted the stations' digital transition could aid its efforts to clear spectrum for wireless broadband. GAO examined (1) low-power television stations' location and status in transitioning to digital, (2) FCC's steps to transition low-power television stations to digital and whether these stations are facing challenges transitioning to digital, and (3) why low-power television stations were established and the extent to which FCC collects information to determine if low-power television service is meeting FCC's statutory and policy goals. GAO analyzed FCC data and documents, reviewed stakeholder comments, and interviewed agency officials, stakeholders, and low-power television licensees."
Date: September 7, 2011
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Telecommunications: FCC Needs to Improve Oversight of Wireless Phone Service

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Americans increasingly rely on wireless phones, with 35 percent of households now primarily or solely using them. Under federal law, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is responsible for fostering a competitive wireless marketplace while ensuring that consumers are protected from harm. States also have authority to oversee some aspects of service. As requested, this report discusses consumers' satisfaction and problems with wireless phone service and FCC's and state utility commissions' efforts to oversee this service. To conduct this work, Government Accountability Office (GAO) surveyed 1,143 adult wireless phone users from a nationally representative, randomly selected sample; surveyed all state utility commissions; and interviewed and analyzed documents obtained from FCC and stakeholders representing consumers, state agencies and officials, and the industry."
Date: November 10, 2009
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Telecommunications: Issues Related to the Structure and Funding of Public Television

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "How to fund public television has been a concern since the first noncommercial educational station went on the air in 1953. The use of federal funds to help support public television has been a particular point of discussion and debate. This report reviews (1) the organizational structure of public television, (2) the programming and other services that public television provides, (3) the current funding sources for public television, (4) the extent to which public television stations are increasing their nonfederal funding sources and developing new sources of nonfederal support, and (5) the extent to which public television benefits financially from business ventures associated with programming and how this compares with commercial broadcasters. GAO reviewed revenue, membership, and programming data for all public television licensees. GAO also interviewed officials from 54 of public television's 173 licensees, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Public Broadcasting Service, federal agencies, and producers of commercial and public television programming"
Date: January 19, 2007
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Telecommunications: Weaknesses in Procedures and Performance Management Hinder Junk Fax Enforcement

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 prohibited invasive telemarketing practices, including the faxing of unsolicited advertisements, known as "junk faxes," to individual consumers and businesses. Junk faxes create costs for consumers (paper and toner) and disrupt their fax operations. The Junk Fax Prevention Act of 2005 clarified an established business relationship exemption, specified opt-out procedures for consumers, and requires the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)--the federal agency responsible for junk fax enforcement0--to report annually to Congress on junk fax complaints and enforcement. The law also required GAO to report to Congress on FCC's enforcement of the junk fax laws. This report addresses (1) FCC's junk fax procedures and outcomes, (2) the strengths and weaknesses of FCC's procedures, and (3) FCC's junk fax management challenges."
Date: April 5, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department