Protecting Public Airwaves

in Protecting Public Airwaves

In March, Congress approved legislation that created the first-ever program for schools and libraries to help connect students and patrons off-campus. The program, known as the Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF), was appropriated $7.17 billion to help fund projects through June 30, 2022. The Federal Communications Commission quickly developed the program and opened a 45-day funding

in Increasing Internet Access, Protecting Public Airwaves

Today, the U.S. Senate passed a long-overdue infrastructure bill that includes a historic investment in broadband deployment, affordability, access, and equity. The $65 billion broadband section contains four sections to tackle broadband access and adoption problem. Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Grant Program ($42.45 billion) This provision creates a $42.45 billion matching grant program for

in Protecting Public Airwaves

Below, Voqal’s director of telecommunications strategy, Mark Colwell, gives an update on the effort to reduce the cost of communications services for incarcerated individuals and their families.  While ordinary Americans can get unlimited talk and text plans, incarcerated individuals are required to pay exorbitant rates – up to $1 per minute – to connect with

in Protecting Public Airwaves

In his latest article, Voqal director of telecommunications strategy, Mark Colwell, takes a look at the possibility of much-needed reforms to prison communications across the country.  The COVID pandemic exposed significant inequities related to communications services in communities across America. Not only did the pandemic shine a light on the lack of affordable home broadband

in Protecting Public Airwaves

Voqal believes that telecommunications policy should be focused on ensuring that the country’s telecommunications resources and infrastructure contribute to a socially equitable world for all. In addition, these resources have immense educational benefits and policies should be crafted in a way that leverages those benefits. We engage with the FCC and other government agencies to

in Protecting Public Airwaves

In his latest article, Voqal director of telecommunications strategy, Mark Colwell, discusses recent efforts by the FCC to prematurely vote on a Petition of Reconsideration about the new rules it set for EBS spectrum.  Chairman Ajit Pai appears to be moving full steam ahead on a controversial spectrum item in his final days as head

in Protecting Public Airwaves

Last week, Voqal joined a group of nearly 40 organizations demanding the Biden Administration transition team abolish digital redlining. The problem of digital redlining – service providers choosing not to invest in new technology in particular neighborhoods of a city – has been persistent for years, and primarily impacts people of color in major urban

in Protecting Public Airwaves

Last week, new legislation was introduced to require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to extend the Rural Tribal Priority Window for 2.5 GHz spectrum by at least 180 days. This new bipartisan, bicameral legislation is called the Extending Tribal Broadband Priority Act of 2020. The bill would require the FCC to open a window no

in Protecting Public Airwaves

In his latest article, Voqal’s Mark Colwell examines how the success of the recent Rural Tribal Priority Window is evidence that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) should open a Rural Education Window for Educational Broadband Service licenses.  Last week, the FCC’s first-ever Rural Tribal Priority Window (TPW) came to a close. This special spectrum application

in Increasing Internet Access, Protecting Public Airwaves

In his latest article, Voqal’s director of telecommunications strategy, Mark Colwell, shares how increased broadband competition can address the adoption gap and reduce the digital divide.  Never has the need for closing the digital divide received more attention than in recent months, as Americans have relied more than ever on broadband for work, school, entertainment,

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