Protecting Public Airwaves

in Protecting Public Airwaves

On Monday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) opened the Rural Tribal Priority Window, which is an application window that allows rural tribes to apply for an Educational Broadband Service (EBS) spectrum license for free. This is the first time the FCC has opened an application window specifically for rural tribes. Tribal nations experience some of

in Protecting Public Airwaves

Voqal strongly believes that closing the digital divide is integral to closing the social justice and equity gap in America. That is one of the reasons why Voqal created Mobile Citizen, a project that distributes wireless hotspots to students (via educational institutions), low-income families (via nonprofit resellers) and nonprofit organizations. There are two key components

in Protecting Public Airwaves

We continue our look back at 2019 with another spotlight from our FY 2019 Annual Report: Build the Movement. This week’s article is focused on the work of Voqal and its partners in the Educational Broadband Service (EBS) community to build a movement aimed at keeping the EBS spectrum band educational. Public airwaves – or

in Protecting Public Airwaves

Last week, we covered the state of play regarding a valuable piece of spectrum called the C-Band. This 500 MHz chunk of spectrum, which sits between 3.7 GHz and 4.2 GHz, is primarily used by satellites and earth stations for video programming. But the FCC and wireless companies want to repurpose a portion of this

in Protecting Public Airwaves

In our latest telecommunications update, Voqal director of telecommunications strategy, Mark Colwell, takes an in-depth look at the recent decision by the FCC to hold a public auction of the C-Band of spectrum.  In the race to 5G, American wireless companies are sorely lacking one essential ingredient: mid-band spectrum. Often dubbed the “goldilocks” spectrum, mid-band

in Protecting Public Airwaves

On December 4, the FCC made a major announcement that the Commission would repurpose $9 billion to fund 5G deployment in rural America. So where exactly would the money go? Buried in the press release were the findings of a year-long investigation into the accuracy of cell phone network coverage maps. Mapping is important for

in Protecting Public Airwaves

In July, we highlighted the overwhelmingly poor decision by the FCC to commercialize the Educational Broadband Service (EBS) spectrum band before educators had an opportunity to apply for licenses. While the majority of the rulemaking was bad news, one of the positive decisions made by the FCC was to create a Rural Tribal Priority Window.

in Increasing Internet Access, Protecting Public Airwaves

It has been over 4 months since the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to overhaul the Educational Broadband Service (EBS) spectrum band (2.5 GHz) and prepare it for commercial auction. As EBS licensees, Voqal strongly opposed the Commission’s decision because it was an enormous missed opportunity not only to strengthen educational benefits, but also to

in Increasing Internet Access, Protecting Public Airwaves

Back in September, Blair Levin and Larry Downes authored a much-talked-about opinion piece that made a bold claim: America’s Cities – not its rural areas – are the real cause for concern when it comes to the digital divide. Their main argument is that while many believe rural broadband access is the reason for the

in Making Grants, Protecting Public Airwaves

Earlier this week, a federal appeals court upheld the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality. As strong believers of a free and open internet, Voqal has been closely following this case as it has developed. While the final outcome is disappointing, advocates for net neutrality did experience at least one critical victory. The court struck down

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