Members of Congress Send Letter to Wheeler on Spectrum Auction
Members of Congress Send Letter to Wheeler on Spectrum Auction

I recently read the letter that 78 Members of Congress sent this week to FCC Chairman Wheeler about some important issues related to the upcoming spectrum incentive auction.  The Members want to ensure that the auction meets the critically important spectrum provisions in the... Read The Story...

Archive for August, 2012

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Downes on Internet Regulation  

Last week, the FCC released a report on the state of broadband in the U.S., concluding some disappointment in the current state of broadband access.

I was therefore interested to read a detailed article in Forbes from technology policy writer Larry Downes that presents a rather different perspective–that there is more than sufficient broadband access in the U.S.

Check out his article here: “Larry Downes: The FCC Scores a Hat Trick of Errors on Internet Regulation” (

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Teaching At Camp NARUC  

I recently made my annual trek to Lansing, Michigan to serve as an instructor in the nationally-renowned Institute for Public Utilities Regulatory Studies Program. The two-week program, known as “Camp NARUC,” covers all aspects of the regulatory process and is designed for state commissioners, state commission staff, state consumer advocates and staff, and federal regulatory staff.

The session that I taught focused on how to protect utility customers in changing markets. In the past couple of decades there have been so many changes in energy and telecommunications markets, and as a result there have been new regulatory structures adopted at the state and national level. For consumers of energy services, there have been state restructuring initiatives with a mix of results for consumers. More recently, new technologies — smart grid and its smart meters — have led the way with exciting opportunities for energy efficiency and home energy management, while also raising the need to address questions about consumer cost and privacy.

Telecommunications consumers have seen tremendous growth in services and competition. Wireless, broadband, and mobile broadband have now changed the way consumers communicate. Over the past decade, federal and state regulations have shifted to adjust to the changes in consumers’ use of technology for communications services, and will likely continue to change as technology advances.

Most importantly, I believe it’s a top priority to continue to ensure that the interests of consumers are protected as both energy and telecommunications markets continue to evolve.

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Technology in the Classroom  

It’s that time of year again, when kids and teachers start to get ready for the new school year. This year, technology promises to play an even greater role in education. In an article in yesterday’s Washington Post,, teachers are receiving training on how to use technology to enhance learning.

The use of technology in the classroom ranges from replacing printed textbooks with hand-held tablets in some schools, to using computer software that simulates dissection for biology classes. Technology adds a level of excitement to the education process that teachers are starting to embrace. “You’re able to teach and help a child understand something using different methods other than a worksheet,” said William Shulman, 10th grade Government class teacher at Northwestern High School in Prince Georges County, Maryland. “It gives a teacher the ability to find information and present information that might not necessarily happen with standard teaching.”

Technology is now recognized as a significant learning tool that can enhance the learning process for our increasingly high-tech kids. It’s great to read about the exciting new applications for the classroom.

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Consumer Resources

Below are additional resources to more information about online privacy.

Consumer Guide to Online Privacy (PDF)
What is 4G Wireless Service? (PDF)
Consumer Online Privacy Survey
2008 Online Safety Survey


Other Organizations

National Caucus and Center on Black Aged:

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