AT&T Statement on the Federal Emergency Broadband Benefit

Attribute the following to Joan Marsh, AT&T Executive Vice President of Federal Regulatory Relations: “Keeping our communities connected and working to close the digital divide is a top priority. We support the FCC’s efforts to quickly develop a program that will enable more Americans to afford broadband connectivity during this unprecedented time.  Encouraging participation in…

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A Bold Plan for a Connected America

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Federal Regulatory Relations

Last week, the National Urban League released a report on “Connecting and Uplifting America.” The report focuses on a singular and essential question: “How can the tools of the information economy be employed to create a more equitable and inclusive society.” I am reminded of poet Amanda Gorman’s verse on Inauguration Day, where she observed that…

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E-Rate 3.0 for a Remote Learning World

by Ed Gillespie

Senior Executive Vice President of External & Legislative Affairs

Our recent blogs have focused on modernizing the FCC’s Lifeline program and fixing the broken funding mechanism that supports the federal Universal Service Fund (USF).  The FCC’s E-rate program, however, deserves equal attention as students across the country require broadband connectivity to learn from home during the pandemic. The E-rate program was designed to help…

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AT&T Statement on Acting FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel

The following may be attributed to Joan Marsh, AT&T Executive Vice President of Federal Regulatory Relations: “We look forward to working with Acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel as she assumes responsibility for the agency and the important tasks before her, including the management of new programs that will make broadband more accessible and affordable to…

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New Year, New Solutions: Reforming Universal Service Contributions

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Federal Regulatory Relations

On January 1, 2021, the Universal Service Fund contribution factor officially hit 31.8% — a new and alarming all-time high.  Policymakers have wrestled with concerns over the rising factor for years but crossing the 30% threshold is a serious wake-up call.  A USF contribution factor of around 5% was the norm until 2005 when it…

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Closing the Homework Gap and Bridging the Digital Divide

by Ed Gillespie

Senior Executive Vice President of External & Legislative Affairs

As a country, we have weathered an extraordinary year.  The pandemic laid bare fissures and inequities that we will be addressing for a long time to come.  One of the many lessons learned – if there was ever any doubt – is the critical need to stay digitally connected to our work, our schools and…

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FCC Unleashes More Funds for 5G; Commits to Utilizing Better Broadband Maps to Distribute Support

The following may be attributed to Joan Marsh, Executive Vice President of Federal Regulatory Relations: “Today, the FCC adopted a 5G Mobility Fund order that advances the Commission’s goals of closing the digital divide and making advanced wireless services available to more Americans.  We commend Chairman Pai for making more funds available for 5G investment….

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Understanding the Potential Cost of an Expanded Lifeline Program

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Federal Regulatory Relations

Before the pandemic, we worried about the “the homework gap” – the learning that was missed because a growing number of teachers assigned homework that required internet access that was absent from many homes. Now, as the pandemic continues to force schools to rely heavily on remote learning, disconnected students are not just missing homework…

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Making Lifeline a Snap
For Eligible Households

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Federal Regulatory Relations

Benefit programs designed to help vulnerable populations have been improving their processes for many years through technology.  The USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program replaced “food stamps” with Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards in the late 1990s, providing beneficiaries broad choices in shopping and enabling them to pay with “plastic.” To add further convenience,…

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For Eligible Households

We Need to Fundamentally Rethink How USF Programs are Funded

by Joan Marsh

Executive Vice President of Federal Regulatory Relations

As of July 1, the Universal Service Fund (USF) contribution factor exceeded 26%.  In other words, for every dollar consumers and businesses spend on voice and data transport services, service providers must pay more than a quarter towards supporting USF programs, a heavy tax by any measure. The USF contribution factor has been creeping up…

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