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Telecommunications (21 - 30 of 718 items)
Public-Safety Broadband Network: FirstNet Should Strengthen Internal Controls and Evaluate Lessons Learned
GAO-15-407: Published: Apr 28, 2015. Publicly Released: Apr 28, 2015.
The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) has made progress carrying out its responsibilities established in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (the 2012 act) but lacks certain elements of effective internal controls. FirstNet is charged with the complex and challenging task of establishing a new, nationwide, wireless broadband network for public safety entities, in co...
Telecommunications: FCC Should Evaluate the Efficiency and Effectiveness of the Lifeline Program
GAO-15-335: Published: Mar 24, 2015. Publicly Released: Apr 23, 2015.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has made progress implementing reforms to the Lifeline Program (Lifeline), which reduces the cost of telephone service for eligible low-income households. In 2012, FCC adopted a Reform Order with 11 key reforms that aimed to increase accountability and strengthen internal controls, among other things. FCC has implemented seven of the reforms and partiall...
Broadcast Exclusivity Rules: Effects of Elimination Would Depend on Other Federal Actions and Industry Response
GAO-15-441: Published: Apr 14, 2015. Publicly Released: Apr 14, 2015.
Broadcast industry stakeholders that GAO interviewed (including national broadcast networks, such as ABC, and local television stations) report that the exclusivity rules are needed to protect local television stations' contractual rights to be the exclusive providers of network content, such as primetime dramas, and syndicated content, such as game shows, in their markets. These stakeholders repo...
Public Safety Communications: Preliminary Information on FirstNet's Efforts to Establish a Nationwide Broadband Network
GAO-15-380T: Published: Mar 11, 2015. Publicly Released: Mar 11, 2015.
GAO's ongoing work has found that the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) has made progress carrying out the responsibilities established in the 2012 Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act (the 2012 act) but lacks certain elements of effective internal controls. FirstNet has made progress establishing an organizational structure, planning the nationwide public-safety broadband netwo...
Mobile Devices: Federal Agencies' Steps to Improve Mobile Access to Government Information and Services
GAO-15-69: Published: Dec 22, 2014. Publicly Released: Dec 22, 2014.
According to Pew Research Center, in 2013, some demographic groups relied more on cellphones to access the Internet than others. Those who are young, earn more income, have a graduate degree, or are African American had the highest rate of mobile access. In contrast, according to Pew, those who used cellphones to access the Internet in 2013 at lower rates tended to be seniors, the less educated, o...
Broadband Internet: FCC Should Track the Application of Fixed Internet Usage-Based Pricing and Help Improve Consumer Education
GAO-15-108: Published: Nov 24, 2014. Publicly Released: Dec 2, 2014.
Based on an analysis of consumer data plans of the top 13 fixed—in home—and 4 mobile Internet providers, GAO found that mobile providers employ usage-based pricing (UBP) more commonly than fixed. Under UBP, providers can charge varying prices, change connection speeds, or take other actions based on Internet data consumed. The 4 largest mobile providers in the country all use UBP to some exten...
Broadcast Television and Radio: Disclosure Requirements for Broadcasted Content
GAO-14-738: Published: Sep 17, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 17, 2014.
Disclosure requirements for advertisements or programming on issues that affect broadcasters’ interests and that may be intended to influence Congress, including its consideration of legislation and related policy issues, depend upon several factors. Specifically, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations require that television and radio broadcasters make an on-air announcement identi...
Media Ownership: FCC Should Review the Effects of Broadcaster Agreements on Its Media Policy Goals
GAO-14-558: Published: Jun 27, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 28, 2014.
Local television stations use broadcaster agreements to share services with one another, but data are limited on the prevalence of these agreements. Stations use agreements to share or outsource a range of services, such as selling advertising time and producing local news. Agreements are referred to by a variety of names and two—joint sales agreements and local marketing agreements—have regul...
Telecommunications: FCC Should Improve the Accountability and Transparency of High-Cost Program Funding
GAO-14-587: Published: Jul 22, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 22, 2014.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has implemented four industry-wide reforms and the initial phases of two carrier-specific reforms for the Universal Service Fund's (USF) high-cost program. However, FCC has encountered delays implementing the subsequent phases and more complex carrier-specific funding reforms that require extensive cost modeling and stakeholder input. For example, althou...
Telecommunications: USDA Should Evaluate the Performance of the Rural Broadband Loan Program
GAO-14-471: Published: May 22, 2014. Publicly Released: Jun 23, 2014.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) has approved 100 loans to geographically and demographically diverse areas through its Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program (“loan program”), though over 40 percent of these loans are no longer active. The geographic distribution of RUS loans is widespread, with broadband providers in 43 states having rec...