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Category Archives: In the News

Legislative

The state budget deadline of June 30th is looming and legislative leaders are poised to work through the weekend to see if they can formulate a spending/revenue plan. Some sources have the House, Senate and Governor Wolf relatively close on agreeing to a $31.8 billion spend number, which is significantly less than the $32.3 billion […]

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To the delight of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, Georgia Republican Congressman Doug Collins has introduced legislation providing tax incentives to companies for broadband buildout. The Gigabit Opportunity Act bill is similar to a Senate version introduced last month and gives companies tax breaks for investing in gigabit-capable expansion in certain communities. Chairman Pai has long […]

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On Monday, the House Consumer Affairs Committee held a hearing on Underground Utility Line Protection Law legislation (HB 284) currently being considered by the committee. In addition to the PTA and Verizon, testifiers included individuals from the Broadband Cable Association of PA, One Call, the Energy Association, PUC Commissioner John Coleman and the Utility Contractors […]

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465,000

Suspicions that many of the electronic comments filed with the FCC on the net neutrality issue appear to be fake was confirmed by a National Legal and Policy Center analysis which concludes that more than 465,000 of the 2.5 million filings could be questionable.  

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The House Consumer Affairs Committee has scheduled a public hearing on One Call legislation for June 5th. Two pieces of legislation reforming PA’s One Call enforcement processes are currently before the General Assembly, Senate Bill 242, which is on the Senate Calendar for consideration, and House Bill 284 which currently resides in the House Consumer Affairs Committee. The hearing will be held in Room B31 of the Main Capitol at 10:00. PTA is slated to testify.

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House Democrats on the Energy and Commerce Committee introduced the LIFT America Act legislation this week which includes a $40 billion broadband component. Apparently the legislation will spread the investment out over five years and use a reverse auction to support broadband in “unserved” areas ($30 billion) with $10 billion going to states via a separate reverse auction.

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On Monday, President Trump announced his intention to nominate PUC Commissioner Rob Powelson to serve as a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a term expiring June 30, 2020. The unanimous well-wishes from Powelson’s PUC colleagues were highlighted in a Commission news release and appear below.

“Commissioner Powelson is knowledgeable and passionate about public utility issues – from infrastructure investment and marketplace competition to innovation and the development of our next generation of utility workers. He has also been a strong advocate for Pennsylvania and for the important role of utility regulators across the country. His service reflects well on the […]

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Good managerial skills and a willingness to be accountable to the FCC are among the characteristics necessary for anyone interested in applying for the Chief Executive Officer of the Universal Service Administrative Co.  The position is vacant in the wake of this week’s resignation of Chris Henderson, and FCC Commissioner Mike O’Rielly sees the departure […]

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“Today Chairman Pai released a plan that, if implemented, will hand over control of the open Internet to the powerful gatekeepers of our connections to the modern world. If adopted, Chairman Pai’s proposal will harm competition and innovation and will leave consumers without any real protection or oversight by either the FTC or FCC for broadband services.”

Excerpt from a joint statement by FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn and FTC Commissioner Terrell McSweeny.  

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