Prepared Text: Japanese American National Museum Anonymous (not verified) Fri, 09/10/2010 - 11:48
Senior Advisor to the Chairman on Broadband Phoebe Yang delivered this speech to an array of community groups last week at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, CA.
It’s very fitting that we should come together today at the Japanese American National Museum to talk about how Asian Americans must be empowered to benefit from the communications network of the 21st century – broadband.
Today, being back in California, I am reminded of the immense sacrifices early Asian Americans made for this country – in the pursuit of the vital goal of connecting people across this vast land to one another.
Today, America has 306 million people to connect – and like in previous centuries with the railroads, telephones, and highways – including voices like those in this room is critical to our nation’s economy, security, and future.
When I shared with some individuals that I was planning on coming here today, their response was that Asian Americans represent such a small minority of the American population – why not focus on other groups? My reply was simple – while all Americans should benefit from all that broadband has to offer, and other groups are also critical to our goals of inclusion, you can’t ignore the role of Asian Americans in building the technology and communications networks of the past, and we would be foolish to underestimate the innovative creativity and spirit of Asian Americans in shaping the communications networks of the future.
Over 20 years ago, when I was a student at the University of Virginia, I founded the Asian Student Union and the Asian Leaders’ Council, to bring together the diverse interests and experiences of different Asian American communities. Due to the limitations of technology at the time – think photocopiers and 25 cents/minute long-distance phone service – it was a struggle for our voice to carry far beyond Charlottesville, Virginia. But within a few years, when I was studying in Singapore, the start of mass Internet communications – e-mail – allowed me to stay in touch with friends and family back in the U.S. and elsewhere.
[Read the full speech here.]
Consumers: Technology is Personal howard.parnell Sat, 01/01/2011 - 11:13Bureau Office Category
Public Safety: Safe and Secure howard.parnell Sat, 01/01/2011 - 11:40
Spectrum: Supply and Demand howard.parnell Sat, 01/01/2011 - 12:17
Watch the video blog below.Bureau Office Category
Winner of February Public Safety and Homeland Security Photo Contest Anonymous (not verified) Thu, 03/04/2010 - 15:35
Congratulations to John W. Franks, of the Raleigh, North Carolina Emergency Communications Center, the winner of our February Public Safety and Homeland Security Photo Contest! We received many great photos in response to our Photo Project/Contest to highlight and feature photos of first responders in action. I'd like to thank everyone who has participated. Mr. Franks' photo presents a vivid and compelling example of the importance of the work that first responders do for us, and we will be featuring it on our website. We look forward to and encourage future photo submissions.
Women's History Month Profile: Eloise Gore Anonymous (not verified) Tue, 03/23/2010 - 11:03
Since we began this blog we have been highlighting FCC staff in a series of profiles. As March is Women’s History Month, we will be focusing on some of our female colleagues and talking to them about their experiences as professionals, and as women, working in public service at the FCC.
Eloise Gore, Associate Bureau Chief, Media Bureau
Years at FCC: 13
Eloise Gore considers herself lucky. Beginning her career with the federal government as an intern in 1978, she benefited from both the barrier-breaking women of the generation before her and the government’s early efforts at diversity. As an attorney, first for the Federal Trade Commission, then the Commerce Department, and here at the FCC for the past 13 years, she recalls sitting across the table from attorneys in the private sector that at times were all white men.
In those years, in the middle-late seventies, the government was one of the places that women could go, because the government was much more accepting of women, as attorneys, as other kinds of professionals, than the private sector was… so it would be frequently the case that those of us who were in the government would be in negotiations with outside law firms and they would be all these men in suits. And we were the only ones that had women.
She is proud of the way that women, and men, are given the opportunity to thrive here at the FCC, especially with regard to balancing their families with career.
Women who want to have families, who want to have children, are very supported particularly by the government. Again that was something that the government did first: to allow women a chance to go and be a mother and have day care so that they could come back and have their children near them.
One of those women is one that she noted as being one she most admires.
My immediate past boss, Monica Desai, who was the head of the media bureau during the DTV transition and she is really the exemplar of the kind of woman who can juggle having not only children, but two rather young children… she managed to pack 48 hours in a 24 hour day. I don’t know how she did it. And she remained calm, and nice, and pleasant, and supportive to us and to her staff.
Of course, she also admires her mother, Gerry Gore, a former advertising professional who at 90 is an active volunteer, zipping around New York City in her sports car.
I never felt that there was anything I couldn’t do because I was a girl/a lady/a woman. You know, I always felt like everything was possible. And I think that it’s very good to be able to convey that and I really do see that with the women – the young women and the older women – around me.
Her story is a great example of how far women have come since the FCC was founded in 1934. "I think that the government has been good for women, and women have been good for the government."Bureau Office Category
Your Consumer Advisory Committee vinay.oberoi Wed, 03/16/2011 - 13:39
The Consumer Advisory Committee (CAC) is yet another means by which the consumers' voice is heard at the FCC.
Originally established in November 2000, CAC advises the commission on consumer issues within its jurisdiction and facilitates the participation of consumers -- including people with disabilities and underserved populations such as American Indians and persons living in rural areas -- in proceedings before the FCC.
On December 30, 2008, the commission announced the rechartering of the Committee for a fifth two-year term thru November 2010. As a federal advisory committee, CAC membership is required by law to represent a balanced point of view. Accordingly, of the committee's 28 volunteer members, 12 represented interests of consumers, minorities and low-income communities, five represented the interests of people with disabilities, six represented the interests of Tribal, state and local governments and five represented the telecom industries. Debra Berlyn, formerly of the Digital Television Transition Coalition and presently the National Consumers League, chaired the committee.
Last November, the committee was rechartered for another two year term (PDF) through 2012. Applications for committee membership were solicited and are currently being reviewed. It is expected that Chairman Genachowski will make appointments to the CAC in April.
A highlight of the CAC's fifth term was two recommendations concerning the Consumer Information Disclosure Notice of Inquiry, CG 09-158 (PDF), which sought comment on whether there are opportunities to protect and empower consumers by ensuring sufficient access to relevant information about communications services. These two recommendations , adopted by the committee in March and August of 2010, relate to the kinds of pre-sale disclosures consumers need when they are trying to make wise purchases of wireless, broadband, and other communication services.
For further information about the Consumer Advisory Committee, along with the recommendations referred to in this post, visit the Consumer Advisory Committee section of our website. If you have any questions about the Committee please contact me, Scott Marshall, CAC's Designated Federal Officer, at scott.marshall [at] fcc [dot] gov.Bureau Office Category
Jammin' - A Hit for Bob Marley, a Miss for Communications Chris.Merkel Wed, 02/09/2011 - 11:15
Over the last several years, cell and GPS jammers have become increasingly portable and accessible to consumers on the Internet. These websites often mislead consumers, suggesting that cell jammers may be used lawfully to silence unwanted cell phone use in restaurants, movie theaters, or on the roads. And, some websites (including many based outside the U.S.) claim that individual consumers are responsible for determining the legality of their jammers.
Don't be fooled!
Because jammers are designed solely to block authorized communications, the marketing, sale, and operation of jammers is illegal in the United States. Why? Well, using jamming devices can endanger the public.
Jamming devices are indiscriminate. For example, when a cell jammer is used, the jammer's unwanted signal is often set to the same frequency as the phone signal, only stronger.
The jammer's signal can be so powerful that it cancels the signal of all phones in its range – yes, it may silence loud conversations disturbing those nearby, but it also can prevent a desperate teenager from calling 9-1-1 to report an accident, an elderly person from placing an urgent call to a doctor, or anyone else from successfully placing an emergency or other safety-related call.
Similarly, GPS jammers are often touted as "anti-spy" devices that can prevent an employer or a suspicious spouse from tracking your movements in your car. However, GPS jammers can also disable the E911 function in certain cell phones that allows emergency services to home in on 9-1-1 callers who are injured or otherwise unable to provide their location.
Given these real public safety concerns, the Enforcement Bureau has adopted a strict enforcement policy in this area. Leveraging the presence of the Bureau's Field Offices across the country, we will aggressively pursue violations wherever we find them.
- The Enforcement Bureau recently issued warnings to several retailers for marketing these devices in violation of federal law.
- We also initiated a proceeding to revoke the authorization for the TxTStopper device.
- And, we released two Enforcement Advisories – one for consumers and one for manufacturers and retailers. (We also provided a downloadable poster to help PTAs, local Chambers of Commerce, and other organizations to get the word out.) The Advisories focus on educating and informing the public about the inherent dangers of using this equipment and the consequences of violating the Commission's longstanding prohibition of jamming devices.
We caution users and suppliers that violations are punishable by fines of up to $112,500 per violation, and could lead to criminal prosecution (including imprisonment) or seizure of the illegal device.
Video: Crowd-sourced mobile broadband data Anonymous (not verified) Tue, 01/25/2011 - 08:50
We recently spoke at one of the largest federal mapping data events, the ESRI Federal Users Conference, where we presented a cool implementation of FCC APIs mashed up with other, powerful datasets.
Last Spring, the FCC launched a pioneering crowd-sourced data collection tool: the FCC Consumer Broadband Speed Test. Since then, the test has been run more than 1 million times, collecting results both from wired and wireless connections. This is real data, from real consumers, in real communities. To make the data more useful, we released an API to unlock those results and hand the keys to the developer community.
The presentation showed that crowd-sourcing data collections can yield great things—not just for agencies—but for developers in the private and public sectors that can take the data and build new products, services, and research.
By the numbers alone, we know the test has been popular. And for a crowd-sourced federal data container, we think it's a huge success.
The particularly exciting part of this presentation was the ability to display projected speeds at different geographies within standard error, all extrapolated out from the the speed test data points that were input by users. As we explain in the video, by using the 1 million+ records submitted by users, we were able to display a map that shows the probability of a certain level of mobile broadband speed at any given spot in the U.S.
These data sets are great tools at our disposal, especially in the run up to the release of the National Broadband Map. As we get closer to the product launch in February, watch this space for updates of interest to developers, geographers, and consumers.
We're interested to know what you think about the results, and what other uses for these datasets and APIs you come up with. Watch the video below of the presentation, then leave your comments.
National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week - April 10-16 gray.brooks Wed, 04/06/2011 - 16:31The Federal Communications Commission’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau would like to thank and honor the men and women who serve everyday as public safety telecommunicators during this year’s National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week (April 10-16, 2011).First introduced by Congressman Markey, in 1991 during the 102nd Congress and Senator Biden, in 1993 during the 103rd Congress, a presidential proclamation was made for the second week of April to be designated as the National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week by then President Clinton in 1994.The National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week honors all local police, fire, and medical professionals, including Federal public safety officials, by recognizing their dedicated service in helping those in need through the use of telecommunications. Although this week is proclaimed for emergency responders, their valuable service should be applauded and held in the highest regard all through the year, for without their commitment, devotion, and hard work, countless number of lives and property would be in jeopardy. Thank you for helping our communities and keeping our nation safe.
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