President favors cities offering broadband service

By Alison Fitzgerald and Allan Holmes

President to come out against state laws that prohibit cities from offering broadband service to citizens.

Excerpts from this story referencing "North Carolina":

"… nth on requests by two southern cities, Chattanooga, Tennessee and Wilson, North Carolina, asking it to override state laws restricting the ability of local governm …"

"… e, which has a strong publicly-owned broadband network, with Fayetteville, North Carolina, which was thwarted from allowing its residents to tap into the city’s g …"

Broadband findings you may have missed

By The Center for Public Integrity

The Center's best stories about the telecommunications industry from 2014.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Public Integrity":

"… tical spectrum made themselves heard. With those developments in mind, the Center for Public Integrity began investigating the political power of companies in the information te …"

Urban League parrots telecom donors' net-neutrality stance

By Allan Holmes and John Dunbar

Civil rights group calls for lighter Internet regulation that would benefit telecommunications donors.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Public Integrity":

"… lion from 2012 to 2013, according to an analysis of IRS tax filings by the Center for Public Integrity. Cohen’s not the only representative of an Internet company to sit on t …"

Slow start to Landrieu's runoff campaign

By Dave Levinthal

Louisiana's incumbent U.S. senator goes dark as runoff opponent Bill Cassidy airs hundreds of post-Election Day TV ads

Excerpts from this story referencing "Senator":

"… to be found on Louisiana's airwaves after Election Day. And the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee reportedly canceled its scheduled ad buys buoying La …"

"… nearly 700 TV ads from Nov. 5 through Nov. 8. And the National Republican Senatorial Committee aired about 350 TV ads from Nov. 5 to Nov. 8 blasting Landrie …"

Surprise! No. 1 super PAC backs Democrats

By Carrie Levine and Dave Levinthal

To the surprise of many, the top-spending super PAC this election backs Democrats, not Republicans.

Excerpts from this story referencing "North Carolina":

"… sored by candidates and political party committees. In the hotly contested North Carolina Senate race, the super PAC has run more ads than the Republican candidate …"

"… d more than 16,000 TV ads, declined to comment on Senate Majority PAC. In North Carolina alone, Senate Majority PAC has aired more than 13,600 ads. That’s more …"

"… across all 36 races in play this year — as Senate Majority PAC has in North Carolina alone. Among TV ad sponsorship in other top U.S. Senate races b …"

"… before Election Day, FCC documents show. It's the same story in North Carolina, where Senate Majority PAC is slated to spend well into the six-figure ran …"

Controversial Republican telemarketer forms super PAC

By Dave Levinthal

Gabriel S. Joseph III's past political efforts include an anti-Obama spam text message campaign that prompted legal complaints.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mitt Romney":

"… 007 Iowa caucuses, the National Review reported the firm did work both for Mitt Romney's presidential campaign — and a group advocating for Romney's Republican …"

Inside the virtual tollbooth at many U.S. prisons

By Daniel Wagner, Eleanor Bell and Sarah Whitmire

How Reporters Dan Wagner and Eleanor Bell investigated a fee structure that's oppressive for many inmates' families.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Prison":

"… side, and opportunities for private vendors inside Prisons. Eleanor Bell: Prisons and jails differ on what basic necessities they guarantee to inmates. Som …"

"… and even some small amount of stationery. Jack Donson, a former Bureau of Prisons employee we interviewed told us that inside Prisons, these kits are calle …"

Time is money: who's making a buck off prisoners' families?

By Eleanor Bell and Daniel Wagner

Video: How a web of prison bankers, private vendors and corrections agencies profit by shifting costs onto inmates' families.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Virginia":

"… ;Employed prisoners like Keith can earn between 27 and 45 cents an hour in Virginia. That doesn't go far at the prison store. Keith Miller: This is aro …"

"… ns agencies to take a share of the funds. For example: when a relative in Virginia sends 120 dollars to an inmate the deductions start when JPay takes its fi …"

"… ns. We made several requests to discuss the profit sharing issue with the Virginia Department of Corrections, but they refused to be interviewed for this sto …"

"… nd work at a barber shop. I spent 49 months, 10 days, and 17 hours in the Virginia Department of Corrections. I got a friend whose mom she actually added up …"

Prison bankers cash in on captive customers

By Daniel Wagner

Private company profits by helping prisons squeeze inmates' families for cash.

Excerpts from this story referencing "sheriff":

"… was stealing the money.” Capt. William Lawhorn of the St. Lucie County sheriff’s office said that inmates are charged a $25 initial booking fee, $3 a d …"

"… he spent months driving around upstate New York, pitching JPay to “every sheriff, whether they had five inmates or 100 inmates” — without success. The …"

Who’s trying to influence your vote?

By Chris Zubak-Skees, Kytja Weir and Dave Levinthal

A guide to our political TV ad trackers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Election Commission":

"… ndidate but don’t overtly call for the candidate’s election or defeat. Federal Election Commission records only capture ads containing overt advocacy, with the exception of …"

How big telecom smothers city-run broadband

By Allan Holmes

Municipal broadband boosts business, but often stops at city limits thanks to lobbying muscle of telecom giants.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Wake County":

"… cted to the North Carolina General Assembly in 2010, Rep. Marilyn Avila, a Wake County Republican, introduced a bill that would prevent cities from building or e …"

Chattanooga asks FCC for help in spreading broadband

By Allan Holmes and Amirah Al Idrus

Industry-backed law prohibits expansion of cities' Internet service

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Communications Commission":

"… als in Chattanooga, Tenn., and Wilson, N.C., simultaneously petitioned the Federal Communications Commission Thursday to pre-empt laws in their states that ban the cities from expandi …"

Chattanooga wants feds to pre-empt broadband ban

By Allan Holmes

Tennessee city seeks to expand municipal broadband service, pre-empting industry-backed state ban.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Ted Cruz":

"… ion. Senators including Deb Fischer, R-Nebraska, Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, Ted Cruz, R-Texas and Marco Rubio, R-Florida, wrote a letter warning Whee …"

Potential Sprint, T-Mobile marriage threatens consumer gains

By Allan Holmes

Sprint, T-Mobile fought to maintain competition, merger talks show they're giving in.

Excerpts from this story referencing "T-Mobile USA":

"… sions here regarding the reserved spectrum provisions.” …"

Comcast-Time Warner deal may hinge on anemic low-cost Internet plan

By Allan Holmes

Comcast Corp. will use heavily criticized broadband program for the poor to persuade regulators to OK Time Warner buyout.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Broadband":

"… ervention is needed,” said Blair Levin, who oversaw the FCC’s National Broadband Plan 2010, which laid out a road map for providing universal Internet acce …"

"… socializing have all moved online. In 2010, the FCC released its National Broadband Plan in hopes of getting more Americans online. It cited a government repo …"

"… ars before during his work on a committee advising the FCC on its National Broadband Plan and wasn’t ready to be launched, Cohen said. “The timing to purs …"

"… ondition for merger is silly,” said Levin, the architect of the National Broadband Plan and a fellow at the Aspen Institute’s Communications and Society Pr …"

AT&T, Verizon beat back limits on airwaves auction

By Allan Holmes

Wireless giants face few limits on their buying power at next year's auction of prime spectrum, which could hurt T-Mobile and Sprint.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Federal Communications Commission":

"… to stay viable, or they don’t and they need to sell out,” he said. …"

U.S. Chamber targets Dems in state attorney general races

By Ben Wieder

Why are powerful business interests underwriting ads in AG races in the states?

Excerpts from this story referencing "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission":

"… er for outside groups to operate thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, which knocked aside bans that had existed in 24 states on politi …"

Center wins three awards from Society of Professional Journalists

Two days after the Center is honored with a Pulitzer Prize, it collects three more journalism awards.

Excerpts from this story referencing "ABC News":

"… re back lending again. In the online, affiliated category, the Center and ABC News shared the prize for investigative reporting for “Out of Breath: The Unt …"

"… were Chris Hamby of the Center and Matt Mosk, Lee Ferran and Brian Ross of ABC News. The news comes two days after the Center won its first Pulitzer Pri …"

Name calling won't silence investigative reporting

By Bill Buzenberg

How a Verizon flack's tweet clinched more readers for our wireless investigation.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Internet":

"… way. It began when Senior Reporter Allan Holmes, who covers broadband and Internet governance, was working on an investigation into corporate concentration i …"

T-Mobile, Sprint score one in wireless war

By Allan Holmes

Revenue from early auctions boosts T-Mobile's and Sprint's campaign for limits on big wireless companies' airwaves access.

Excerpts from this story referencing "broadband":

"… alike, in order to maximize the amount of spectrum re-purposed for mobile broadband and fund FirstNet and deficit reduction,” Verizon said in a Jan. 24  …"

Wireless companies fight for their futures

By Allan Holmes

A rare auction of wireless spectrum may determine who controls your cell phone.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congressional Budget Office":

"… ary of commerce in the Clinton administration and a former director of the Congressional Budget Office, Congress’ economic research arm — published a study in Apri …"

Comcast Foundation's giving to minority groups likely to aid approval of Time Warner buyout

By Jason McLure

Support of minority groups key to cable deal's approval, Comcast foundation has dealt out millions.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Time Warner":

"… t look at the big picture.”       …"

"… anic Chamber of Commerce ($320,000). Indeed, the USHCC hailed the Comcast-Time Warner Cable announcement on the same day the deal was announced for “forging a …"

"… ncreased capacity to deliver ground-breaking products.” Support for the Time Warner Cable deal from the National Council of La Raza, the nation’s largest Hi …"

"… ect the group’s planned negotiations with the company about the proposed Time Warner merger, nor did Comcast donations influence the group’s stance toward th …"

Comcast, Time Warner rivals may see opportunity in mega-merger

By Allan Holmes

The Comcast-Time Warner merger may be embraced by industry rivals who see an opportunity for their own deals.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Time Warner Cable":

"… o convince lawmakers and regulators to support its $45 billion purchase of Time Warner Cable Inc., don’t expect much opposition from the companies' biggest rivals. …"

"… t elected in 2008. Charter Communications Inc., which was close to buying Time Warner Cable before Comcast undercut it with last week's deal, would be viewed as a sor …"

"… from 2009 and 2011, the first years of the 2010 and 2012 election cycles. Time Warner Cable spent much less on lobbying in 2013 -- $8.3 million – but it still dwarf …"

"… al and even an extension of the rules may be part of an approval of buying Time Warner Cable. And if the FCC can secure that agreement, Internet companies that need an …"

Netflix stacking deck on Capitol Hill

By Dave Levinthal

'House of Cards' distributor is accelerating its own political efforts in Washington.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Hillary Clinton":

"… a; Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.; Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.; and former Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y. Hastings also contributed tens of thousands of dollars more to th …"

T-Mobile’s lobbying spending may be paying off

By Allan Holmes

The No. 4 wireless carrier sees its lobbying investments paying off in D.C.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Verizon Communications":

"… . 2 wireless carrier AT&T spent $15.9 million on lobbying in 2013, and Verizon Communications Inc., the largest, doled out $13.4 million. T-Mobile's sharp increases be …"

Network neutrality debate may be headed back to FCC

By Allan Holmes

An appeals court Tuesday tossed out rules regulating the Internet, but a new battle might take place at the agency level.

Excerpts from this story referencing "broadband":

"… is far from over. On Tuesday, an appeals court overturned rules that bar broadband providers from blocking or slowing Internet traffic. But the court also su …"

"… olumbia Circuit ruled that the FCC doesn’t have the authority to require broadband providers to treat online content equally — leaving them free to manipul …"

"… , the second-largest cable company in the nation, and the total from these broadband providers and their association surpassed $55 million in the first nine mo …"

"… ission was considering — in addition to rethinking the way it approaches broadband regulation. One alternative includes classifying broadband providers as t …"

AT&T buoyed in lobbying push against spectrum auction limits

By Allan Holmes

Expect telecom giant to fight FCC on spectrum auction limits following T-Mobile airwaves purchase.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Verizon Communications":

"… onsive Politics. In 2011, AT&T spent $20.2 million and ranked eighth. Verizon Communications was close behind, having spent $15.2 million in 2012 and placing 15th on t …"

Justice for sale in state supreme court elections?

By Bill Buzenberg

Outside groups are funneling more and more money into state races, which is a trend the Center will be following.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Montana":

"… owa and Mississippi, our research focused on Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma and Wisconsin. The influence of nonprofits and super PACs …"

D.C.-based groups bombarded state high court races with ads

By Alan Suderman and Ben Wieder

Nearly $12 million spent by super PACs and nonprofits in 2012-13 state supreme court races.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Florida":

"… ial lawyers and business interests. Trial lawyers helped carry the day in Florida, Louisiana and Oklahoma, while the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says it was su …"

"… mall-dollar donors. *** The fallout from the 2010 Iowa election spread to Florida last year, where conservatives unhappy with a high court ruling to invalid …"

"… mall amounts in a campaign against the judges, and the Republican Party of Florida urged its members not to retain the justices. The initiative was opposed …"

"… buted $300,000 to Defend Justice, making it the single biggest donor. Nine Florida law firms each gave $100,000 or more. “The one thing we learned from Io …"

Civil rights group's FCC positions reflect industry funding, critics say

By Jason McLure

Civil rights organization often agrees with industry backers on FCC issues.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Time Warner":

"… ributions and sponsorships from network neutrality foes including Verizon, Time Warner, and the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, according to M …"