PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE | March 15, 2021

FCC Update


The FCC has requested an abeyance of oral arguments in the 6th Circuit Court in City of Eugene OR v FCC – the case ACM and municipalities across the US have brought arguing against the so-called “In-Kind” Order on cable franchising from 2019.  The Rosenworcel FCC says it wants to reevaluate the Order in the wake of leadership changes at the Commission. View the request here. 

Not so surprisingly, the cable industry has argued against the delay – and we’ll see how the judges in the case decide on the request. But it’s still good news and opens the door for change at the FCC, especially if a fifth Commissioner is appointed in coming months by the Biden Administration. 

We’ll keep you posted on the case.

American Rescue Plan

On the heels of passage of the American Rescue Plan – Representative James Clyburn and Senator Amy Klobuchar have introduced a federal bill to radically expand broadband and broadband education.  

The bill, the Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act (HR 1783 will probably be considered part of Infrastructure legislations in coming months.  Significantly, it includes on-going federal support for digital literacy education. 

What’s “digital literacy”?  Here’s the definition in the bill: 
…the skills associated with using technology to enable users to find, evaluate, organize, create, and communicate information.

Is this what your organization does and do you actually talk about your work this way?  

My suspicion is for many ACM members, it is…we just don’t self-identify as digital literacy educators, or have a way to talk about digital education in our mission and strategy.  

As the Federal government and states prioritize digital education and expression – and solidify funding streams to support it, I would strongly urge you to consider what role it plays in your work.