Recently in the Communications Category

For the first time since 1996, the  House of Representatives is taking step to overhaul communications law (Hillicon Valley, 1/8/14).  Republican Representatives Fred Upton (Mich.) and Greg Walden (Ore.), took the first step to update a foundational law regulating internet, television and telephone communications on Wednesday, January 8 Representatives Upton and Walden, who lead the House Energy and Commerce Committee and its communications and technology subcommittee respectively, released a white paper outlining flaws that have emerged since the law was last updated in 1996.  The 1934 law created and outlined the powers of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  Updating the law "is critical to ensuring that the communications and technology sectors, the bright spot of our national economy, have laws and regulations that foster continued innovation and job creation," Upton and Walden said in a joint statement. WIPP looks forward to hearing more about revisions to the telecommunications law.  It will seek opportunities to voice the merits of proposed changes with regard to how they might impact women entrepreneurs.

Read more:

Many WIPP members were impacted by Hurricane Sandy and it brought home how important our communications systems are.   It is worthwhile to review FCC's blog, posted 10/28/13.   It's been a year since Hurricane Sandy struck a devastating blow to communities in the Eastern United States. Since then, America's recovery efforts have focused not only on rebuilding but also on resiliency - that is, improving our ability to withstand future disasters. The lessons learned from the storm are shaping the FCC's work as well. Hurricane Sandy was a powerful reminder of the importance of resilient communications networks - whether you are calling for help, checking on the well-being of loved ones, or just trying to resume day-to-day business after a disaster strikes. Unfortunately, millions of Americans faced communications problems after the storm. For example, at its peak, Sandy disabled approximately 25 percent of cell sites in the affected region - and more than 50 percent in the hardest-hit counties. But some wireless providers fared better than others because of the preparations they undertook, suggesting that there are additional steps providers can take to bolster network resiliency.    Toward More Resilient Communications Networks.

By Barbara Kasoff


The thing about revolutions - whether political or technological - is that the job is never really done.  The initial breakthrough is often just the starting point on a long road toward the ultimate goal.  Wireless communications is in the midst of one such ongoing revolution.


Think about it: many years ago, women banded together to collectively win the right to vote, a development that was revolutionary at the time.  And now women are often being elected to serve in office, which shows how the revolution continues to make a difference even in the long term. We must remember, however, that this is not the end of the women's revolution.


With wireless, the essential next step is ensuring access to enough spectrum to support consumer demand.  Without adequate spectrum, calls drop, videos freeze, Internet connections just don't happen.


"We are consuming the airwaves like never before.  This is a revolution, and we're going to have to become more efficient in the use of spectrum," FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel explained recently when talking about spectrum policy at the Internet Association.


That revolution began with phone calls without wires.  Today, wireless means full-scale computing power that we can carry around.  That's critically important for those who rely upon wireless networks for business, personal communications, entertainment and for educational activities.  But, Rosenworcel warns that the revolution could crater if we run out of the spectrum.


She touted the upcoming incentive auctions as critical for putting more licensed spectrum to work for consumers and urged the FCC and Congress to speed their efforts.  She also gave a shout out to the unlicensed spectrum for Wi-Fi and to secondary market transaction that move spectrum directly and quickly from a company that isn't using it aggressively to another that is eager to put it to work. Secondary market transactions are the essence of pro-consumer policy because they make it possible for consumers to enjoy the services they want most. For example, T-Mobile's recently accepted petition to acquire MetroPCS was hailed by the FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau as they stated that the acquisition would "serve the public interest." This approved transaction points to the robust and healthy competition that already exists within the telecommunications market. This is the continuation of the wireless and spectrum policy revolution, and it must continue.


As a national public policy organization that represents and actively advocates on the behalf of women and minorities in business, we strongly agree that secondary market transactions are an important element of quickly deploying technologies that require spectrum to serve to serve the consumer demand, and effectively and positively impact business health and growth.


The bottom line is that the Commissioner Rosenworcel is calling for a comprehensive approach to spectrum with policies that "involve competition, flexible use licenses and presumption of renewal when something facilitates investments in networks, as well as secondary markets." And WIPP couldn't agree more!




By Cielo Villasenor


WIPP members are fortunate to have such a strong support of true advocates and allies on Capitol Hill and within the administration.  It is those allies who recently made one of the most significant leaps forward in women-owned small business policy that we have seen in a decade.  We could not think of a better time to celebrate the leaders who advance the growth of women entrepreneurs than during Women's History Month and the 25-year anniversary of the passage of the Women's Ownership Act, H.R. 5050.


As a way to say "thank you" to the policymakers directly responsible for lifting the award caps on the Women-Owned Small Business Contracting Program, WIPP is hosting a luncheon with guests to include celebrated advocates in the administration and from several federal agencies as well as Members of Congress and their staff.


While it is not too often that the passage of one single provision merits a celebration, this one directly advances the success of women's greatest vehicle to doing business with the world's largest consumer - the federal government.


The luncheon will also serve as the official launch of a major new campaign and partnership for WIPP.  The new initiative is aimed at getting more women engaged in federal contracting, and more contracts awarded through the WOSB program.  It will bring education and training to women business owners across the country.


"We look forward to kicking off the year of the woman entrepreneur by formally thanking those who helped make the single most important program to American's women contractors a success," said WIPP President Barbara Kasoff. "If there were ever a time to celebrate our advocates in D.C. - it is now."


This event will be held at the Washington Court Hotel on Capitol Hill .  To receive priority notification for registration, please email Erika Wilhelm at



This year, America celebrates the birth of today's fastest growing economic force - the woman entrepreneur. Twenty- five years ago the Women's Ownership Act (H.R. 5050) was passed, allowing women to get a loan without a male cosigner and fully reporting the economic impact of women business owners.

The modern American would most likely be outraged by the idea of a woman needing her husband or father's signature to get a loan, a fact buried so deeply in the nation's memory that it speaks volumes of the strides women have made in our society. Yet it is important not to forget the constant struggle for economic independence that women have foraged throughout decades, and it is even more important to continue moving forward.

Not only did the Women's Ownership Act grant women the ability to attain capital but it also required the US Census Bureau to include C corporations in the calculation of women-owned firms. Including this data more than doubled the reported number of Americans employed by women-owned firms, finally highlighting the economic impact of women businesses.

H.R. 5050 serves as part of the foundation which WIPP and its members are continuing to build, the foundation upon which women today can launch their businesses and their dreams. March is Women's History Month and while there is so much history to celebrate this month, it is appropriate that we take the entire year to celebrate women business owners - it is they who will lead the path to recovery, and it is their entrepreneurial spirit that will enable the next generation of American women to have the same opportunities as their male counterparts, including getting a loan in their own name.

To see WIPP President Barbara Kasoff's statement on the 25th anniversary of HR 5050 go here:

by Cielo Villasenor, WIPP Government Relations





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