Telecommunications Act of 1996 is 25

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FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel hosted a video to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the signing of the landmark Telecommunications Act of 1996. President Bill Clinton signed the bill into law on February 8, 1996. The video features telecom policy makers’ thoughts about the legislation, which was the biggest overhaul of communications policy in over half-a-century.  

“Without the Telecom Act of 1996, today’s information and communications landscape would look entirely different,” said Rosenworcel. “Coming at the dawn of the internet age, the Act accelerated the transition from the analog era to the digital age while also reaffirming the promise at the heart of FCC’s founding statute: that advanced communications should be available to all Americans. Importantly, the Act established the E-Rate program to bring the internet to every classroom and library in America and, today, the wisdom of investing in digital learning has never been clearer. While we have come a long way, we still have much more work to do to fully realize the promise of the Act and see connectivity for all Americans.” 

The new video features past and present Congressional, Commission, and NTIA leaders discussing the Act. In addition to Rosenworcel, speakers include Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt and former Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and NTIA Administrator Larry Irving. Former FCC Commissioners Susan Ness, Gloria Tristani, and Rachelle Chong are also on the video. 

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