TOP HEADLINES

Governors to FCC: Don't preempt state laws prohibiting cities from deploying broadband networks

The National Governors Association urged federal regulators not to interfere with state laws that prohibit communities from building their own high-speed Internet networks.

FTC announces winners in latest challenge to fight robocalls

The FTC sponsored the robocall contest – called Zapping Rachel – at the DEF CON 22 hacking conference in early August. Contestants had to design a so-called honeypot, which is an information system that would attract robocallers so researchers, law enforcement and other stakeholders could gain more insight into robocallers' tactics.

California governor signs smartphone kill switch bill into law

California on Aug. 25 became the first state to require that all smartphones sold there come pre-equipped with theft deterrent technology.

House panel white paper seeks feedback on federal telecommunications subsidy program

The House Energy and Commerce Committee recently released a fifth white paper designed to spur discussion around the structure and effectiveness of the Universal Service Fund, a program that provides affordable telecommunications service to people in rural areas and others.

US senator backs expected DOT proposal to ban in-flight cell phone calls

A U.S. senator said Aug. 25 that cell phone conversations on commercial airline flights should be banned to preserve the "last vestige of quiet in our busy skies," but text messages should be permitted.

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FierceGovernment

The Interior Department failed to accurately track its conference and could not provide actual cost information for 10 of its conferences, an Aug. 28 DOI inspector general report says. The IG looked at ten DOI conferences that exceeded $20,000 and found significant differences between estimated and actual costs, the report says.

FierceGovernment

President Obama plans to raise pay for federal workers by 1 percent starting in January 2015, an Aug. 29 White House statement on the National Treasury Employees Union website says. But even with the sacrifice federal workers have made over the last few years with pay freezes, they will have to continue to endure a pay raise below the amount of private sector increase and also below the statutory formula for adjustments to the base General Schedule, Obama said in the letter to Congress.