Telecommunications reform is a priority for Congress and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Issues such as ensuring network neutrality and advanced broadband deployment are critically important to research libraries and the education community. Although legislation on these and other telecommunications issues was introduced and actively debated in the 109th session of Congress, no legislation was enacted. It is anticipated that these issues will be hotly debated in the current session of Congress.
The FCC has decided that all facilities-based broadband Internet access providers would be subject to the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA). CALEA, passed by Congress in 1994, addresses the concerns of the law enforcement community regarding the use of wiretaps in digital telephone networks and the law specifically provided law enforcement with additional powers to enhance government surveillance capabilities. Based on the FCC ruling, libraries, whether in an academic institution or not, are exempt from CALEA.