Alexandra Levine

Providers Push for 'Permanent' Broadband Subsidies

A coalition including broadband heavyweights AT&T, Charter, Comcast and Verizon is asking Congress and President Joe Biden to build off the recent $3.2 billion Emergency Broadband Benefit and craft “a long-term federally-funded broadband benefit program that the [Federal Communications Commission] would manage and administer to provide low-income individuals with enhanced fi

White House Huddles with Small Broadband Players

White House officials met privately with the CEOs of trade groups representing smaller internet service providers: America's Communications Association, the Competitive Carriers Association, NTCA, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the Rural Wireless Association and the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association. Although some bigger ISPs balk at Biden’s proposal, these smaller trade groups have been playing a more carefu

Partisan Fights Loom Over Broadband Talks

House Commerce hearing on March 22 showcased tense partisan divisions over potential broadband infrastructure fixes. The sparring comes as Biden’s advisers eye up to $3 trillion in proposed economic boosts that could be split across multiple packages and would include explicit broadband and 5G provisions.

Democrats Downsize Planned FCC Pandemic Boost

Senate Democrats aren’t setting aside quite as much money as their House counterparts for Federal Communications Commission online learning efforts, according to the latest legislative text for the $1.9 trillion pandemic aid package. Although House Democrats had wanted $7.6 billion in FCC funding, the Senate version includes just $7.17 billion. Senators are gearing up for final votes on the bill soon.

The Battle Lines Around Broadband

Lawmakers and industry groups are jockeying to shape the broadband internet investments likely to be embedded in President Joe Biden’s infrastructure efforts. Senior Democrats like House Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) are eyeing a revival of their $100 billion package aimed at connecting the unconnected and funding programs to bolster digital equity, which is likely to take center stage in coming weeks. But Republicans, bless their hearts, bristle over bigger price tags and instead point to less costly ways to close the digital divide.

Chairwoman Cantwell Makes History on Commerce Committee

Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) officially became the first woman to chair the Senate Commerce Committee, and she pledged to use the gavel to work on improving diversity in STEM fields. "To my fellow colleagues, all of you but particularly the women, I hope that we can do a better job on strategies to help women in the workforce, particularly in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering, and math," she said.

House Commerce Committee Hopes for E-rate Boost in COVID Bill

On Feb 11, the House Commerce Committee will mark up portions of the pandemic relief package falling within its jurisdiction.

Democrats May Hitch E-Rate Boost to Next Pandemic Package

Sen Ed Markey (D-MA) wants to see Congress wrap serious money expanding the Federal Communications Commission’s E-Rate subsidy program into its next pandemic relief package — a key delineation as Democrats plot out both pandemic aid and subsequent infrastructure legislative goals. Sen Markey said this would be distinct from Democrats’ more comprehensive digital ambitions, which would come later, as part of President Joe Biden’s infrastructure deal-making.

The House Gavel in Charge of Section 230 Reform

The House Commerce Committee now officially labels the hot-button issue of Section 230 under the jurisdiction of its communications and technology subcommittee, which is chaired by Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA). During the previous Congress, Commerce 

The Dark Horse for Antitrust Chief, FTC

Progressive groups have lambasted a number of potential candidates for the role of Justice Department antitrust chief over the individuals’ ties to tech companies.