Alexandra Levine

Jockeying to Shape Biden's Broadband Vision Heats Up

As President Joe Biden fills out his top administration posts and his digital agenda, advocates are rushing forward with ideas for just how his team and the Federal Communications Commission should proceed, touting structural reforms and emphasizing equity concerns.

Sen Wyden's prospects for the 177th Congress: Privacy, Section 230, and Broadband

In an interview with Politico, Sen Ron Wyden (D-OR) describe his plans for the 117th Congress. Some highlights:

Leaders to Watch in the Democratic Senate

The Capitol began processing a massive shift in the balance of power as Democrats prepare to take unified control of Congress. That means these key Democrats are primed to take the gavels on the committees overseeing technology and telecommunications issues, ranging from data privacy to 5G to antitrust:

Tech and Telecom-Heavy COVID Relief, Omnibus

The $900 billion coronavirus package and $1.4 trillion government funding deal are full of technology and telecommunications priorities that will help Americans stay connected amid a darkening pandemic and keep issues from antitrust to artificial intelligence policy front-and-center heading into 2021. Both the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice's antitrust division get a bump in funding.

Roddy Takes Helm of NTIA in Trump's Final Days

Carolyn Roddy is now listed as acting chief of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration following previous acting Administrator Adam Candeub’s jump to the Justice Department.

FCC's Carr: Confirm Simington to Stall Democrats

Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr endorsed Simington’s nomination, saying he needs another Republican alongside him on the five-member commission come Inauguration Day to stymie Democrats in a deadlocked 2-2 FCC. “It’d be very valuable to get Simington across the finish line to help forestall what really would be billions of dollars worth of economic damage that I think a [Democratic] FCC would look to jam through from Day 1,” Commissioner Carr cautioned during an appearance on Fox Business.

$10 Billion for Broadband

A bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers, including Sens Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), is allocating $10 billion for broadband connectivity as part of its $908 billion emergency relief plan.

House Republicans Make Their Pitch for Top Commerce Committee Spot

Republican lawmakers vying for the prized ranking member role on the House Commerce Committee will make their case to the Republican Steering Committee, with a decision expected Dec 2.

Rural Carriers Nervously Await Funding to Ditch Huawei

With only a handful of days to go in 2020’s legislative session, rural telecom carriers are hoping Congress delivers the estimated $1.5 billion needed to remove the gear from China’s Huawei and ZTE still present in the networks of at least a few dozen of them. The Federal Communications Commission has already cut off access to telecom subsidies for small carriers using such equipment, which is deemed a threat to US national security. One likely potential source of this cash: Capitol Hill’s forthcoming package to fund the government beyond Dec. 11.

Where the youngest new faces coming to Congress stand on tech

Eleven new lawmakers under the age of 45 were elected to the 117th Congress,  joining other under-45s leading on tech issues, including Silicon Valley Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) and Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO). Here’s what to know about some of the newcomers’ views on and ties to tech: