The Commerce Department, as statutorily obligated by a recent law, sought feedback on how to best implement an administration 5G security strategy and has now posted all its comments. Around 80 parties weighed in, from the city of New York to companies like AT&T, Qualcomm and Ligado.
Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders’ “unity task forces” — which brought together backers of each camp to bridge differences in their agendas — unveiled policy recommendations that featured positions on a number of key tech policy issues. The task force included a recommendation on how the party should approach resurrecting the repealed Obama-era net neutrality protections, saying “Democrats will restore the FCC's clear authority to take strong enforcement action against broadband pro
Although the Federal Communications Commission’s voluntary Keep Americans Connected pledge that broadband providers made to help consumers maintain internet access during the pandemic expires June 30, NCTA President Michael Powell says his cable trade group members are preparing to lend a hand regardless of whether it’s extended. “If the pledge is no longer at government insistence or fiat, that won’t really fundamentally change what we’re doing,” said Powell.
Sen Rubio Appointment as Acting Chairman of Intelligence Committee Could Mean More Trouble for Tech and Telecom Giants With Ties to China
Senator Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) appointment as acting chairman of the Intelligence Committee could mean more trouble for tech and telecommunication companies with ties to China. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced Sen Rubio’s appointment in the absence of Sen Richard Burr (R-NC), who temporarily stepped down from the top spot while the FBI is investigating his stock trades.
Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joe Simons told House lawmakers that the agency is “very, very closely” watching how contact tracing efforts by Google, Apple and other tech companies affect Americans’ privacy. “We are all over that,” Chairman Simons said during a call with House Commerce Committee lawmakers, adding that the FTC has been talking to the companies involved. Chairman Simons noted that one of the major players in the effort, Google, is already under an FTC order to uphold certain privacy standards.
As the Senate returns, Commerce Committee Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS) says he’s ready to dive in on broadband discussions, an especially prime topic as Congress mulls its next phase of coronavirus relief. Chairman Wicker specifically invoked interest in reviewing Federal Communications Commission plans to dole out billions of Rural Digital Opportunity Fund dollars this fall. Chairman Wicker said that the auction would bring broadband to rural America. “We’re going to try to speed that up. It’s scheduled for October of this year.
As the pandemic batters America for its second month, small broadband providers are having a harder time finding protective gear needed to allow workers to go into the field. “I got about four emails today from people being like, ‘Help me get PPE, we can't get equipment,’” said Shirley Bloomfield, head of rural telecom trade group NTCA. Rural ISPs are turning to local distilleries for hand sanitizer and lumber yards for gloves, according to Bloomfield. USTelecom has expressed similar anxiety among its larger ISP members and ongoing dialogue with the Department of Homeland Security.
Federal Communications Commission General Counsel Tom Johnson joined The Federalist to discuss why the commission quickly shot down a recent emergency petition from advocacy group Free Press asking the agency to investigate what it calls bogus coronavirus information from talk radio and White House task force briefings.