The Federal Communications Commission supplied Democratic leaders on the House Commerce Committee with an update on a long-running probe of wireless carriers’ unauthorized disclosure of subscriber location data to third parties. Those lawmakers last month requested that FCC Chairman Ajit Pai arrange for an update to Congress by Nov.
Speculation is at a fever pitch surrounding Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai’s pending decision on how to sell the 5G-friendly airwaves in the so-called C-band, with many suspecting the FCC may take up an item on the matter at its Dec. 12 meeting.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-South bend), who has been a Silicon Valley favorite in the 2020 presidential race, is calling out several tech giants for harming workers. In his new policy plan, Mayor Buttigieg singles out Facebook, Google and Uber for troubling labor practices, and pledges to hold employers accountable under labor laws, strengthen unions and expand protections for gig workers. “The status quo with companies like Facebook and Uber setting the rules and government sitting on the sidelines must change,” the plan says.
Sen. John Neely Kennedy (R-LA) talked on the phone with President Donald Trump to outline his views on the Federal Communications Commission’s pending decision on how to get the coveted 5G-ready airwaves known as the C-band into wireless providers’ hands. Sen Kennedy said the conversation was positive. Sen Kennedy also met with FCC staff on spectrum auctioning, as the lawmaker had intended.
"Unfortunately, we are not able to honor your request," Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joe Simons tells Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) about the senator's ask that the agency release its 2012 staff report on Google. A chunk of that report was accidentally released back in 2015, revealing that FTC staffers judged that Google had caused "real harm" in the search and online ads markets as part of an investigation that ended with no charges brought against the company.
Sen John Neely Kennedy (R-LA), the top Senate appropriator overseeing Federal Communications Commission funding, will bring in FCC Chairman Ajit Pai for a hearing Oct 17 to grill him about whether the agency will run its own, likely slower, auction of the 5G airwaves known as the C-band or, as Sen Kennedy fears, allow the satellite companies holding the spectrum to conduct a private sale. “They say we’ve got to do a private deal because it’ll be faster,” said Sen Kennedy. “You ever heard of courts? Duh, you don’t think anybody’s going to file suit over this?
Telecommunications and utility groups are urging congressional appropriators to continue investing in rural broadband in fiscal year 2020. “The health and productivity of the people we represent throughout rural America are dependent on access to high-quality broadband,” The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association, the Utilities Technology Council and nearly two dozen other groups wrote in a letter to Senate and House appropriators.
Sen Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) has been leading private meetings in Washington with tech industry leaders and civil society groups as part of the Senate Judiciary tech task force inquiry into social media and internet companies.
With Congress inching toward reopening its long-shuttered Office of Technology Assessment, a bipartisan group of lawmakers has introduced legislation to fix what critics say were the office’s flaws back before it was defunded by Newt Gingrich-led Republicans in the 1990s.
The House Commerce Committee's telecom subcommittee will soon move to mark up legislation to improve the government’s mapping of broadband data, which lawmakers have long complained is riddled with errors. And the panel will likely use the Broadband DATA Act, H.R. 4229, from Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa), as the base. “I think the Loebsack bill will be the vehicle it runs through,” Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle (D-PA) said. “But I think we’re going to be taking bits and pieces of the other bills, too.”