Cristiano Lima

Bredesen's Broadband Broadside

As Tennessee voters head to the polls, Senate candidate Phil Bredesen (D) is taking aim at Rep Marsha Blackburn’s legacy on broadband. In a recent campaign ad, former-Gov Bredesen calls out the House Telecommunications Subcommittee chair for having “voted against $600 million in broadband initiatives.” At issue: Blackburn’s March 2018 vote against the sprawling omnibus government funding bill that contained a series of committee-negotiated tech legislation central to Blackburn’s panel.

How the FCC may be forced to grapple with AI, too

The Federal Communications Commission — which has jurisdiction over radio, television, cable, and satellites —  isn’t best known for grappling with cutting-edge technology. But amid the rise of generative AI tools like ChatGPT and Midjourney, the communications regulator may be forced to tackle artificial intelligence, an area that’s beginning to intersect with

Big Tech-funded groups try to kill bills to protect children online

Federal efforts to pass children’s online safety protections have languished amid disagreements between House and Senate leaders about which proposals to rally around.

GOP debt plan would hurt internet access efforts, Democrats say

Democratic officials are expressing concern that the House Republican debt limit plan would undermine bipartisan efforts to boost internet access nationwide and secure U.S.

Gigi Sohn speaks out on bitter FCC confirmation brawl for first time

For over a year, [Benton Senior Fellow and Public Advocate] Gigi Sohn stayed relatively silent as she faced a barrage of attacks over her nomination to the Federal Communications Commission, which had languished in the Senate since President Joe Biden tapped her in October 2021.

Google conducting civil rights review, caving to years of pressure

Apparently, Google has quietly tapped an outside law firm to review how its services and policies impact civil rights and racial equity, following years of pressure from advocates and Democratic lawmakers to conduct such an assessment. The civil rights audit has been months in the making and is set to examine how the company’s diversity and inclusion policies and approach to content moderation may affect marginalized communities, including at its subsidiary YouTube.

Hispanic groups renew push for FCC pick as President Biden renominates Gigi Sohn

A coalition of Hispanic groups is renewing calls for President Joe Biden to “name a person of Latino descent” to the Federal Communications Commission. The campaign comes as the White House forges ahead with the long-stalled nomination of Gigi Sohn. The groups lamented that the FCC has lacked a Latino commissioner for over two decades and said appointing one would make it “more likely” the agency would “champion equitable language access” and push for more inclusive internet access policies.

President Biden’s internet promises in limbo amid long battle over FCC nominee

The Federal Communications Commission has been without a Democratic majority for the entirety of President Biden’s 21-month tenure, hamstringing efforts to restore open internet protections and close the digital divide. Breaking the deadlock at the Federal Communications Commission hinges on confirming Gigi Sohn [Senior Fellow and Public Advocate at the Benton Institue for Broadband & Society], a longtime public interest advocate and former Democratic FCC official who was first nominated by the White House nearly a year ago.

Sen Cantwell casts doubt on prospect of major data privacy bill

Senate Commerce Chair Maria Cantwell (D-WA), whose panel controls the fate of any data privacy bill, stated she’s not close to supporting a major proposal recently unveiled by Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and Senate. In addition, she said Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) has said he will not bring the current bill up for a vote in the upper chamber, signaling roadblocks for the push.

The US is quietly paying millions to send Starlink terminals to Ukraine, contrary to SpaceX claims

After Russia launched its invasion, Ukrainian officials pleaded for Elon Musk’s SpaceX to dispatch their Starlink terminals to the region to boost Internet access. “Starlink service is now active in Ukraine. More terminals en route,” Musk replied to broad online fanfare. Since then, the company has cast the actions in part as a charitable gesture.