Four Telecom Bills Sail Through House
Four pieces of telecom-focused legislation passed the House by generous margins. Lawmakers passed by voice votes the PIRATE Act, H.R. 5709 (115), which would boost penalties for unlicensed radio broadcasters, and the ACCESS BROADBAND Act, H.R.
Mo problems, mo money for tech
As controversies have piled up for top tech companies, so have their lobbying bills. Tech firms continued to pour record sums of money into federal lobbying during the second quarter, new disclosures show, reflecting their defensive maneuvering on matters like consumer privacy, market competition and the treatment of political speech on social media. Facebook spent its largest single-quarter sum ever, $3.67 million, during a period that included CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s grilling in Congress over the company’s privacy lapses and the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.
What Justice Kennedy Meant for Tech
With Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announcing he will retire come July 31, the high court could be headed for a major shift as the president will look to solidify the body’s conservative majority. Here’s a look at how some of his opinions have shaped the technology and telecommunications spheres — and what his absence could mean going forward. A perennial swing vote in his more than 20 years on the high court, Justice Kennedy served as the deciding vote on numerous high-profile legal battles.
Lifeline Providers Ask FCC to Press Pause
Two tribes and a group of companies that get telecom subsidies under the Federal Communications Commission's Lifeline program want the FCC to hold off on its plan to limit the types of companies that get more Lifeline money to support subscribers on tribal lands. In 2017, the FCC approved a plan that would eliminate extra funding on tribal lands for wireless resellers, and limit the areas eligible for a higher subsidy. The enhanced subsidy adds an extra $25 to the monthly $9.25 per-subscriber total that Lifeline companies receive.
Chairman Thune Pencils in Vote on FCC's Starks for June 27
As long as Federal Communications Commission nominee Geoffrey Starks is able to supply his post-confirmation hearing paperwork quickly, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD) wants to include Starks' nomination on a June 27 markup and then move it on the floor paired with the nomination of current FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr for a second term. "I think the FCC [nominations] should move quickly," said Chairman Thune. Starks enjoyed a drama-free confirmation hearing June 20.