The Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing to consider the nominations of Gigi Sohn to be a commissioner on the Federal Communications Commission and Alan Davidson to head the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. Sohn has a history of advocating for open and affordable communications networks. She is a distinguished fellow at the Georgetown Law Institute for Technology Law & Policy and a Senior Fellow and Public Advocate at the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society.
The Senate Commerce Committee voted to advance two of President Joe Biden's nominees:
The House Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Communications and Technology held a legislative hearing on four bills:
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act retains the basic structure of the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program in the creation of a longer-term broadband affordability program to be called the Affordable Connectivity Program. In our first article, we looked at some of the bigger changes coming for broadband providers and consumers currently in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program.
FCC Begins the Transition of the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program into the Affordable Connectivity Program
On November 18, 2021, the Federal Communications Commission's Wireline Competition Bureau released a public notice seeking public comment on how to modify and extend the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program to a longer-term broadband affordability program: the Affordable Connectivity Program.
November 5, 2021 may be remembered as the day the U.S. House of Representatives passed the infrastructure bill. But it was also a big day for the Federal Communications Commission's Lifeline program—because of actions both the FCC and Congress took that day.
The Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing to consider the nominations of Jessica Rosenworcel, to continue as a commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission (Rosenworcel also serves as chair of the FCC), and Alvaro Bedoya, to be a commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission.
Having waited patiently for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, now people want to know what happens next—when will we all get our broadband? For now, the action shifts from Congress to key federal agencies that will implement the broadband provisions of the new law.
House Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) said, "With the passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill today, we are modernizing our crumbling infrastructure, revitalizing our economy, and combating the worsening climate crisis.... the infrastructure bill’s sweeping investments in broadband access, affordability, and adoption will help us close the digital divide. Every community – regardless of zip code – needs and deserves access to reliable, affordable, high-speed internet, and with today’s action we take a giant step toward making that a reality.
One aim of the new Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is to ensure that every American has access to reliable high-speed internet service. Here we begin a multi-part series looking at the major broadband-related provisions of the legislation. First up: over $42 billion for broadband deployment grants to the states. We look at why new broadband maps are so critical to these efforts, what the grants can be used for, the process for states to receive the support, and a timeline moving forward. The U.S.