Internet Association Calls for Senate to Act to Preserve Net Neutrality Protections
Internet Association called for the Senate to preserve a free and open internet with strong, enforceable network neutrality protections. In a letter to the Senate, IA stated its support for the Senate Congressional Review Act resolution to invalidate the Federal Communication Commission’s Restoring Internet Freedom Order and other bipartisan legislation to reinstate strong net neutrality rules.
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross Appoints Public Safety, Business Leaders to the First Responder Network Authority Board
US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the appointment of four members to serve on the Board of the FirstNet Responder Network Authority. The appointees are leading experts in the fields of public safety, wireless broadband technology, and network engineering. The Board will oversee the activities of FirstNet to ensure that AT&T develops, builds, and operates a nationwide broadband network that will best equip first responders to save lives and protect US communities. Secretary Ross appointed the following three individuals to the FirstNet Board for three-year terms:
Sens Schatz, Harris, and Gardner Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Improve the Emergency Alert System
Following the false emergency alert that went out across Hawai‘i on January 13 and caused widespread panic, Sens Brian Schatz (D-HI), Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Cory Gardner (R-CO) introduced the Authenticating Local Emergencies and Real Threats (ALERT) Act, legislation that would improve the emergency alert system and give the federal government the sole responsibility of alerting the public of a missile threat, prohibiting state and local governments from doing so. The Schatz-Harris-Gardner legislation would strengthen the way states and local governments use the Integrated Public Alert a
Reps Lance, Doyle Introduce AIRWAVES Act
House Communications Subcommittee Vice Chair Leonard Lance (R-NJ) is joining subcommittee Ranking Member Mike Doyle (D-PA) in introducing bipartisan legislation that will help bring 5G wireless service closer to reality and help close the digital divide. The "Advancing Innovation and Reinvigorating Widespread Access to Viable Electromagnetic Spectrum", or AIRWAVES Act, will encourage the federal government to free up more spectrum for commercial licensed and unlicensed use. More spectrum will improve data service from all providers and help close geographic gaps in coverage.
Kenneth Johnson Tapped to Administrator of USAD's Rural Utility Service
President Donald Trump announced his intent to nominate Kenneth Johnson to be the Rural Utility Service Administrator, Department of Agriculture. Johnson serves as the general manager and CEO of Co-Mo Electric Cooperative and President for Co-Mo Connect in Tipton, MO. Co-Mo is the first to deploy a fiber-to-the-home network to all of their members without federal or state funding, providing gigabit internet, video and voice services to nearly 16,000 subscribers.
Rep Swalwell (D-CA) Introduces the Journalist Protection Act
Rep Eric Swalwell (D-CA), a member of the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees, introduced the Journalist Protection Act to make a federal crime of certain attacks on those reporting the news.
SHLB Urges the FCC to Reform and Increase Funding for Rural Health Care Program
The Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition, a broad-based membership organization that includes health providers and telehealth networks, filed comments with the Federal Communication Commission asking for an increase in funding for the Rural Health Care (RHC) program to improve the quality of health care in rural markets across the United States.
FCC Announces Tentative Agenda For February 2018 Open Meeting
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced that the following items are tentatively on the agenda for the February Open Commission Meeting scheduled for Thursday, February 22, 2018.
Verizon partners with New York State to deploy high-speed broadband to 15,500 rural households
Verizon is pleased to announce that it has been awarded $70.7 million in Phase 3 of the New NY Broadband Program. An additional $12 million from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Connect America Fund (CAF) plus Verizon’s own investment brings the total funds to $106.6 million. The funds will support Verizon’s deployment of high-speed broadband to more than 15,500 rural locations in upstate New York.
FTC Provides Comment to FCC Encouraging Providers of Call-Blocking Services to Take Steps to Avoid Blocking Wanted Calls
In a comment provided to the Federal Communications Commission, staff of the Federal Trade Commission responded to the FCC’s request for input on potential mechanisms to address erroneously blocked robocalls, without imposing undue harm on callers and consumers. In the comment, FTC staff stresses its support for the FCC’s inquiry into this important issue, which requires balancing the “long-overdue progress in developing call-blocking and call-filtering solutions to protect consumers from illegal and unwanted calls,” along with “the interests of subscribers and legitimate callers that coul