Sen John Thune (R-SD)

Republican Commerce Committee Leaders Seek Information About FCC's Response to EBB 'Fraud and Abuse'

Reps Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Bob Latta (R-OH), along with Sens Roger Wicker (R-MS) and John Thune (R-SD) sent a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel seeking information about the agency’s response after the FCC Office of Inspector General (OIG) found that broadband providers have been fraudulently enrolling households in the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program. The providers falsely claimed that certain customers’ households had children attending schools participating in the National School Lunch Program’s Community Eligibility Provisio

Sens Wicker and Thune Urge FCC to Move Quickly in RDOF Application Review

Senate Commerce Committee Ranking Member Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Broadband Subcommittee Ranking Member John Thune (R-SD) sent a letter to Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel to request a status update on the Federal Communications Commission's long-form application review process for the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) Phase I auction. The auction awarded $9.2 billion over ten years to over 300 bidders to deploy high-speed broadband to over 5.2 million unserved homes and businesses in 49 states.

Senators Reintroduce Bipartisan Legislation to Increase Transparency on Internet Platforms

Sens John Thune (R-SD), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Brian Schatz (D-HI), and Mark Warner (D-VA) reintroduced the Filter Bubble Transparency Act (S.2024). The bill would require large-scale internet platforms that collect data from more than 1 million users and gross more than $50 million per year to provide greater transparency to consumers, and allow users to view content that has not been curated as a result of a secret algorithm. 

Sen Thune Leads Bipartisan Legislation to Advance Rural Broadband Services

Sens John Thune (R-SD), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Jerry Moran (R-KS), and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) cosponsored the Rural Connectivity Advancement Program (RCAP) Act of 2021, legislation that would dedicate a portion of proceeds from congressionally mandated spectrum auctions to be used for the buildout of broadband networks, which would help strengthen connectivity in rural communities throughout the country. The bill would:

Sens Thune and Wicker Request GAO Review of FCC Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

Sens John Thune (R-SD) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to request that it conduct an independent review of the Federal Communication Commission’s Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program to ensure its success. The letter also requested that there be a comprehensive review of the program to determine its effectiveness and efficiency. They asked GAO examine the following issues and questions:

Waste, Fraud, and Abuse: When establishing the EBB program, what measures did the FCC take to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse? 

Congressional Republicans Urge FCC to Quickly Produce Accurate Broadband Maps

In a letter to Federal Communications Commission Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, the minority leadership from the House and Senate Commerce Committees asked about the FCC's status on completing its mapping process to ensure accurate broadband data collection. [Congress just allocated the funds the FCC needs to do the mapping in December 2020.] "[W]e are concerned that delays in completing these maps could lead to further delays in distributing critical broadband funds," the Members of Congress write. "You have repeatedly stated that the FCC could quickly produce new broadband maps.

Sens Wicker, Thune Raise Concerns About USF Sustainability

Sens. Roger Wicker (R-MS) and John Thune (R-SD) sent a letter to to Acting Chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission Jessica Rosenworcel raising concerns about the Universal Service Fund’s (USF) long-term sustainability as a mechanism to close the nation’s digital divide.

Republican Senators Urge President Trump to Bolster Private-Sector Deployment of 5G

Senate Communications Subcommittee Chairman John Thune (R-SD) led a letter with nearly 20 Republican colleagues to President Donald Trump applauding the administration’s successful efforts to empower the private sector to build multiple 5G networks. The senators also expressed concerns regarding a request for information that was released by the Department of Defense that contradicts the successful free-market strategy that has embraced 5G.

Sene Thune, Schatz Introduce Legislation to Update Section 230, Strengthen Rules, Transparency on Online Content Moderation, Hold Internet Companies Accountable for Moderation Practices

Senate Communications Subcommittee Chairman John Thune (R-SD) and Ranking Member Brian Schatz (D-HI) introduced the Platform Accountability and Consumer Transparency (PACT) Act, an update to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. The PACT Act will strengthen transparency in the process online platforms use to moderate content and hold those companies accountable for content that violates their own policies or is illegal.

The Schatz-Thune PACT Act creates more transparency by:

Sen Thune Introduces Bill to Advance Rural Broadband Services

Senate Communications Subcommittee Chairman John Thune (R-SD)  introduced the Rural Connectivity Advancement Program (RCAP) Act of 2020, legislation that would capture a portion of the proceeds from spectrum auctions conducted by the Federal Communications Commission through September 30, 2022, for the buildout of broadband networks.