Axios

Trump Administration Weighs Building US 5G Network to Counter China

Some White House officials view next-generation 5G wireless service as a “key area of competition,” and they say that the threat from China, in particular, justifies a “moonshot” government effort like the construction of the interstate highway system. A National Security Council memo urges the Trump administration to consider extraordinary efforts to clear the way for the new technology or even to help build it in order to counter the growing economic and political threat from China’s aggressive efforts to develop 5G. 

San Jose mayor quits FCC's Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee

San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo resigned from the Federal Communications Commission's Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee, alleging that the committee is dealing internet service providers "a very favorable hand” of policy recommendations. "It has become abundantly clear that despite the good intentions of several participants, the industry-heavy makeup of BDAC will simply relegate the body to being a vehicle for advancing the interests of the telecommunications industry over those of the public,” said Mayor Liccardo.

COVID-19 has forever changed bandwidth usage patterns

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic began towards the tail end of the first quarter of 2020. The impact was immediate and has forever changed bandwidth usage patterns. As 2020 came to an end, subscribers, on average, were consuming close to one half of a terabyte (TB) of data, up 40% from 2019. The pandemic impact is even more pronounced with the growth in upstream bandwidth. OpenVault predicts that by December 2021, the average broadband consumption per household will be around 600-650 gigabytes -- that's more than six times the average broadband consumption level since 2015.

 

Why Verizon sold AOL and Yahoo for about 1% of their peak valuation

The upcoming sale of Yahoo and AOL to a private equity firm for $5 billion represents a massive media markdown. At their dotcom bubble peaks, Yahoo and AOL were valued at more than $125 billion and $200 billion, respectively, or $193 billion and $318 billion in 2021 dollars. AOL made one giant mistake. It famously bought Time Warner for $182 billion in cash and stock in 2000, saddling the company with debt just before the dotcom bubble burst and the rise of broadband made AOL's dial-up services virtually obsolete.

Trade groups go to war with New York over low-income broadband law

Trade groups representing AT&T, Verizon and other telecom companies are opening fire on a new law requiring them to provide discounted internet service to low-income households in New York. USTelecom, CTIA, the New York State Telecommunications Association, and others representing smaller companies 

What the Big Tech hearings really accomplished

The behaviors of platform and social media companies have evolved under the heat of the spotlight. Regulation takes time, and a lot of hearings, to produce tangible results. One upshot of four years of high-profile hearings is that tech companies now know how to play the game. Sometimes the goal isn't to pass a law. Congress uses the bully pulpit to force companies to self-regulate.

Tipping is taking over the internet

Nearly every major social platform has recently introduced some form of tipping, allowing users to directly support their favorite personalities in real time. The popularity and availability of payment platforms such as Venmo, CashApp and Stripe are making it easier for tech companies to enable peer-to-peer payments on their platforms. For creators, getting money from users directly is critical because platforms are not financially incentivized to pay out most people directly.

GOP Senators Release Outline of $568 Billion Infrastructure Plan

A group of Senate Republicans released the outline for a $568 billion infrastructure plan, putting out a GOP alternative to President Biden’s $2.3 trillion plan as lawmakers seek a bipartisan compromise on the issue. The two-page Republican plan—which includes spending on roads, transit systems, and broadband internet over five years—doesn’t provide specifics on how it would cover the cost of the bill, a central issue in the talks.