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.

The WeChat ban vs. the First Amendment

The Trump Administration said it would challenge a federal court ruling Sept 20 that temporarily blocked its attempt to curb the use of Chinese messaging and e-commerce app WeChat in the US. WeChat's ban has had a lower profile than TikTok's, but the fate of the app, widely used by Chinese people around the world to stay in touch with family and friends, is at least as consequential. The ruling suggests that WeChat's fate in the US could be decided not only on grounds of national security and commercial regulations but also around freedom of speech principles.

Why Puerto Rico is still struggling to get online

Internet connectivity remains a weak link for the disaster-wracked US territory Puerto Rico, and some experts fear a new tranche of Federal Communications Commission subsidies set aside just for the island might not help the people most in need of a broadband connection. Puerto Rico is locked out of most federal funding available to US states to help expand internet service.

Coronavirus may preview an acceleration of the digital divide

The coronavirus crisis may offer a grim preview of further marginalization for Americans of color in the coming decades, a new Deutsche Bank report concludes. "COVID is a picture of what the world might look like in the future as it gets more digitized," Apjit Walia, a technology strategist with Deutsche Bank, told Axios.