Low-Cost Broadband in Senate Bill Sparks Alarm on Rates

The infrastructure bill moving through Congress requires internet service providers to offer a low-cost option, sparking opposition from Senate Commerce Committee Minority Leader Roger Wicker (R-MS) who said the mandate may lead to broadband rate regulation. The measure will require funding recipients to offer a low-cost plan.

Inmarsat Enters 5G Space Race with New Satellite Network

Inmarsat, the UK's biggest satellite company, plans to launch a constellation of low-earth orbit (LEO) spacecraft and set up 5G wireless networks, joining a new space race against the likes of Elon Musk. The project, called Orchestra, will create a hybrid network of the company’s existing geostationary satellite technology, land-based 5G networks and LEO satellites, according to Inmarsat CEO Rajeev Suri. The system will provide next-generation 5G service in high-demand areas and add speed and capacity at digital chokepoints as data use soars.

Broadband Fight Pits Ultra-Fast Fiber Fans Versus Cable Industry

A large coalition of industry groups and public interest lobbyists are pushing Congress to invest in “future-proof” high-speed fiber networks in a battle over how to divvy up the $65 billion proposed to expand broadband internet service. The spending is included in an infrastructure package tentatively agreed to by a bipartisan group of senators and President Joe Biden.

FCC Can Block Subsidized Purchases of Huawei’s 5G Technology

A federal appeals court ruled that Huawei can’t subsidize the sale of its 5G technology with federal funds earmarked for US broadband development because the Federal Communications Commission determined the company is a national security threat. The 5th Circuit Court agreed that the FCC was fully within its power and competence to issue the rule barring “Universal Service Fund” subsidies recipients from buying equipment or services from companies deemed national security risks.