US Internet and Telecom Networks Showing Strength with COVID-19

The many changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have given the world’s communications networks an impromptu stress test. Data demand has surged and shifted. “Peak hour” — the busiest period of the day on a network — now hits at different times and extends for longer durations. Signs of stress have shown up in other parts of the world so Americans have begun asking: Do our networks have the capacity to meet this surge in demand? Here’s the bottom line.

The US Needs a Data Protection Agency

I’m introducing new legislation to create a Data Protection Agency and bring the protection of your privacy and freedom into the digital age. The US must make an effort to take the lead and do something about data protection. The Data Protection Act would address this head-on. My legislation would establish an independent federal agency, the Data Protection Agency, that would serve as a “referee” to define, arbitrate, and enforce rules to defend the protection of our personal data. This agency would have three core missions:

Killing Net Neutrality Was Even Worse Than You Think

The Federal Communications Commission's Orwellian-named “Restoring Internet Freedom” order all-but obliterated the FCC’s authority to hold broadband internet access providers accountable for any number of bad behaviors.

Native American Reservations Still Struggle to Get Basic Internet Connections

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai says bringing broadband to rural areas is his highest priority, but since there aren’t lucrative deals to be made, service providers have generally ignored rural communities like the one I called home. This puts opportunities afforded to the connected population out of reach and disproportionately affects Native American communities. Service providers haven’t had the incentive to establish connectivity in areas with rugged terrain.

Why platforms should pay for polluting our civic discourse

Targeted online ads and data harvesting are incredibly lucrative for the platforms but harmful for local newsrooms and the communities they’re supposed to serve. The shift in eyeballs and ad dollars to the platforms has hastened the collapse of the traditional advertising marketplace that once helped sustain quality local journalism. This collapse has led to widespread layoffs, which has meant less of the content that readers are willing to pay for, which has resulted in more cutbacks and the continuation of a vicious cycle.