US Senate

Sens. Bennet and Budd Introduce Legislation to Connect More Rural Communities to High-Speed Internet

Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Ted Budd (R-NC) introduced the Connecting Our Neighbors to Networks and Ensuring Competitive Telecommunications (CONNECT) Act of 2023 to reform the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) ReConnect Loan and Grant Program.

Senator Luján (D-NM) Leads Colleagues in Urging the FCC to Combat Digital Discrimination

We write concerning the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Implementing the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) “Prevention and Elimination of Digital Discrimination” (Docket/RM 22-69). We urge you to take swift action to adopt final rules to facilitate equal access to broadband internet.  Congress intended Section 60506 to require internet service providers to end discrimination resulting from programs and policies that perpetuate systemic barriers for people of color and other underserved groups.

Senator Fischer Leads Bill to Address “Last Acre” Connectivity, Expand Broadband Access Across Farmland and Ranchland

Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE) introduced the Linking Access to Spur Technology for Agriculture Connectivity in Rural Environments (LAST ACRE) Act. This legislation would create a new Last Acre Program at the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Office of Rural Development aiming to expand network connectivity across farmland and ranchland. Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) co-led the introduction of the legislation. Existing Rural Development programs support “last mile” broadband deployment, which connects broadband networks to rural households or businesses.

Universal Service Fund Working Group Request for Comment

The Universal Service Fund Working Group seeks public comment on the future of the Universal Service Fund (USF). The goal of this working group is to create a bipartisan forum to guide education, awareness, and policy-making on the USF. The working group invited comments on ten questions related to money collected from telecommunications companies that is dedicated to fulfilling the goals of universal service.

Sen. Warner, Colleagues Reintroduce Bipartisan Legislation to Encourage Competition in Social Media

US Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) led a bipartisan group of colleagues in reintroducing the Augmenting Compatibility and Competition by Enabling Service Switching (ACCESS) Act, legislation that would encourage market-based competition with major social media platforms by requiring the largest companies make user data portable – and their services interoperable – with other platforms, and to allow users to designate a trusted third-party service to manage their privacy and account settings. The Act would increase market competition, encourage innovation, and increase consumer choice by requiring

Sen. Markey, Rep. Eshoo Reintroduce the CVTA to Make Communication Technologies Accessible for Americans with Disabilities

Senator Edward Markey (D-MA), author of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA), and Representative Anna Eshoo (D-CA) reintroduced the Communications, Video, and Technology Accessibility (CVTA) Act.

Sen Markey and Rep Matsui Reintroduce the Algorithmic Justice and Online Platform Transparency Act

Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) and Representative Doris Matsui (D-CA) reintroduced their Algorithmic Justice and Online Platform Transparency Act. Specifically, the Algorithmic Justice and Online Platform Transparency Act would:

Senator Rubio and Colleagues Introduce PRESERVE Online Speech Act

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and colleagues reintroduced the PRESERVE Online Speech Act. This bill would combat censorship coordination between big tech companies and governments by requiring technology companies to disclose any US or foreign government requests or recommendations regarding content moderation. Specifically, this bill would: 

Senators Reintroduce PLAN for Broadband Act

US Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS), Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM), John Thune, (R-SD), and Peter Welch, (D-VT) reintroduced the Proper Leadership to Align Networks (PLAN) for Broadband Act. The legislation requires the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to develop a national strategy to close the digital divide and a plan to implement it.