US Senate

Vermont Congressional Delegation Announces First USDA ReConnect Grant to Vermont

Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Peter Welch (D-VT) and Representative Becca Balint (D-VT) announced that NEK Community Broadband (NEKCB) will receive Vermont’s first-ever United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) ReConnect grant to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network in Caledonia, Essex, and Orleans counties in Vermont.

Senators Bennet and Welch Reintroduce Landmark Legislation to Establish Federal Commission to Oversee Digital Platforms

US Sens Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Peter Welch (D-VT) introduced the Digital Platform Commission Act, the first-ever legislation in Congress to create an expert federal agency to provide comprehensive regulation of digital platforms to protect consumers, promote competition, and defend the public interest.

Senators Welch and Marshall Introduce ReConnecting Rural America Act to Expand Access to Broadband in Rural Communities

Sens Peter Welch (D-VT) and Roger Marshall (R-KS)  introduced the bipartisan ReConnecting Rural America Act, legislation to reauthorize and reinforce the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) ReConnect Loan and Grant Program.

Sen. Bennet Introduces Legislation to Ensure Responsible Use of Emerging Technologies Like AI By The US Government

Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) introduced the Oversee Emerging Technology Act to require relevant federal agencies to designate a senior official able to advise on the responsible use of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, biotechnology, and quantum computing.

Sens. Luján, Thune Announce Bipartisan Working Group on the Universal Service Fund and Broadband Access

Senators Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) and John Thune (R-SD) announced a bipartisan Senate working group to evaluate and propose potential reforms to 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 this topic.

Senator Schmitt Introduces Legislation Aimed at Stopping the Federal Government’s Collusion with Big Tech to Censor Speech

Senator Eric Schmitt (R-MO) introduced the Curtailing Online Limitations that Lead Unconstitutionally to Democracy’s Erosion (COLLUDE) Act, in order to halt the collusion between Big Tech and the federal government which has led to censoring Americans’ speech. The COLLUDE Act prevents Big Tech companies from colluding with government to censor free speech, by stripping them of their Section 230 protection if they commit such actions. Specifically, the bill:

Sens. Hickenlooper, Capito Reintroduce Bill to Create Cybersecurity Office Related to Critical Infrastructure

Senators John Hickenlooper (D-CO) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) reintroduced the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Policy and Cybersecurity Coordination Act, a bipartisan bill to modernize and codify the NTIA’s work in cybersecurity.

Sens. Schatz, Cotton, Murphy, Britt Introduce Bipartisan Legislation To Help Protect Kids From Harmful Impacts Of Social Media

Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Katie Britt (R-AL) introduced new legislation to help protect children from the harmful impacts of social media. The Protecting Kids on Social Media Act would set a minimum age of 13 to use social media apps and would require parental consent for 13 through17 year-olds.  The bill would also prevent social media companies from feeding content using algorithms to users under the age of 18. The Protecting Kids on Social Media Act would:

Sens Thune, Luján Request GAO to Review Broadband Regulatory Structure

A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report uncovered that “federal broadband efforts are fragmented and overlapping, with more than 100 programs administered by 15 agencies.” We request that GAO build upon this work and conduct an additional review of federal, state, and local broadband efforts to determine the effectiveness of each program.