What's on the agenda for policymakers.
Tim Berners-Lee believes the online world has gone astray. Too much power and too much personal data, he says, reside with the tech giants like Google and Facebook — “silos” is the generic term he favors, instead of referring to the companies by name. Fueled by vast troves of data, he says, they have become surveillance platforms and gatekeepers of innovation. Regulators have voiced similar complaints. The big tech companies are facing tougher privacy rules in Europe and some American states, led by California. Google and Facebook have been hit with antitrust suits.
The Capitol began processing a massive shift in the balance of power as Democrats prepare to take unified control of Congress. That means these key Democrats are primed to take the gavels on the committees overseeing technology and telecommunications issues, ranging from data privacy to 5G to antitrust:
Georgia's election results handing Senate control to Democratic lawmakers mean the incoming Biden administration can fill key seats at the agencies that regulate tech.
- Net Neutrality: A Democratic Federal Communications Commission will likely first move to reclassify broadband as a service under Title II of the Communications Act. That will allow it to restore rules requiring Internet service providers to treat all internet traffic equally, and take other actions to regulate broadband providers’ business practices amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
In addition to five panels summarizing the work of the Federal Communications Commission over the past four years, the commission will consider the following --
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9
WHAT'S NEXT FOR WI-FI? FROM WI-FI 6, TO 6E, TO BEYOND
Here are the top reforms and nominations that could stand a chance in the new Congress assuming — as now seems likely — Democrats control both chambers and the White House.
Middle-mile networks and anchor institutions
Lewis Latimer Plan for Digital Equity and Inclusion
What changes will the administration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris bring for the country’s use of broadband technologies? How will the technology and communications industries be affected? Will public policy on controversial tech policy issues, including Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, be markedly different from today? What does the quest for “universal broadband” mean? Tune in to hear what non-profit advocacy groups believe is likely to happen, come January 20, 2021.