Report on past event
The House Consumer Protection Subcommittee hearing on privacy showcased both the bipartisan call for federal legislation and the reason a bipartisan bill will be no slam dunk. Republican representatives talked about privacy, but also about the need to protect small businesses, the targeted-ad based internet economy, and talked up the wisdom of preempting state attempts to regulate privacy that veer into the feds lane.
At a House hearing on net neutrality, the claims of Joseph Franell — the general manager and CEO of Eastern Oregon Telecom (“EOT”) — stood out like a sore thumb. He said, “The application of Title II as part of Net Neutrality had a dramatic chilling effect on rural telecom in the Pacific Northwest and I suspect the same could be said about the rest of the country.” He also said that since the repeal of the 2015 Federal Communications Commission order, “investors have been much more willing . . .
People actually need Title II and all of the protections it provides for internet users. Here’s why.
Members of Congress are fed up with the state of cellphone coverage in the United States and they weren’t afraid to lodge their complaints personally — with the leaders of some of the country’s biggest wireless networks. As Sprint and T-Mobile went to Capitol Hill to defend their $26 billion proposed merger, lawmakers buttonholed T-Mobile’s chief executive, John Legere, and Sprint’s executive chairman, Marcelo Claure, on the frustrating inability to get a cell signal in many parts of the country, particularly in rural areas.
As policymakers work with industry and stakeholders to ensure that all Americans have access, they need reliable data to effectively target funding and programs to meet their goals. The primary source of information on connectivity is the Federal Communications Commission, which gathers data from carriers offering broadband service. Since 2011, that data—collected on Form 477—has been displayed on the Fixed Broadband Deployment map (previously called the National Broadband Map), which shows which entities are offering fixed broadband, where they are offering it, and at what speeds.
The Federal Communications Commission held its very brief January Open Meeting, but only to thank returning staffers and give a warm welcome its newest member, Commissioner Geoffrey Starks. The meeting was a pro forma affair after the government shutdown forced the FCC to move its agenda to the Feb 14 meeting, after not being sure when the government would reopen.
Upon reflection, it is easy to see that 2018 was a year of widening divides. Communications policy was no exception. In the midst of a partial government shutdown, we take a look at how partisan division at the Federal Communications Commission is shutting down progress towards closing the digital divide. While we expect partisan division to persist, the change in House leadership means we are likely to see more scrutiny of Chairman Pai's deregulatory agenda.
Google’s chief executive, in perhaps the most public display of lawmakers’ unease with his company’s influence, was grilled about everything from search result bias and the data Google collects about its users to plans for a censored service in China. Sundar Pichai, an engineer who rose through Google’s ranks to become its leader three years ago, faced more than three hours of questions from the House Judiciary Committee. Republicans expressed concerns about unfair treatment of conservatives, and lawmakers in both parties zeroed in on privacy issues.
At the annual FCC Chairman's Dinner hosted by the Federal Communications Bar Association, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai took some obligatory shots at various industry players.
Officials from nine countries examining Facebook’s business practices have spent weeks trying to get the company’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, to face questions at a hearing. Instead, Zuckerberg was represented by an empty chair. He skipped the session, which was organized by a British committee investigating Facebook and the spread of misinformation.