Perhaps the biggest news of the week was the agenda for the Federal Communications Commission's July 10 Open Meeting, which FCC Chairman Ajit Pai laid out in a blog post on June 18, 2019. I'm traveling to New York this week; below is a shorter-than-usual weekly that takes a look at how Chairman Pai plans to take education out of the Educational Broadband Service -- and broadcast television.
The 116th Congress is underway. In the background of a partial government shutdown, lawmakers are getting their committee assignments. At Benton, we keep a close eye on two key Congressional panels because of their jurisdiction over many telecommunications issues and oversight of the Federal Communications Commission: 1) the House Commerce Committee's Communications and Technology Subcommittee, and 2) the Senate Commerce Committee. Here's a look at some key telecom policymakers -- and their priorities -- in the 116th Congress.
On Tuesday, April 17, the House Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology will hold a hearing – entitled “From Core to Edge: Perspective on Internet Prioritization” – to better understanding of how network operators manage data flows over the Internet and how data is prioritized from the network core to the edge.
Commerce Secretary Raimondo to testify before the Senate on broadband infrastructure funding implementation
Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo will testify February 1 before Senate appropriators about how to implement the $48 billion in broadband dollars that the infrastructure law slated for her department. The session will take place before the panel’s Commerce-Justice-Science Subcommittee, which Sen Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) chairs. Shaheen was one of the lead negotiators who put together the law’s $65 billion for broadband, in tandem with Raimondo and Sen Susan Collins (R-ME), who also sits on this subcommittee.
The committee consider the following nominations:
At this meeting, the Disability Advisory Committee is expected to receive and consider reports and recommendations from its working groups. The Disability Advisory Committee may also receive briefings from FCC staff on issues of interest to the committee and may discuss topics of interest to the committee, including, but not limited to, matters concerning communications transitions, telecommunications relay services, emergency access, and video programming accessibility.
How technology creates new challenges and opportunities for rural economic development leaders
Economic development is often centered on ensuring that people have access to a livelihood and a local system of support that makes economic prosperity possible. As the role of technology in society and the economy expands, strategies around economic development also need to evolve to make this prosperity possible — especially in communities across rural America.
RUS’s Reconnect Program was the first out of the gate to increase “build to” broadband speeds from 25/3 to 100/100Mbps. Join us for a fireside chat with the leader of USDA Rural Utilities Service as the Honorable Chris McLean provides an update on the progress and impact of the RUS Reconnect Broadband Program. Mr. McLean also serves as Assistant Administrator for RUS’ Electric program, presiding over a $48 billion loan portfolio. In recent years, the RUS annual lending budget for new electric infrastructure loans has exceeded $5 billion and much of this is for fiber.
A webinar for Tribes and Tribal entities interesting in applying for the ReConnect Program. Registration is free. The webinar will provide an overview of the ReConnect Program, highlight key considerations for tribal applicants, and allow ample time for questions and open discussion.