Upcoming policy issue

Congressional leaders urge FCC to perform equity audit

Congressional leaders and advocacy group Media 2070 urged the Federal Communications Commission to examine how policy decisions and programs have disparately harmed Black Americans and other communities of color in a letter to Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel on June 28.

Republicans' new plan to tax Big Tech

Key Republicans are warming to an idea that was once anathema to the party—leveling taxes on big American companies to pay for internet subsidy programs. An idea from GOP Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr to force tech companies to pay into a pool of money used to fund broadband programs is gaining steam with some key lawmakers, including GOP Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Republican support of taxing Big Tech could help shore up the struggling Universal Service Fund; Commissioner Carr argues that Congress should direct the companies that benefit from using internet networks

New York's $15 Low-Income Broadband Requirement Suffers Another Blow

The New York Public Service Commission (PSC) this week stayed and suspended proceedings and requests for comment about a state law that would have required broadband providers to offer a $15 plan to low-income households. It is the second blow that the law has sustained this month, following a US Eastern District Court of New York preliminary injunction to prevent the state from enforcing the rule while awaiting a final decision on the legality of the requirement.

President Biden silent on municipal broadband as he makes $65 Billion deal with Republicans

President Joe Biden announced a $65 billion broadband-deployment deal with Senate Republicans and Democrats, but he provided no details on whether the plan will prioritize municipal broadband networks as he originally proposed. Congressional Republicans have tried to ban municipal broadband nationwide, so it's highly unlikely that they would have agreed to Biden's stated goal of giving public networks priority over private broadband providers in the next big ro

Broadband takes a $35 billion hit as lawmakers hash out infrastructure deal

President Joe Biden backed a new $1.2 trillion infrastructure package which would shave $35 billion off the funding total originally proposed for broadband improvements, insisting the lower amount was still enough to connect every citizen to high-speed internet. The bipartisan plan negotiated by Senate leaders includes $65 billion for broadband infrastructure, a steep drop from the $100 billion Biden pitched in March 2021. Little detail was available about how the broadband funds would be spent; analysts at New Street Research speculated some $40 billion could be devoted to grants for state

Electric Utility Warns FCC of Airwaves Disruption

Georgia-based electric utility Southern Company told the Federal Communications Commission  that, based on its testing, the unlicensed Wi-Fi use the agency has voted to allow in the 6 GHz band will disrupt incumbent services that utilities offer.

California Democrats clash over tech antitrust fight

California Democrats are clashing with members of their party over a package of antitrust bills targeting the top tech companies in the country. Democratic representatives from California on the House Judiciary Committee, particularly those representing tech-heavy Bay Area districts, voted against the majority of their colleagues over the past two days on five antitrust bills that seek to rein in the market power of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google. The stiff opposition from the California delegation may cause further hurdles as the legislation heads to the House floor, with moderate and

Broadband Providers Battling Net Neutrality Point To Victory In New York

The broadband industry says that a New York state ruling against requiring broadband providers to offer $15-a-month service to low-income households supports its quest to block California's net neutrality law. The California law prohibits broadband providers from blocking or throttling content, charging higher fees for prioritized delivery, and exempting certain data from customers' monthly caps.

Don’t replace the digital divide with the “not good enough divide”

COVID-19 demonstrated the need for speed in digital broadband connections. As more and more members of a household were online simultaneously doing schoolwork or working from home, the need for bandwidth increased.

Democrats Consider Moving Broadband Bills Before August Break

Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill’s commerce panels can’t wait to mark up the broadband portions of the Biden administration’s proposed infrastructure legislation — though the timing still hinges on whether President Joe Biden nails down bipartisan consensus with Republicans or Democrats decide to go it alone. House Commerce Committee Democrats want to mark up their LIFT America Act, H.R.