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Lawmakers Introduce Legislation to Connect SNAP Recipients to Internet

Reps Elaine Luria (D-VA) and John Katko (R-NY) introduced the Ensuring Phone and Internet Access for SNAP Recipients Act of 2021 (H.R.4275). This bipartisan bill would lower the cost of phone and internet access for households that benefit from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP recipients automatically qualify for the Federal Communications Commission’s Lifeline Program, which offers discounted phone and internet service.

What does breaking up Big Tech really mean?

Over the past four or five years, scholars, politicians, and public advocates have begun to push a new idea of what antitrust policy should be, arguing that we need to move away from a narrow focus on consumer welfare—which in practice has usually meant a focus on prices—toward consideration of a much wider range of possible harms from companies’ exercise of market power: damage to suppliers, workers, competitors, customer choice, and even the political system as a whole.

Big Tech lobby looks to moderate Democrats to defeat antitrust regulations

Democratic members of the House of Representatives have attacked a package of measures being promoted by members of the House Antitrust Subcommittee, as opposition builds to radical proposals that some hope could lead to the break-up of Big Tech. The rift shows how difficult it will be to enact a big shake-up of US antitrust laws, even as President Joe Biden considers signing his own executive order to strengthen regulators’ powers to promote competition in their sectors.

US House antitrust bills could change the internet as we know it. Here's how

Congress is poised to move forward with a series of sweeping bills meant to rein in big tech companies. In the process, it's creating new questions about the future of the digital economy. That massive tech companies should be regulated more heavily is a rare point of bipartisan agreement in Washington; the push comes as existing antitrust laws are also being tested against several of the biggest companies in ongoing court battles.

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.