Upcoming policy issue

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.

Why the US Needs a National Advanced Industry and Technology Agency

With the rise of China, the US economic and technology environment has fundamentally and inexorably changed.

Ohio state budget proposal threatens municipal broadband networks (updated)

Public officials in Ohio fear that language in the state's proposed $75 billion budget could put municipal broadband internet services out of business. The language, which appears aimed at protecting private broadband providers, was inserted without prior public discussion during recent Ohio Senate deliberations on the state's two-year budget. Local officials say this would endanger planned upgrades to public safety services, improved school and library services, plus business and economic development tools.

National Lifeline Association Seeks FCC Rulemaking

The National Lifeline Association urged the Federal Communications Commission to expeditiously release a Public Notice seeking comment on the association's Petition for Rulemaking so that others can comment on it and the FCC can build a record to take the necessary actions to transition the Lifeline program into a program that is post-Emergency Broadband Benefit Program ready. The FCC should not work in a linear fashion, but rather consider important improvements to the Lifeline program now so that those improvements can be in place when the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program funding runs

Broadband Products Supporting Low-Income Households

There is a lot of momentum in Washington (DC) and in state governments right now to improve the adoption of broadband by addressing the issue of affordability for low-income communities. To decide what policies will do the most good for low-income households seeking broadband connectivity, it’s important to first understand the existing marketplace.

Sen Wicker Introduces Bill to Prohibit Big Tech from Controlling Online Speech

Sen Roger Wicker (R-MS) introduced the Promoting Rights and Online Speech Protections to Ensure Every Consumer is Heard (PRO-SPEECH) Act (S.2301). This bill would establish baseline protections to prohibit Big Tech from engaging in unfair, deceptive, or anti-competitive practices that limit or control consumers’ speech. The PRO-SPEECH Act aims to:

Does Data Privacy Need its Own Agency?

If Congress passes comprehensive privacy legislation, it will need to delegate a federal agency to enforce the law and conduct rulemaking. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has used its general consumer protection authority to bring enforcement actions against companies violating user privacy, and has therefore been considered the de facto privacy agency. However, three bills have challenged this assumption and would create a new agency to enforce privacy law rather than relying on the FTC. This report compares the new agencies in three legislative proposals to one another and to the FTC.