Better Broadband Better Lives

Pilot Program Will Target Child Mental Health and Maternal Mortality Rates, FCC Says

WASHINGTON, June 17, 2019 — Among the items passed unanimously at the Federal Communications Commission July 10 meeting was the creation of a three-year, $100 million pilot program to support the delivery of telehealth services to rural and low-income Americans. “From chronic disease management to pediatric cardiology, from PTSD to opioid dependency, this pilot has… Keep Reading

Facebook Continues to Face Intense Congressional Scrutiny at House Financial Service Committee Hearing

WASHINGTON, July 17, 2019 - Facebook’s digital currency platform Calibra continues to be the focus of intense congressional scrutiny. On Wednesday, it was from the House Committee on Financial Services. Chairman Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., said the committee wanted to make sure that Libra isn’t just a “ploy” to send Facebook’s Twitter mentions “through the roof.”… Keep Reading

Democratic and Republican Representatives Agree on Need For Federal Privacy Law and Strengthening FTC

WASHINGTON, July 17, 2019 — The “honeymoon phase” of tech is definitely over. As a result, federal privacy legislation is essential. So said two prominent members of Congress – one Democrat and one Republican – at a Wednesday event hosted by Charter Communications and the Future of Privacy Forum on Wednesday. Indeed, Congress should quickly… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: Electronic Frontier Foundation Lawsuit Against Mobile Data Collection, and Fort Collins Fiber Network

The Electronic Frontier Foundation announced Tuesday that it is filing a class action lawsuit on behalf of AT&T customers in California to stop the telecom giant and two data location aggregators from allowing third parties to access wireless customers’ real-time locations without authorization. The lawsuit alleges AT&T violated the Federal Communications Act and engaged in… Keep Reading

Democrats and Some Republicans at House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee Take on Big Tech’s ‘GAFA’ Squad

WASHINGTON, July 16, 2019 – In the House Judiciary Committee’s second hearing putting tech giants under the microscope, both the Democratic majority and some members of the Republican minority attempted to squeeze the companies into greater political compliance. At a Tuesday hearing featured witnesses from the widely-feared “GAFA” companies -- Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple… Keep Reading

Some on Senate Banking Committee Concerned About Facebook’s Venture Into Cryptocurrency With Calibra

WASHINGTON, July 16,2019- Facebook’s venture into cryptocurrency raised a high degree of concern among some members of the Senate Banking Committee at a hearing on Tuesday. Committee Ranking Member Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio., said Facebook is “dangerous” and that it does “all it can” to manipulate billions of users and generate profit. Brown also accused… Keep Reading

On Spectrum Policy, Congress May Step Between the FCC and Commerce Department’s NTIA

WASHINGTON, July 16, 2019 — Differences between the Federal Communications Commission and the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration have gotten to the point that Congress may need to get more involved in the spectrum allocation process, legislators said Tuesday at a House subcommittee hearing. Coordination between federal agencies is an essential component of… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: FCC Spends $524 Million for Rural Area as House Subcommittee Highlights Problem, New Public Knowledge CEO

The Federal Communications Commission on Monday announced more than $524 million in funding over the next decade to expand broadband access to 205,520 unserved rural homes and businesses in 23 states. Providers will begin receiving funding this month. “High-speed Internet provides access to opportunity in the 21st century, and the FCC’s top priority is closing… Keep Reading

Congress/FCC/FTC/Media/Privacy

Harold Feld Argues That Increased Regulation Will Be More Successful than Breaking Up Big Tech

WASHINGTON, July 15, 2019 — Rather than seeking to break up big technology giants, Congress should instead focus on ratcheting up regulation of the online platform players to curb their greatest abuses, public interest advocate Harold Feld argued on Monday. Feld, the author of the recent e-book, “The Case for the Digital Platform Act: Market… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: $5 Billion Facebook Fine, Tribal Broadband Suffering, and 5G Data Session

On Friday afternoon, the Federal Trade Commission has issued a fine of $5 billion to Facebook for privacy violations. Adam Satariano of the New York Times reported that regulators and lawmakers in the U.S. and abroad have begun conducting investigations and proposing new sanctions against the Silicon Valley company. President Trump called out Facebook and… Keep Reading

FTC/Privacy/Social Media

Senators Cruz and Hawley Demand Federal Trade Commission Investigation of Big Tech’s Content Moderation

WASHINGTON, July 15, 2019 -- Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley want the Federal Trade Commission to use its investigatory authority to demand internal documents and information pertaining to content moderation policies at major technology companies like Google, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, and to release those documents to the public. In a Monday letter to… Keep Reading

BroadbandNow Publishes List of Top 10 Trailblazers for Digital Inclusion

Ten cities have been recognized this year as Digital Inclusion Trailblazers, Tyler Cooper from BroadbandNow reports. 21 million Americans still lack access to a broadband-level internet connection, and roughly 146 million people do not have access to a low-priced plan for residential wired broadband. These cities are leading the way in bringing unprecedented levels of broadband… Keep Reading

Tech Freedom and Other Advocacy Groups Push Back Against Growing Pressure to Modify Section 230

WASHINGTON, July 11, 2019 – Pushing back against a growing group of critics on the right and the left, the pro-free-market pro-free-speech group Tech Freedom on Thursday released a set of seven principles and online resources designed to “guide conversation about amending Section 230.” As the principles statement declares: “we value the balance between freely… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: FCC Overturns SF Broadband Ordinance, IBM Seeks Section 230 Changes, AT&T Blocks Robocalls

At Wednesday's Federal Communications Commission meeting, the agency voted to preempt part of a San Francisco ordinance that promotes broadband competition in apartment buildings and other multi-tenant structures. Ars Technica summarized how FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's plan partially overturns San Francisco's Article 52, which lets Internet service providers use the existing wiring inside multi-unit buildings even… Keep Reading

Legalities of Private Space Exploration and Settlement Probed at Future Tense Event

WASHINGTON, July 11, 2019- As world actors ponder about human expansion into outer space, the issue that most frequently comes up is how to foster innovation while avoiding history’s past mistakes with nation-building. Human settlement in space is not going to be a “do-over” of our colonial experience, said Andrés Martinez, editorial director at Future… Keep Reading

5G/China/Cybersecurity

The Tech Industry Needs Greater Specificity on 5G Wireless Security Issues Surrounding Huawei

WASHINGTON, July 11, 2019 - Going forward, technology innovators need to understand exactly what core technologies exist in the U.S, and which ones China both possesses and needs, said Robert Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, speaking at a Wednesday event at the Center for Strategic and International Studies event on 5G wireless… Keep Reading

FCC Blasted Over Party-Line Decision to Take Education Out of Educational Broadband Spectrum

WASHINGTON, July 11, 2019 — Ignoring recommendations from the Department of Education, several members of Congress, and various broadband advocates, the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 on Wednesday to hold commercial auctions for unused portions of the 2.5 Gigahertz spectrum band. The decision removes the educational use requirement for the band and fails to provide… Keep Reading

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