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Broadband Roundup

Transparency for Tech Platforms, Fiber in American Fork and Mountain Connect

Masha Abarinova



Axios is reporting that Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Josh Hawley, R-Mo., plan to introduce The Designing Accounting Safeguards to Help Broaden Oversight and Regulations on Data Act (DASHBOARD). The measure would require tech company to better explain to consumers what they are giving up when they share their personal information with big tech platforms like Google, Facebook and Amazon.

The bill would require companies with more than 100 million monthly to disclose to users the types of data collected, how it is used, and to provide an assessment of the value of that data once every 90 days.

These companies would also be required to disclose annually to the Securities and Exchange Commission the aggregate value of all their users' data, and direct the SEC to develop methods for calculating the value of user data. Additionally, companies must also provide a tool for users to delete all or part of their data.

Warner told “Axios on HBO” that he is planning to introduce a separate bill “in a few weeks” requiring tech firms to make data portable for consumers. He has also sponsored legislation to improve online political ad disclosures and to ban social media sites from tricking users into giving up their data.

"If they're not willing to work with us on this kind of, I think, rational, focused reform, then I may very quickly join the crowd that simply says, 'you know, let's break them up,'" he said.

American Fork ponders municipal fiber network

The Daily Herald in Utah reports that the city of American Fork commissioned a feasibility report (PDF) and market study from Design Nine. It also solicited resident feedback on building broadband infrastructure throughout the more-developed parts of the city.

Out of 840 residents who responded to a broadband survey, 89 percent said they want Gigabit fiber and 87 percent said the city should help facilitate better this higher level of internet access.

Mayor Brad Frost and City Administrator David Bunker highlighted the need for better broadband within American Fork. “It will actually drive prices down with companies competing for business within the community,” said Bunker. “So that’s another advantage for a (resident) is they’ll be able to shop and really dial in on what their needs are wand what the best price would be for them.”

The project is initially estimated to cost around $25 million to install the infrastructure to the entire city. Once it is in place, Bunker said it will be an “open access system” for any internet service provider to come in and offer different services.

Mountain Connect Kicks off at Keystone Resort

The annual broadband development conference for the west, Mountain Connect, kicked off on Sunday and continues until Wednesday at Keystone Resort in Dillon, Colorado.

The conference’s goal is to provide relevant information to western US communities about how to build and expand existing telecommunications infrastructure.

(Photo of Keystone Resort from Mountain Connect.)


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