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Senate Dems Want to Stop Broadband Disconnects, TikTok Influencers Beat Trump, Centennial of Radio Broadcasting

Jericho Casper

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on

Photo of Sherrod Brown from ABC

In a letter sent on Friday to 21 of the largest utility companies, Senate Democrats called on telecommunications giants to voluntarily halt all utility shutoffs for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic.

Nine lawmakers, led by Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, directed their request to power and gas providers including Duke Energy and Exelon Corporation, water companies including American Water and Aqua America, and internet and phone companies such as AT&T and Verizon.

Millions of Americans are falling behind on their bills and minimal federal support has been offered to assist them in catching up. Due to this, Senate Democrats support legislation that would impose a federal moratorium on all utility shutoffs.

The legislators pointed to recent data compiled by the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association, which found in October, roughly 179 million Americans are at risk of having their utility services shut off by the end of the year, if Congress does not authorize additional spending. According to NEADA data, families nationwide stand to rack up more than $24 billion in back-due electric and gas debts over that same period.

According to the letter, lawmakers will continue to seek federal relief to help families, as well as utility companies, which have been in a cash crunch of their own as a result of their customers’ inability to pay.

TikTok influencers win block on Trump’s app ban

A Pennsylvania federal court on Friday granted an injunction to three TikTok influencers blocking the Trump administration’s pending ban on the app, saying the ban likely violates a carveout to the national security law that it was issued under.

In the decision, U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone ruled that President Donald Trump exceeded his authority by invoking his emergency economic powers to impose sanctions against TikTok, citing a threat to U.S. security.

“The Government’s own descriptions of the national security threat posed by the TikTok app are phrased in the hypothetical,” Beetlestone said.

According to Beetlestone, the Court cannot rule the risk presented by the Government outweighs public interest. Therefore, the executive order goes beyond the bounds of what the president has the power to do under his emergency economic powers.

Another aspect of the same order that sought to ban new downloads of the app has already been halted by a judge in Washington, D.C., but Friday’s order puts Trump’s August 6 executive order on hold until the legal battles conclude.

Federal Communications Commission celebrates centennial of the first commercial radio broadcast in the U.S.

November 2, 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the United States’ first widely recognized commercial radio broadcast. The broadcast, which aired in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on KDKA, Westinghouse Electric’s newly established station, relayed the results of the 1920 presidential election and set the stage for a long line of radio broadcasts that have shaped the story of America.

“As the earliest electronic mass communications medium, radio has allowed us to listen in on some of the most momentous occasions in American history, from President Roosevelt’s famous ‘fireside chats’ to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech,” said Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, in a statement on Monday.

While there’s no denying the changes new technologies have brought, it would be unwise to discount just how ubiquitous and influential older platforms remain. Critical information via radio, not smartphones or PCs, reaches more Americans each week than any other media platform, according to a Nielsen report.

“When disaster strikes radio is one of the most valuable resources for life-saving information,” said Pai.

“Radio has given us a way to come together in times of strife and times of triumph. On behalf of myself and the FCC’s dedicated staff, it is my honor to join all Americans in recognizing this milestone.  Congratulations to radio broadcasters on a century of excellence.  We look forward to the stories that radio will continue to tell!”

Broadband Roundup

Biden Wants $4 Billion for Broadband, House Commerce Wants ‘Rip and Replace’, Maine Launches Speedtest

Jericho Casper

Published

on

Photo of Joe Biden from August 2019 by Gage Skidmore used with permission

In a letter sent on Friday to 21 of the largest utility companies, Senate Democrats called on telecommunications giants to voluntarily halt all utility shutoffs for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic.

Nine lawmakers, led by Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, directed their request to power and gas providers including Duke Energy and Exelon Corporation, water companies including American Water and Aqua America, and internet and phone companies such as AT&T and Verizon.

Millions of Americans are falling behind on their bills and minimal federal support has been offered to assist them in catching up. Due to this, Senate Democrats support legislation that would impose a federal moratorium on all utility shutoffs.

The legislators pointed to recent data compiled by the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association, which found in October, roughly 179 million Americans are at risk of having their utility services shut off by the end of the year, if Congress does not authorize additional spending. According to NEADA data, families nationwide stand to rack up more than $24 billion in back-due electric and gas debts over that same period.

According to the letter, lawmakers will continue to seek federal relief to help families, as well as utility companies, which have been in a cash crunch of their own as a result of their customers’ inability to pay.

TikTok influencers win block on Trump’s app ban

A Pennsylvania federal court on Friday granted an injunction to three TikTok influencers blocking the Trump administration’s pending ban on the app, saying the ban likely violates a carveout to the national security law that it was issued under.

In the decision, U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone ruled that President Donald Trump exceeded his authority by invoking his emergency economic powers to impose sanctions against TikTok, citing a threat to U.S. security.

“The Government’s own descriptions of the national security threat posed by the TikTok app are phrased in the hypothetical,” Beetlestone said.

According to Beetlestone, the Court cannot rule the risk presented by the Government outweighs public interest. Therefore, the executive order goes beyond the bounds of what the president has the power to do under his emergency economic powers.

Another aspect of the same order that sought to ban new downloads of the app has already been halted by a judge in Washington, D.C., but Friday’s order puts Trump’s August 6 executive order on hold until the legal battles conclude.

Federal Communications Commission celebrates centennial of the first commercial radio broadcast in the U.S.

November 2, 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the United States’ first widely recognized commercial radio broadcast. The broadcast, which aired in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on KDKA, Westinghouse Electric’s newly established station, relayed the results of the 1920 presidential election and set the stage for a long line of radio broadcasts that have shaped the story of America.

“As the earliest electronic mass communications medium, radio has allowed us to listen in on some of the most momentous occasions in American history, from President Roosevelt’s famous ‘fireside chats’ to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech,” said Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, in a statement on Monday.

While there’s no denying the changes new technologies have brought, it would be unwise to discount just how ubiquitous and influential older platforms remain. Critical information via radio, not smartphones or PCs, reaches more Americans each week than any other media platform, according to a Nielsen report.

“When disaster strikes radio is one of the most valuable resources for life-saving information,” said Pai.

“Radio has given us a way to come together in times of strife and times of triumph. On behalf of myself and the FCC’s dedicated staff, it is my honor to join all Americans in recognizing this milestone.  Congratulations to radio broadcasters on a century of excellence.  We look forward to the stories that radio will continue to tell!”

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Broadband Roundup

Broadband Forum Launches 3 New Specs for 5G, FCC Rural Auction Winds Down, Connected Nation Goes K-12

Liana Sowa

Published

on

Illustration courtesy IEEE Spectrum

In a letter sent on Friday to 21 of the largest utility companies, Senate Democrats called on telecommunications giants to voluntarily halt all utility shutoffs for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic.

Nine lawmakers, led by Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, directed their request to power and gas providers including Duke Energy and Exelon Corporation, water companies including American Water and Aqua America, and internet and phone companies such as AT&T and Verizon.

Millions of Americans are falling behind on their bills and minimal federal support has been offered to assist them in catching up. Due to this, Senate Democrats support legislation that would impose a federal moratorium on all utility shutoffs.

The legislators pointed to recent data compiled by the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association, which found in October, roughly 179 million Americans are at risk of having their utility services shut off by the end of the year, if Congress does not authorize additional spending. According to NEADA data, families nationwide stand to rack up more than $24 billion in back-due electric and gas debts over that same period.

According to the letter, lawmakers will continue to seek federal relief to help families, as well as utility companies, which have been in a cash crunch of their own as a result of their customers’ inability to pay.

TikTok influencers win block on Trump’s app ban

A Pennsylvania federal court on Friday granted an injunction to three TikTok influencers blocking the Trump administration’s pending ban on the app, saying the ban likely violates a carveout to the national security law that it was issued under.

In the decision, U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone ruled that President Donald Trump exceeded his authority by invoking his emergency economic powers to impose sanctions against TikTok, citing a threat to U.S. security.

“The Government’s own descriptions of the national security threat posed by the TikTok app are phrased in the hypothetical,” Beetlestone said.

According to Beetlestone, the Court cannot rule the risk presented by the Government outweighs public interest. Therefore, the executive order goes beyond the bounds of what the president has the power to do under his emergency economic powers.

Another aspect of the same order that sought to ban new downloads of the app has already been halted by a judge in Washington, D.C., but Friday’s order puts Trump’s August 6 executive order on hold until the legal battles conclude.

Federal Communications Commission celebrates centennial of the first commercial radio broadcast in the U.S.

November 2, 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the United States’ first widely recognized commercial radio broadcast. The broadcast, which aired in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on KDKA, Westinghouse Electric’s newly established station, relayed the results of the 1920 presidential election and set the stage for a long line of radio broadcasts that have shaped the story of America.

“As the earliest electronic mass communications medium, radio has allowed us to listen in on some of the most momentous occasions in American history, from President Roosevelt’s famous ‘fireside chats’ to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech,” said Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, in a statement on Monday.

While there’s no denying the changes new technologies have brought, it would be unwise to discount just how ubiquitous and influential older platforms remain. Critical information via radio, not smartphones or PCs, reaches more Americans each week than any other media platform, according to a Nielsen report.

“When disaster strikes radio is one of the most valuable resources for life-saving information,” said Pai.

“Radio has given us a way to come together in times of strife and times of triumph. On behalf of myself and the FCC’s dedicated staff, it is my honor to join all Americans in recognizing this milestone.  Congratulations to radio broadcasters on a century of excellence.  We look forward to the stories that radio will continue to tell!”

Continue Reading

Broadband Roundup

Apple Pays $113 Million Over Battery Slowdowns, Caution on Cellular Generator Requests, Douglas Fast Net Leverages ADTRAN

Jericho Casper

Published

on

Photo of Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich by Eli Imadali in the Arizona Republic

In a letter sent on Friday to 21 of the largest utility companies, Senate Democrats called on telecommunications giants to voluntarily halt all utility shutoffs for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic.

Nine lawmakers, led by Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, directed their request to power and gas providers including Duke Energy and Exelon Corporation, water companies including American Water and Aqua America, and internet and phone companies such as AT&T and Verizon.

Millions of Americans are falling behind on their bills and minimal federal support has been offered to assist them in catching up. Due to this, Senate Democrats support legislation that would impose a federal moratorium on all utility shutoffs.

The legislators pointed to recent data compiled by the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association, which found in October, roughly 179 million Americans are at risk of having their utility services shut off by the end of the year, if Congress does not authorize additional spending. According to NEADA data, families nationwide stand to rack up more than $24 billion in back-due electric and gas debts over that same period.

According to the letter, lawmakers will continue to seek federal relief to help families, as well as utility companies, which have been in a cash crunch of their own as a result of their customers’ inability to pay.

TikTok influencers win block on Trump’s app ban

A Pennsylvania federal court on Friday granted an injunction to three TikTok influencers blocking the Trump administration’s pending ban on the app, saying the ban likely violates a carveout to the national security law that it was issued under.

In the decision, U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone ruled that President Donald Trump exceeded his authority by invoking his emergency economic powers to impose sanctions against TikTok, citing a threat to U.S. security.

“The Government’s own descriptions of the national security threat posed by the TikTok app are phrased in the hypothetical,” Beetlestone said.

According to Beetlestone, the Court cannot rule the risk presented by the Government outweighs public interest. Therefore, the executive order goes beyond the bounds of what the president has the power to do under his emergency economic powers.

Another aspect of the same order that sought to ban new downloads of the app has already been halted by a judge in Washington, D.C., but Friday’s order puts Trump’s August 6 executive order on hold until the legal battles conclude.

Federal Communications Commission celebrates centennial of the first commercial radio broadcast in the U.S.

November 2, 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the United States’ first widely recognized commercial radio broadcast. The broadcast, which aired in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on KDKA, Westinghouse Electric’s newly established station, relayed the results of the 1920 presidential election and set the stage for a long line of radio broadcasts that have shaped the story of America.

“As the earliest electronic mass communications medium, radio has allowed us to listen in on some of the most momentous occasions in American history, from President Roosevelt’s famous ‘fireside chats’ to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech,” said Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, in a statement on Monday.

While there’s no denying the changes new technologies have brought, it would be unwise to discount just how ubiquitous and influential older platforms remain. Critical information via radio, not smartphones or PCs, reaches more Americans each week than any other media platform, according to a Nielsen report.

“When disaster strikes radio is one of the most valuable resources for life-saving information,” said Pai.

“Radio has given us a way to come together in times of strife and times of triumph. On behalf of myself and the FCC’s dedicated staff, it is my honor to join all Americans in recognizing this milestone.  Congratulations to radio broadcasters on a century of excellence.  We look forward to the stories that radio will continue to tell!”

Continue Reading

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