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House of Representatives

Net Neutrality Big Focus of House Oversight Subcommittee Hearing, With Stark Partisanship

WASHINGTON, July 26, 2017 – The official topic of Tuesday’s House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing was reauthorization of the Federal Communications Commission, but the big focus was on net neutrality. “The Commission’s decision in 2015 to reclassify the internet as a public utility was a power grab laced with the irony of suffocating the… Keep Reading

Self-Driving Vehicles Prompt Subcommittee Debate About Appropriate Actions of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

WASHINGTON, June 28, 2017 – Self-driving vehicles will be able to help the disabled and elderly reach their destinations, said David Strickland, counsel for the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets, at a hearing on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. The hearing was hosted by the Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce… Keep Reading

Rural Americans Disproportionately Lack Access to Broadband, Says Small Business Committee

WASHINGTON, June 26, 2017 – Among rural Americans, 39 percent lack access to high speed internet compared to only 4 percent of urban Americans who lack access, said Rep. Rod Blum, R-Iowa, at a hearing Thursday on Capitol Hill. He said more needs to be done to get rural Americans service on par with urban… Keep Reading

Better Broadband Data Necessary to Make Overdue Improvements in Universal Service Fund, Say Panelists

WASHINGTON, June 26, 2017 – Without efficient data, the Federal Communications Commission can’t put together a model that shows what the cost would be to cover areas with no wireless coverage, the senior vice president of strategic relations of the broadband company C Spire said at a hearing on Tuesday. The hearing on Capitol Hill… Keep Reading

Congress Looks for Legislative Barriers to Internet of Things, But Finds None

WASHINGTON, June 18, 2017 — Members of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Digital Commerce Consumer Protection on Tuesday met with executives from companies producing products that could be considered part of the “Internet of Things” (IoT) with the aim of uncovering regulatory or legislative barriers to innovation. Despite a plethora of witnesses representing… Keep Reading

Rep. Marsha Blackburn at Partisan Hearing on Cybercrime: ‘Hackers are Smart, and They are Adapting’

WASHINGTON, June 15, 2017 – Cybercrimes cost the global economy about $450 billion annually, House Communications Subcommittee Chairman Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee, said Tuesday as she cited the 2017 Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report. “Hackers are smart, and they are adapting,” said Blackburn. “McAfee’s 2016 Mobile Threat Report notes mobile devices are quickly becoming the cybercriminals target… Keep Reading

Broadband Roundup: Comcast Seeks Lighter Regulation on Net Neutrality, Mozilla and CCIA Want Heavier Touch

WASHINGTON, July 16, 2014 – Due to an “overwhelming surge in traffic to its website,” the Federal Communications Commission delayed its deadline for comment submissions on net neutrality until midnight Friday, Forbes reported. As of Wednesday, the FCC had received 780,000 comments, thus far. The traffic was enough to crash the site earlier in the… Keep Reading

Hearing Examines Implementation of Incentive Auction

WASHINGTON, July 24, 2013 — The House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology held a hearing Tuesday on the upcoming spectrum auction, focusing primarily on possible restrictions on larger carriers and efforts to ensure that broadcasters are treated fairly. The question of whether or not to impose restrictions on AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. dominated much… Keep Reading

Panel Analyzes Benefits and Challenges of Cloud Computing for Government Agencies

WASHINGTON, July 12, 2013 – A panel of experts discussed the potential for the use of cloud computing by federal agencies at an event held by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation on Wednesday morning. The security of cloud computing was a primary concern for many of the panelists. Matt Wood, General Manager of Data… Keep Reading

Subcommittee Hearing Assesses Spectrum Clearing and Sharing Approaches

WASHINGTON, June 27, 2013 – Witnesses from government agencies and private industry underscored the importance of making more efficient use of radio-frequency spectrum, including sharing and utilization of new technology, at a hearing on Thursday afternoon. In his opening remarks at the Communications and Technology Subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Rep.… Keep Reading

Timely Broadband Breakfast Panel to Take Place on the Eve of FCC Chairman’s Cybersecurity Address

WASHINGTON February 20, 2012.  Broadband Breakfast will host its February Breakfast Panel, Cybersecurity Legislation in Congress: Where Does it Stand?, the day before FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski delivers his remarks on cybersecurity at the Bipartisan Policy Center. Broadband Breakfast’s panel will focus on the efforts to move cybersecurity on the Hill after years and years… Keep Reading

Spectrum Bill and Broadband Breakfast Pre Holiday Wrap Up

WASHINGTON December 14, 2011 – The FCC, the Hill and the Telecom industry has been busy over the last couple of weeks. Here is a wrap-up of the most important events. House Passes Spectrum Auction Incentive Bill After a 234-193 vote, the House Payroll Tax Extension Bill incorporated the full version of the Republican Incentive… Keep Reading

Agency Heads Appear Before Congress to Tackle Privacy Issues

WASHINGTON July 18, 2011- Two congressional subcommittees called on the heads of several government agencies late last week to inquire how each addresses Internet privacy issues. The panel, assembled by the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade and the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology included the heads of the Federal Communications Commission, Federal Trade Commission and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. Keep Reading

FCC and FTC Deregulation Under Review As Key to Job Growth

WASHINGTON, July 7, 2011 – What was originally billed as a federal agency confessional before House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on Thursday turned into a search to create American jobs and economic growth. Monday, the subcommittee held its fourth hearing to improve the regulatory review system. With the national unemployment rate at 9.1 percent, burdensome regulations from federal agencies are seen by both sides of the aisle and agency representatives to contribute to the problem. An Executive Order the President issued in January sought to streamline federal agencies by having them do a retrospective review of existing regulations and discard those they determined outdated and unnecessary. Keep Reading

Patent Legislation Passes House Judiciary Committee

WASHINGTON June 23, 2011 - After several unsuccessful attempts in previous Congresses, the House Judiciary Committee passed the America Invents Act late Tuesday by a vote of 32-3, moving the first significant overhaul of the U.S. patent system in more than 60 years one step closer to becoming law. The Senate passed a similar piece of legislation, the Patent Reform Act, in early March with a vote of 95-5. The House bill has gained the support of many companies including 3M, Apple, Dell, Facebook, General Electric, Google, and Johnson & Johnson. Keep Reading

Foreign Policy Research Institute Holds Cybersecurity Talk

WASHINGTON, June 17, 2011 –,The Philadelphia-based Foreign Policy Research Institute presented expertise on the emerging threat in cyberspace Thursday to journalists, private sector industry leaders, government officials and strategists in Washington. Lawrence Husick, Senior Fellow at Foreign Policy Research Institute’s (FPRI) Center on Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism, offered his expertise on leveraging technology as a defining characteristic of the modern terrorist. His presentation centered on the rapidly evolving nature of cyber attacks, and the lack of a comprehensive private sector cybersecurity initiative. Keep Reading

House Subcommittee Debates Cyber Theft Measure

WASHINGTON, June 16, 2011 – Just days after Senate email accounts were hacked, the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade held a hearing Wednesday to discuss a draft bill that would require companies to minimize the amount of data collected from consumers and notify them within two days of a data breach. Subcommittee members met with witnesses to clarify the ambiguous language of a discussion draft of Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Mary Bono Mack’s (R-CA) Secure and Fortify (SAFE) Data Act. The measure addresses the increasing threat of data theft, in the wake of high-profile cyber attacks on Sony, Epsilon, Lockheed-Martin and other U.S. companies. Keep Reading

Bono Mack: Sony Data Breach Is Cybersecurity ‘Ground Zero’

WASHINGTON, June 3, 2011 – The House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade met on Thursday to learn the lessons from recent large-scale customer data breaches at Sony and Epsilon. The hearing examined the risks of the unprecedented data breaches, which Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA), Chair of the subcommittee, called a ‘ground zero’ for cyber attacks. Other members of the subcommittee also assessed current investigation efforts by those companies, and gathered input and support to craft new data breach legislation. Keep Reading

House Subcommittee Weighs Consequences of New Obama Cybersecurity Proposal

WASHINGTON, May 27, 2011 - House Subcommittee members received answers long on ideas but short on specifics when they probed Obama administration officials during a hearing Wednesday on the President's cybersecurity review. The House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet explored the ramifications of the Obama administration’s Cyberspace Policy Review in an oversight hearing that featured two witness panels representing federal and private interests. Keep Reading

House Subcommittee Examines Digital Goods Tax Bill

WASHINGTON, May 24, 2011 - The Subcommittee on Courts, Commercial and Administrative Law held a hearing Monday on a bill that would define limits on taxes for virtual goods and services on the Internet. The proposed legislation, known as the “Digital Goods and Services Tax Fairness Act of 2011” aims to “promote neutrality, simplicity, and fairness in the taxation of digital goods and digital services.” The legislation would restrict taxing authority to the jurisdiction of the customer's tax address. Keep Reading

Barton, Markey Release Draft of ‘Do Not Track’ Bill for Kids

WASHINGTON, May 9, 2011 - Reps. Joe Barton (R-TX) and Ed Markey (D-MD) released a discussion draft of to-be-introduced legislation that would update the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act to reflect changes in current technology. The Do Not Track Kids Act of 2011 would make several changes to the existing law, which dates back to 1998. Since then, says Rep. Barton, the Internet landscape has changed dramatically. Keep Reading

House Subcommittee Scrutinizes Possible Domain Name Expansion

WASHINGTON, May 5, 2011 - The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet held a hearing Wednesday to investigate the possible effects of expanding Internet domain names beyond the traditional suffixes like .com and .net to potentially anything a registrant could type. The subcommittee probed plans by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to expand the generic top level domains (gTLDs) beyond the set menu of familiar suffixes like .org and .gov. The proposed new regime could comprise either an expanded menu of choices or an open door for registrants to create a suffix of their choosing, such as .google or .microsoft. Keep Reading

Walden Speaks On Net Neutrality, Spectrum At Cable Summit

WASHINGTON April 14, 2011 - Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), Chairman of the Communications and Technology Subcommittee, voiced his opposition Wednesday to network neutrality, supported increased oversight of the Federal Communications Commission and addressed how spectrum issues need to be explored with great caution at the American Cable Association summit. Keep Reading

Copps, Clyburn Push Media Reform In Boston

BOSTON, April 11, 2011 - Speaking to a standing-room only crowd on Friday afternoon, Federal Communications Commissioners Michael Copps and Mignon Clyburn addressed media consolidation and broadband deployment before fielding questions at a town hall meeting during Free Press's National Conference for Media Reform. Media scholar, Robert McChesney, offered the introduction for the event, addressing both the packed auditorium, an overflow room and those watching live via the web. Both commissioners received standing ovations from the crowd as they took the stage. Keep Reading

House To Vote On Anti-Net Neutrality Measure; Administration Threatens Veto

WASHINGTON, April 5, 2011 - The House of Representatives is anticipated to hold a floor debate and vote this week on a measure that would put the kibosh on net neutrality rules passed by the Federal Communications Commission late last year, but the White House has said that it would likely veto such a measure should it come across the President's desk. Keep Reading

Clean Energy Standard Implies Smart Grid Build Out, But Chances For Bill Remain Murky

WASHINGTON, April 1, 2011 President Barack Obama reaffirmed the nation’s need for a Clean Energy Standard (CES) during a speech at Georgetown University Wednesday, once again raising questions about how smart grid technology will fit into that future. Implicit in bringing on a wide range of clean energy sources is the need for a more efficient and modernized grid to handle the variable power supply. However, in this divided Congress, getting legislators to find common ground on a CES will come with a high hurdle rate, say analysts. Keep Reading

Barton, Markey to Wireless Carriers: ‘Do You Track Customers’ Location Info?’

WASHINGTON, March 31, 2011 - Reps. Edward Markey (D-MA) and Joe Barton (R-TX), Co-Chairmen of the House Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus sent letters Tuesday to Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T asking the wireless companies to disclose how the firms collect and stored user location data. The letters to all four major wireless carriers were sent response to a recent story in the New York Times, which reported that the German mobile provider Deutsche Telekom tracked the locations of German politicians. Keep Reading

Schools, Health and Libraries Broadband Coalition Holds Broadband Summit

WASHINGTON March 30, 2011- The Schools, Health and Libraries Broadband Coalition assembled broadband stimulus award winners and government officials for their inaugural broadband summit on Tuesday to share solutions and success in solving digital literacy and adoption issues. The SHLBC, formed two years ago, comprises libraries, hospitals, schools, non-profit groups and corporations that seek to further broadband availability for community anchor institutions. Keep Reading

AT&T Announces $39B Deal To Acquire T-Mobile

WASHINGTON, March 21, 2011 - Nationwide wireless carrier, AT&T announced Sunday that it had finalized an agreement to acquire competitor T-Mobile from Deutsche Telekom for $39 billion in cash and stock. The deal between the nation's second- and fourth-largest carriers would likely create the largest nationwide wireless carrier, topping current leader, Verizon. Keep Reading

Patent Reform Passes Senate; Bill Headed to House

WASHINGTON, March 8, 2011 - The Senate passed a bill Tuesday evening that would significantly reform the U.S. patent system for the first time in nearly 60 years. The bill will now go to the House for consideration. The Senate passed the America Invents Act - formerly the Patent Reform Act of 2011 - by an overwhelming majority of 95-5. Congress has failed to pass comprehensive patent reform in each of the last four Congresses. Keep Reading

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