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With Donald Trump as President, White House Web Site Under Barack Obama Goes to National Archives

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Broadband Breakfast Insight: Just as the White House web site changed with the inauguration of President Donald Trump, the abundant web resources and social media content associated with the administration of former President Barack Obama is now available through the National Archives.

National Archives launches Barack Obama Library website including access to archived web and social media content

The Barack Obama Presidential Library is the fourteenth library to become part of the Presidential Libraries system administered by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The Library will be built in Chicago’s Jackson Park and is expected to open to the public in 2021.

But you don’t have to wait until 2021 to access content related to the Obama administration. With the launch of ObamaLibrary.gov, the National Archives is pleased to provide access to:

In the coming years, additional content will be published on the website to inform and inspire audiences interested in the legacy of the Obama administration.

Presidential Libraries and Museums promote understanding of the presidency and the American experience. We preserve and provide access to historical materials, support research, and create interactive programs and exhibits that educate and inspire. More information about the Presidential Libraries and Museums is available on NARA’s main website, Archives.gov.

Source: National Archives launches Barack Obama Library website including access to archived web and social media content | Barack Obama Presidential Library

Broadband Breakfast is a decade-old news organization based in Washington that is building a community of interest around broadband policy and internet technology, with a particular focus on better broadband infrastructure, the politics of privacy and the regulation of social media. Learn more about Broadband Breakfast.

Broadband Roundup

No Cyber Reporting in Defense Bill, Newspapers Sue Social Platforms, 6 GHz Use

Republican interests in the Senate squashed cyber reporting requirements in a bipartisan draft of the bill.

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Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky

December 8, 2021 – Requirements for certain organizations to report cyber incidents was left out of the Senate’s bipartisan version of the National Defense Authorization Act.

Such requirements were included in the House’s initial version of the bill but following changes in the Senate, the House approved the final bipartisan version of the bill Tuesday.

The reporting requirements also would have established a new Cyber Incident Review Office at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

Department of Justice officials have expressed support for requiring companies to report cybersecurity breaches, and the Transportation Security Agency has implemented requirements for reporting in the transportation sector that have faced much pushback from industry power players.

According to The Hill, a Senate aide said Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, was responsible for blocking the cybersecurity provision during bill negotiations.

CyberScoop reported that Sen. Rick Scott, R-Florida, had asked McConnell to oppose the provision, believing that very few agencies should be subject to reporting requirements.

Newspapers file antitrust suits against Facebook, Google

Over the past year, more than 150 newspapers across 17 newspaper groups have filed advertising antitrust lawsuits against Facebook and Google stating that the tech giants have engaged in illegal competition with local media by monopolizing online advertising.

The lawsuits seek to recover past damages and create a new system that would allow newspapers to compete with the large social media platforms going forward, per Axios.

Similar legal regulations exist in Australia, where online platforms are required to pay publishers when their content is posted on a site.

This legal action comes at a time when Facebook and Google are facing unprecedented legal challenges from both U.S. and international regulators.

Even more newspapers are planning to potentially launch suits against the companies – more than 30 newspaper groups owning more than 200 news outlets have retained the same group of antitrust specialist attorneys.

UTC urges FCC action on 6 GHz

The Utilities Technology Council announced in a press release Wednesday that it had filed a petition with the Federal Communications Commission urging rulemaking and a stay to prevent radiofrequency interference from unlicensed operations in the 6 GHz band.

UTC says that real-world testing has proved that 6 GHz low-power indoor devices cause interference to licensed microwave systems.

They suggest that the FCC stop certifying 6 GHz LPI devices and revoke the certification of those devices it has already approved.

Additionally, they recommend that the agency conduct independent tests to determine if it is necessary to develop new rules for unlicensed standard power access devices, and that a cost recovery mechanism be implemented for incumbent licensees who incurred costs in managing interference from unlicensed 6 GHz operators.

As a global trade association, UTC promotes advocacy, education and collaboration for its members in the technology sector.

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Broadband Roundup

Rosenworcel Confirmed, Rohingya Meta Class Action, FTTH Builds Increase, WOW! Offers 1 Gig

FCC chairwoman cleared, refocusing attention on party tie-breaking nominee Gigi Sohn.

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FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel at a Senate committee hearing last month

WASHINGTON, December 7, 2021 – The Senate on Tuesday voted to confirm Jessica Rosenworcel as commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission.

The chairwoman of the FCC had 68 votes in favor and 31 against and will serve another five-year term on the agency. She was pushed ahead by the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation committee on Wednesday after being questioned by the committee last month.

“Chairwoman Rosenworcel has served as a tireless advocate for consumer protection in today’s digital landscape,” said Senator Edward Markey, D-Massachusetts, in a press release. “Now more than ever, the FCC needs a chair who understands the importance of net neutrality and critical protections for broadband users, and I know Chairwoman Rosenworcel is up for the task.” Markey added that Rosenworcel is the “best person to lead” the administration of programs, including the Emergency Connectivity Fund and the E-Rate subsidy.

Other statements of support poured in on Tuesday following the approval.

Gigi Sohn, another President Joe Biden nominee for FCC commissioner, has yet to be confirmed. If so, the Democrat will be the fifth and tie-breaking commissioner on a commission that has been divided along party lines.

Meta facing class action from Rohingya

Meta, formerly Facebook, has been sued Monday by Rohingya refugees for $150 million for allegedly allowing anti-Rohingya hate speech that preceded mass killings.

The case has been brought as a class action in California court.

The Rohingya genocide has been ongoing in Myanmar since 2016. More than 700,000 Rohingya have fled the country, and more than 25,000 have been killed. Marzuki Darusman served as the chairman of the U.N. Independent International Fact-Finding Mission in Myanmar and stated that Facebook played a “determining role” in the genocide.

“[Facebook] was used to convey public messages but we know that the ultra-nationalist Buddhists have their own [Facebook pages] and are really inciting a lot of violence and a lot of hatred against the Rohingya or other ethnic minorities,” said U.N. Myanmar investigator Yanghee Lee, according to Reuters.

Telcos turn up heat with increased FTTH builds, Broadband Communities

According to data assembled by Broadband Communities on Monday, AT&T, Verizon, and other large telcos are continuing to grow their base of fiber users, with AT&T and Verizon gaining 289,000 and 98,000 fiber broadband subscriptions, respectively.

Broadband Communities Associate Editor Sean Buckley notes that even though more Americans rely on older coax cable for internet rather than fiber-to-the-home services, that difference is shrinking. Both Tier-1 and Tier-2 telcos are increasing their penetration across the country, with Frontier CEO Nick Jeffery stating that Frontier’s FTTH subscription number were up by a factor of five within the last year, as reported by Buckley.

“Fiber assets are likely to escalate, and that’s going to be a growing source of pressure for cable operators,” said Managing Partner of New Street Research Jonathan Chaplin, according to Buckley.

WOW! offers 1 Gbps download speeds to Michigan

WOW!’s fiber-to-the-neighborhood in mid-Michigan will provide gigabit download speeds for residential and business properties.

“We are thrilled to be able to bring our fastest internet speeds to our mid-Michigan service area and give our customers even more choices for how they connect to what matters to them most,” said WOW! CEO Teresa Elder in a statement. “For most people across the country, having access to a fast and reliable internet connection is essential to their everyday life, especially these days.”

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Broadband Roundup

CaptionCall $40 Million Settlement, World Bank Broadband in Rwanda, Tribal Broadband Money Not Enough

CaptionCall agreed to pay over $40 million over misuse of the free service for individuals with hearing disabilities.

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Matthew Rantanen, director of technology for the Southern California Tribal Chairman’s Association

December 6, 2021 – The Federal Communications Commission said Friday it reached a $40 million settlement with telecommunications relay service provider CaptionCall for its business dealings with health professionals.

Telecommunications Relay Service, or TRS, provides persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, deafblind, or have speech disabilities access to the telephone system at no cost, enabling communications with telephone users in a manner similar to other telephone users. Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS) allows users to read the other party’s words in real time with an internet-enabled device.

TRS is funded by mandatory contributions to the TRS Fund by telecommunications providers, who typically pass the costs to customers.

The FCC’s investigation revealed that Sorenson Communications’ subsidy CaptionCall “offered and provided incentives, including monetary contest awards and free meals” to Hearing Health Professionals, a clinic providing services to individuals that are deaf or hard of hearing. In return, Hearing Health Professionals referred users to CaptionCall IP CTS. CaptionCall at times gave Hearing Health Professionals gift cards and gift baskets to encourage future referral and “improperly reported costs associated with these wasteful practices” to the TRS Fund, the FCC wrote in its consent decree.

To settle these allegations, CaptionCall agreed to pay $28 million to the TRS Fund in addition to a $12,500,000 penalty. CaptionCall also agreed to a compliance plan in which the company’s staff must follow the TRS Fund rules.

World Bank funds broadband in Rwanda

Rwanda is set to receive $100 million from the World Bank to fund broadband, the bank said Friday.

The World Bank Group, the largest development bank in the world, provides loans to “developing” and transitioning countries.

“For Rwanda to leverage digital transformation as a driver of growth, job creation and greater service delivery, digital adoption needs to markedly improve,” said Isabella Hayward, team leader on the World Bank project.

The bank approved Friday to assist the Government of Rwanda advance broadband adoption across the country. The Digital Acceleration Project will expand digital access and inclusion initiatives, such as providing 250,000 households with financing to purchase smart devices. The project will also train three million people in digital literacy.

“Expanding digital access and adoption, enhancing digital public service delivery and promoting digitally enabled innovation are essential for Rwanda’s digital transformation which can in turn help drive a robust post-COVID-19 recovery,” said Rolande Pryce, World Bank Country Manager for Rwanda. “The Rwanda Digital Acceleration Project encompasses all these elements and will contribute to Rwanda’s vision to become a knowledge-based economy and upper middle-income country by 2035, by leveraging digital technologies to accelerate growth and poverty reduction.”

In the 2021 fiscal year, the bank provided nearly $100 billion in loans to developing countries.

Tribal broadband money in infrastructure bill isn’t enough, some say

The funds approved by the recently enacted Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is not enough for tribal lands, according to a Monday report in Wired.

About $2 million was approved to expand broadband access to tribal lands and reservations as part of the $1.3 trillion infrastructure bill, signed into law last month. However, 280 tribes have submitted requests totaling $5 billion for broadband finds, Wired reported Monday.

Matthew Rantanen, director of technology for the Southern California Tribal Chairman’s Association, estimates that closing the digital divide for Native peoples will cost around $8 billion.

“If you look at the fiber grid in the United States, there are some large communication deserts, and it just so happens that most of the tribes are in those spaces,” says Rantanen.

The problem is acutely felt in schools on tribal lands. At a school on the Duck Valley Indian Reservations, 300 students in the Shoshone-Paiute tribes struggle to stay connected for the sake of their learning. Most of the reservation covering 450-square-miles doesn’t have cell service: dial-up is still the only way for many residents to access the internet, the story said.

Rantanen says the $8 billion cost will rise once demand lowers the availability of fiber-optic cables. “What we’re looking to do is build robust networks,” he says. “We’re not trying to build with Band-Aids.”

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