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Democrats Lead Georgia Senate Races, France Imposes Digital Tax, Annual IP Report, SHLB New Board Directors

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Photo of Raphael Warnock and Jos Ossoff from Newsweek

January 6, 2021 – Voters in Georgia showed out to polls in record amounts on Tuesday, surpassing the state’s all-time voting record set in 2008, with over 4 million votes counted in the Georgia Senate runoff elections so far.

While about 65,000 votes remain uncounted as of Wednesday morning — mainly from areas where Democrats typically perform well, such as from DeKalb, Fulton, Cobb and Henry Counties — the Associated Press has projected that Democratic candidates Reverend Raphael Warnock has defeated incumbent Sen. Kelly Loeffler.

Fellow Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff has a lead of just over 17,000 votes, or 0.4 percent of the total, over incumbent GOP Sen. David Perdue.

If Democrats win both seats, there will be a 50-50 split in the Senate. In the case of a 50-50 tie, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, the president of the Senate, will hold the breaking vote.

Much in the communications sector is riding on this high-stakes runoff election, which determines which party will control the Senate.

The Senate must confirm whoever President-elect Joe Biden nominates to fill the third Democratic slot at the Federal Communications Commission. The Senate’s recent push-through of Commissioner Nathan Simington might indicate that a Republican-led Senate would attempt to deadlock Biden’s FCC.

Many critiqued Simington’s rushed nomination, saying it appeared clearly designed to delay the Biden FCC from pursuing Democratic Party goals, such as the restoration of net neutrality rules.

How will the U.S. react to France’s digital services tax?

The U.S. Trade Representative is expected to act tomorrow with tariffs of $1.3 billion on French products in response to French digital taxes taking effect that Washington views as being discriminatory against American tech companies.

New 25 percent U.S. tariffs on French handbags, cosmetics and soaps will take effect Wednesday, barring a last-minute change of plans by the Trump administration. USTR announced these tariffs last summer, but suspended the collection on these tariffs for 180 days. France has begun collection on its national digital services tax.

The move may prompt the European Union to strike back on an equivalent amount of U.S. goods, making the U.S. response to the French digital tax all the more crucial.

The Computer and Communications Industry Association has testified against the discriminatory digital taxes and previously filed comments with USTR in response to it’s query on the French digital tax.

In a statement, CCIA President Matt Schruers said the need to resist France’s discriminatory taxes is urgent, and that action by USTR will send a clear message that foreign digital taxes will not go without an approportionate response.

“It is crucial to demonstrate that the U.S. takes it seriously when one of our trading partners enacts taxes clearly targeting U.S. companies,” said Schruers. “We appreciate USTR’s ongoing efforts to ensure a level playing field, enforce international commitments, and disincentivize discriminatory actions by trading partners.”

“Continued proliferation of national digital taxes like the one imposed by France undermines ongoing talks at the OECD to get an agreement on global tax reform for the digital age,” Schruers added.

Annual Intellectual Property Report for 2020

United States Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Vishal Amin issued the United States’ Annual Intellectual Property Report for 2020 this Monday.

The report details the actions taken over the past year by the government to promote and prioritize the United State’s innovative economy. The report states that during the past four years, the Trump Administration has taken significant actions to protect intellectual property.

In 2017, the Trump Administration adopted a four-part intellectual property strategy which provides a framework for sound intellectual property policy to advance innovation and ensure effective intellectual property protection and enforcement, domestically and abroad.

The Administration’s four-part strategic approach to intellectual property includes engagement with trading partners, effective use of legal authorities, expanded law enforcement cooperation and engagement and partnership with the private sector and other stakeholders.

“The actions that we have taken to protect American intellectual property have helped set the United States on a path to remain not only an economic leader, but a powerhouse of innovation, invention, and creativity for decades to come,” said Coordinator Amin.

SHLB Coalition announces new Board Directors, Officers

The Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband Coalition announced the addition of five new members to its board of directors on Tuesday.

The board’s five newest members will be Cathy Cruzan, president of Funds For Learning; Karen Goff, executive secretary of the West Virginia Library Commission; Kim Klupenger, chief experience officer at OCHIN; Angela Siefer, executive director of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance; and Beverly Sutherland, president and CEO of EdTechnologyFunds, Inc.

The incoming directors began three-year terms effective January 1, 2021. The 2020 SHLB board of directors appointed Cruzan, Goff, Klupenger, and Siefer, while SHLB members elected Sutherland.

In addition, the board appointed Microsoft’s Paula Boyd, former Federal Communications Commission Commissioner Rachelle Chong, the State E-rate Coordinators Alliance’s Debra Kriete, and Broadband Catalysts’ Jane Patterson to continue their exceptional service for another three years.

“The SHLB Coalition has always taken pride in the diversity of our membership, and we strive to ensure that our board of directors reflects that diversity,” said John Windhausen Jr., executive director of the SHLB Coalition. “We are delighted to welcome Cruzan, Goff, Klupenger, Siefer, and Sutherland to the board, each of whom brings a unique perspective and skillset. With the growth in SHLB’s membership and the expansion of our board of directors, I’m confident that the SHLB Coalition’s effectiveness will grow even stronger in 2021.”

Broadband Roundup

New York Drops $15 Internet, Lumen Gets Army Contract, Illinois Signs Telehealth Bill

New York drops $15 internet after interim court decision, Lumen gets army contract for broadband, Illinois allows telehealth for all.

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January 6, 2021 – Voters in Georgia showed out to polls in record amounts on Tuesday, surpassing the state’s all-time voting record set in 2008, with over 4 million votes counted in the Georgia Senate runoff elections so far.

While about 65,000 votes remain uncounted as of Wednesday morning — mainly from areas where Democrats typically perform well, such as from DeKalb, Fulton, Cobb and Henry Counties — the Associated Press has projected that Democratic candidates Reverend Raphael Warnock has defeated incumbent Sen. Kelly Loeffler.

Fellow Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff has a lead of just over 17,000 votes, or 0.4 percent of the total, over incumbent GOP Sen. David Perdue.

If Democrats win both seats, there will be a 50-50 split in the Senate. In the case of a 50-50 tie, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, the president of the Senate, will hold the breaking vote.

Much in the communications sector is riding on this high-stakes runoff election, which determines which party will control the Senate.

The Senate must confirm whoever President-elect Joe Biden nominates to fill the third Democratic slot at the Federal Communications Commission. The Senate’s recent push-through of Commissioner Nathan Simington might indicate that a Republican-led Senate would attempt to deadlock Biden’s FCC.

Many critiqued Simington’s rushed nomination, saying it appeared clearly designed to delay the Biden FCC from pursuing Democratic Party goals, such as the restoration of net neutrality rules.

How will the U.S. react to France’s digital services tax?

The U.S. Trade Representative is expected to act tomorrow with tariffs of $1.3 billion on French products in response to French digital taxes taking effect that Washington views as being discriminatory against American tech companies.

New 25 percent U.S. tariffs on French handbags, cosmetics and soaps will take effect Wednesday, barring a last-minute change of plans by the Trump administration. USTR announced these tariffs last summer, but suspended the collection on these tariffs for 180 days. France has begun collection on its national digital services tax.

The move may prompt the European Union to strike back on an equivalent amount of U.S. goods, making the U.S. response to the French digital tax all the more crucial.

The Computer and Communications Industry Association has testified against the discriminatory digital taxes and previously filed comments with USTR in response to it’s query on the French digital tax.

In a statement, CCIA President Matt Schruers said the need to resist France’s discriminatory taxes is urgent, and that action by USTR will send a clear message that foreign digital taxes will not go without an approportionate response.

“It is crucial to demonstrate that the U.S. takes it seriously when one of our trading partners enacts taxes clearly targeting U.S. companies,” said Schruers. “We appreciate USTR’s ongoing efforts to ensure a level playing field, enforce international commitments, and disincentivize discriminatory actions by trading partners.”

“Continued proliferation of national digital taxes like the one imposed by France undermines ongoing talks at the OECD to get an agreement on global tax reform for the digital age,” Schruers added.

Annual Intellectual Property Report for 2020

United States Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Vishal Amin issued the United States’ Annual Intellectual Property Report for 2020 this Monday.

The report details the actions taken over the past year by the government to promote and prioritize the United State’s innovative economy. The report states that during the past four years, the Trump Administration has taken significant actions to protect intellectual property.

In 2017, the Trump Administration adopted a four-part intellectual property strategy which provides a framework for sound intellectual property policy to advance innovation and ensure effective intellectual property protection and enforcement, domestically and abroad.

The Administration’s four-part strategic approach to intellectual property includes engagement with trading partners, effective use of legal authorities, expanded law enforcement cooperation and engagement and partnership with the private sector and other stakeholders.

“The actions that we have taken to protect American intellectual property have helped set the United States on a path to remain not only an economic leader, but a powerhouse of innovation, invention, and creativity for decades to come,” said Coordinator Amin.

SHLB Coalition announces new Board Directors, Officers

The Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband Coalition announced the addition of five new members to its board of directors on Tuesday.

The board’s five newest members will be Cathy Cruzan, president of Funds For Learning; Karen Goff, executive secretary of the West Virginia Library Commission; Kim Klupenger, chief experience officer at OCHIN; Angela Siefer, executive director of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance; and Beverly Sutherland, president and CEO of EdTechnologyFunds, Inc.

The incoming directors began three-year terms effective January 1, 2021. The 2020 SHLB board of directors appointed Cruzan, Goff, Klupenger, and Siefer, while SHLB members elected Sutherland.

In addition, the board appointed Microsoft’s Paula Boyd, former Federal Communications Commission Commissioner Rachelle Chong, the State E-rate Coordinators Alliance’s Debra Kriete, and Broadband Catalysts’ Jane Patterson to continue their exceptional service for another three years.

“The SHLB Coalition has always taken pride in the diversity of our membership, and we strive to ensure that our board of directors reflects that diversity,” said John Windhausen Jr., executive director of the SHLB Coalition. “We are delighted to welcome Cruzan, Goff, Klupenger, Siefer, and Sutherland to the board, each of whom brings a unique perspective and skillset. With the growth in SHLB’s membership and the expansion of our board of directors, I’m confident that the SHLB Coalition’s effectiveness will grow even stronger in 2021.”

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Broadband Roundup

FCC C-Band 5G Licenses, Proposed Antitrust Bill Harms Startups, Klobuchar Bill Takes Heat

FCC prioritizes mid-band spectrum, proposed antitrust bill will damage startups, Amy Klobuchar’s proposed Section 230 reform takes on heat.

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Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota

January 6, 2021 – Voters in Georgia showed out to polls in record amounts on Tuesday, surpassing the state’s all-time voting record set in 2008, with over 4 million votes counted in the Georgia Senate runoff elections so far.

While about 65,000 votes remain uncounted as of Wednesday morning — mainly from areas where Democrats typically perform well, such as from DeKalb, Fulton, Cobb and Henry Counties — the Associated Press has projected that Democratic candidates Reverend Raphael Warnock has defeated incumbent Sen. Kelly Loeffler.

Fellow Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff has a lead of just over 17,000 votes, or 0.4 percent of the total, over incumbent GOP Sen. David Perdue.

If Democrats win both seats, there will be a 50-50 split in the Senate. In the case of a 50-50 tie, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, the president of the Senate, will hold the breaking vote.

Much in the communications sector is riding on this high-stakes runoff election, which determines which party will control the Senate.

The Senate must confirm whoever President-elect Joe Biden nominates to fill the third Democratic slot at the Federal Communications Commission. The Senate’s recent push-through of Commissioner Nathan Simington might indicate that a Republican-led Senate would attempt to deadlock Biden’s FCC.

Many critiqued Simington’s rushed nomination, saying it appeared clearly designed to delay the Biden FCC from pursuing Democratic Party goals, such as the restoration of net neutrality rules.

How will the U.S. react to France’s digital services tax?

The U.S. Trade Representative is expected to act tomorrow with tariffs of $1.3 billion on French products in response to French digital taxes taking effect that Washington views as being discriminatory against American tech companies.

New 25 percent U.S. tariffs on French handbags, cosmetics and soaps will take effect Wednesday, barring a last-minute change of plans by the Trump administration. USTR announced these tariffs last summer, but suspended the collection on these tariffs for 180 days. France has begun collection on its national digital services tax.

The move may prompt the European Union to strike back on an equivalent amount of U.S. goods, making the U.S. response to the French digital tax all the more crucial.

The Computer and Communications Industry Association has testified against the discriminatory digital taxes and previously filed comments with USTR in response to it’s query on the French digital tax.

In a statement, CCIA President Matt Schruers said the need to resist France’s discriminatory taxes is urgent, and that action by USTR will send a clear message that foreign digital taxes will not go without an approportionate response.

“It is crucial to demonstrate that the U.S. takes it seriously when one of our trading partners enacts taxes clearly targeting U.S. companies,” said Schruers. “We appreciate USTR’s ongoing efforts to ensure a level playing field, enforce international commitments, and disincentivize discriminatory actions by trading partners.”

“Continued proliferation of national digital taxes like the one imposed by France undermines ongoing talks at the OECD to get an agreement on global tax reform for the digital age,” Schruers added.

Annual Intellectual Property Report for 2020

United States Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Vishal Amin issued the United States’ Annual Intellectual Property Report for 2020 this Monday.

The report details the actions taken over the past year by the government to promote and prioritize the United State’s innovative economy. The report states that during the past four years, the Trump Administration has taken significant actions to protect intellectual property.

In 2017, the Trump Administration adopted a four-part intellectual property strategy which provides a framework for sound intellectual property policy to advance innovation and ensure effective intellectual property protection and enforcement, domestically and abroad.

The Administration’s four-part strategic approach to intellectual property includes engagement with trading partners, effective use of legal authorities, expanded law enforcement cooperation and engagement and partnership with the private sector and other stakeholders.

“The actions that we have taken to protect American intellectual property have helped set the United States on a path to remain not only an economic leader, but a powerhouse of innovation, invention, and creativity for decades to come,” said Coordinator Amin.

SHLB Coalition announces new Board Directors, Officers

The Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband Coalition announced the addition of five new members to its board of directors on Tuesday.

The board’s five newest members will be Cathy Cruzan, president of Funds For Learning; Karen Goff, executive secretary of the West Virginia Library Commission; Kim Klupenger, chief experience officer at OCHIN; Angela Siefer, executive director of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance; and Beverly Sutherland, president and CEO of EdTechnologyFunds, Inc.

The incoming directors began three-year terms effective January 1, 2021. The 2020 SHLB board of directors appointed Cruzan, Goff, Klupenger, and Siefer, while SHLB members elected Sutherland.

In addition, the board appointed Microsoft’s Paula Boyd, former Federal Communications Commission Commissioner Rachelle Chong, the State E-rate Coordinators Alliance’s Debra Kriete, and Broadband Catalysts’ Jane Patterson to continue their exceptional service for another three years.

“The SHLB Coalition has always taken pride in the diversity of our membership, and we strive to ensure that our board of directors reflects that diversity,” said John Windhausen Jr., executive director of the SHLB Coalition. “We are delighted to welcome Cruzan, Goff, Klupenger, Siefer, and Sutherland to the board, each of whom brings a unique perspective and skillset. With the growth in SHLB’s membership and the expansion of our board of directors, I’m confident that the SHLB Coalition’s effectiveness will grow even stronger in 2021.”

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Broadband Roundup

Infrastructure Bill With Higher Speeds, 5G Apple Phones, California Broadband, FTC Bill

Leaked infra proposal has base 100 Mbps speeds, Apple’s phones getting 5G, Newsom signs broadband bill, FTC money recovery bill.

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY

January 6, 2021 – Voters in Georgia showed out to polls in record amounts on Tuesday, surpassing the state’s all-time voting record set in 2008, with over 4 million votes counted in the Georgia Senate runoff elections so far.

While about 65,000 votes remain uncounted as of Wednesday morning — mainly from areas where Democrats typically perform well, such as from DeKalb, Fulton, Cobb and Henry Counties — the Associated Press has projected that Democratic candidates Reverend Raphael Warnock has defeated incumbent Sen. Kelly Loeffler.

Fellow Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff has a lead of just over 17,000 votes, or 0.4 percent of the total, over incumbent GOP Sen. David Perdue.

If Democrats win both seats, there will be a 50-50 split in the Senate. In the case of a 50-50 tie, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, the president of the Senate, will hold the breaking vote.

Much in the communications sector is riding on this high-stakes runoff election, which determines which party will control the Senate.

The Senate must confirm whoever President-elect Joe Biden nominates to fill the third Democratic slot at the Federal Communications Commission. The Senate’s recent push-through of Commissioner Nathan Simington might indicate that a Republican-led Senate would attempt to deadlock Biden’s FCC.

Many critiqued Simington’s rushed nomination, saying it appeared clearly designed to delay the Biden FCC from pursuing Democratic Party goals, such as the restoration of net neutrality rules.

How will the U.S. react to France’s digital services tax?

The U.S. Trade Representative is expected to act tomorrow with tariffs of $1.3 billion on French products in response to French digital taxes taking effect that Washington views as being discriminatory against American tech companies.

New 25 percent U.S. tariffs on French handbags, cosmetics and soaps will take effect Wednesday, barring a last-minute change of plans by the Trump administration. USTR announced these tariffs last summer, but suspended the collection on these tariffs for 180 days. France has begun collection on its national digital services tax.

The move may prompt the European Union to strike back on an equivalent amount of U.S. goods, making the U.S. response to the French digital tax all the more crucial.

The Computer and Communications Industry Association has testified against the discriminatory digital taxes and previously filed comments with USTR in response to it’s query on the French digital tax.

In a statement, CCIA President Matt Schruers said the need to resist France’s discriminatory taxes is urgent, and that action by USTR will send a clear message that foreign digital taxes will not go without an approportionate response.

“It is crucial to demonstrate that the U.S. takes it seriously when one of our trading partners enacts taxes clearly targeting U.S. companies,” said Schruers. “We appreciate USTR’s ongoing efforts to ensure a level playing field, enforce international commitments, and disincentivize discriminatory actions by trading partners.”

“Continued proliferation of national digital taxes like the one imposed by France undermines ongoing talks at the OECD to get an agreement on global tax reform for the digital age,” Schruers added.

Annual Intellectual Property Report for 2020

United States Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Vishal Amin issued the United States’ Annual Intellectual Property Report for 2020 this Monday.

The report details the actions taken over the past year by the government to promote and prioritize the United State’s innovative economy. The report states that during the past four years, the Trump Administration has taken significant actions to protect intellectual property.

In 2017, the Trump Administration adopted a four-part intellectual property strategy which provides a framework for sound intellectual property policy to advance innovation and ensure effective intellectual property protection and enforcement, domestically and abroad.

The Administration’s four-part strategic approach to intellectual property includes engagement with trading partners, effective use of legal authorities, expanded law enforcement cooperation and engagement and partnership with the private sector and other stakeholders.

“The actions that we have taken to protect American intellectual property have helped set the United States on a path to remain not only an economic leader, but a powerhouse of innovation, invention, and creativity for decades to come,” said Coordinator Amin.

SHLB Coalition announces new Board Directors, Officers

The Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband Coalition announced the addition of five new members to its board of directors on Tuesday.

The board’s five newest members will be Cathy Cruzan, president of Funds For Learning; Karen Goff, executive secretary of the West Virginia Library Commission; Kim Klupenger, chief experience officer at OCHIN; Angela Siefer, executive director of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance; and Beverly Sutherland, president and CEO of EdTechnologyFunds, Inc.

The incoming directors began three-year terms effective January 1, 2021. The 2020 SHLB board of directors appointed Cruzan, Goff, Klupenger, and Siefer, while SHLB members elected Sutherland.

In addition, the board appointed Microsoft’s Paula Boyd, former Federal Communications Commission Commissioner Rachelle Chong, the State E-rate Coordinators Alliance’s Debra Kriete, and Broadband Catalysts’ Jane Patterson to continue their exceptional service for another three years.

“The SHLB Coalition has always taken pride in the diversity of our membership, and we strive to ensure that our board of directors reflects that diversity,” said John Windhausen Jr., executive director of the SHLB Coalition. “We are delighted to welcome Cruzan, Goff, Klupenger, Siefer, and Sutherland to the board, each of whom brings a unique perspective and skillset. With the growth in SHLB’s membership and the expansion of our board of directors, I’m confident that the SHLB Coalition’s effectiveness will grow even stronger in 2021.”

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