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President Donald Trump Impeached Twice, AI’s Role in COVID-19 Mutations, 5G and Health Care



January 14, 2021 — On Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the historic second impeachment of the 45th president of the United States Donald Trump by the House of Representatives. The House charged him of “incitement of insurrection” of the pro-Trump mob that attacked and briefly occupied the Capitol last week

In her statement, Pelosi said: “In a bipartisan way, the house demonstrated that no one is above the law, not even the president of the United States.” She continued, saying that “Trump is a clear and present danger to our country” and  that members of Congress actions were in an attempt to honor their oath of office “to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

There seems to be limited pushback from the Senate as they prepare to fulfill their responsibility to conduct a trial to convict, i.e. remove or bar from future office. Some senators said that even if Trump is out of the office, precedent demands that they continue with the process.

The House’s second impeachment is significantly different from the first one. First is the unavailability of the president to speak on Twitter. Second, there is no apparent coordinated defense coming from the White House.

Indeed, no official statement released has been released from the White House about the impeachment.

Artificial Intelligence’s role in the creation of vaccines and prevention of mutations of the coronavirus

On a panel hosted by The Washington Post, Andrew Hopkins, CEO of Exscienctia said that artificial intelligence is  vital to help discover new vaccines.

Normally when developing a vaccine, the timeframe is expected to be five to six years, but when developing a vaccine to fight COVID-19, that timeframe was reduced to less than 12 months.

AI  has improved the process. Drugs are precision-engineered technology, and their assembling is based on billions of potential design decisions. Allowing AI to create such a design results in fewer experiments, accelerated speed and lower costs.

Ziad Obermeyer, associate professor of health policy and management at UC Berkeley School of Public Health, highlighted the importance of an algorithmic data approach to fighting the pandemic..

AI is not only a solution for getting better data on where the current pandemic is or it isn’t, but also to build our understanding of underlying biological and social contributions of it, he said.

According to panelists, the best productivity is performed when combining human strategic oversight expertise with AI, for the tactical heavy lift.

Also speaking on the Washington Post panel, Eric Topol, founder and director of Scripps Research Translational Institute, said that with the quickly spreading variants of the virus compared to the time frame of the vaccination, mutations will be widely infectious to the population.

These variants are affecting testing and there is currently a need for interference by tech businesses to provide a better supply of re-agents, more genomics sequencers, more analytics, and more people. The next 6 to 8 weeks will be crucial to controlling these mutations of the virus.

Kimberly Powell vice president of Health Care Nvidia said that the role technology is playing in combating disease are substantive.

Nividia partnered with Oxford Nanopore Technologies and developed a reagent technology with sequencers that are an alternative to COVID-19 testing.. Thanks to the use of AI, very quick adjustments to a computational platform can be made, that now has to react to a new chemical input for the virus and it can be defined in a shorter time and updated, as an alternative for prognosis.

The algorithm can abound to deal with a lot of the treacherous happenings in the treatment of patients and help overloading health care system.

In hospitals, AI is better used in the treatment of disease states, and in collaborative ways with health workers to spend more time with patients. Systems are not prepared to make complex decisions, and this is a work done by the health clients and health workers, said Everett Cunningham, president and CEO of GE Healthcare to the U.S. and Canada.

Using 5G and AI to make the ecosystem of health care come alive

Essential technologies are revolutionizing health care innovation in different industries, from genetics and mixed realities to the world of spatial computing, said CES 2021 panelists.

President of Myriad Genetic Laboratories Nicole Lambert said that trust is at an all-time high. With the promise of better outcomes, empowering choices can be made to the course of many diseases. With personalized medicine, what before was seen as incurable, now has become possible to cure.

Precision medicine is going to get more precise, as the demographic, that is undergoing, it allows people to plan for addressing risks for upcoming hereditary disease. Eliminating late-stage disease and, eliminating trial and error.

Ashley Tuan of Mojo Vision talked about an invisible future made possible by invisible computing. This technology started as a way to help the visually impaired and has grown to higher applications.

Clients feel in a natural way the assistance of technology. The new contact lens will have motion sensors inside it, focusing on functionality and tracking eye movement to fabricate an image properly, creating a sense of virtual reality.

Adam Pellegrini from SVP said that the center of all innovations has been surrounded and focused on consumer needs. A product launched called Symphony, a health hub for seniors to connect with family and friends, was created to support seniors at home.. This service provides a variety of assistance, creating an experience in the home around the consumer. Bringing them home to virtual care.

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Supply Chain Improvements, Bill for Broadband in Public Parks, FCC Grants Alert System Compliance Extension

The Biden administration announced Wednesday a list of new measures to promote supply chain resiliency.



Photo of Congressman Raúl Grijalva, taken by Gage Skidmore 2018. 

November 30, 2023 – President Joe Biden announced at an inaugural meeting Wednesday new measures to improve national supply chain resilience, many of which are targeted at bettering semiconductor manufacturing. 

These new measures will see the development of a geospatial mapping protocol that will be used to account for and track trade disruptions of raw materials, with a special focus on ones that are involved in semiconductor manufacturing.

Additionally, the US plans to develop a resilience center to assess risks and supply chain vulnerabilities specifically inside national ports alongside looking at how to better implement CHIPS and Science funding.

In July of 2022, the Biden administration signed into law the CHIPS and Science Act, which was broadly supported by lawmakers, putting $52 billion into semiconductor research and development and a 25 percent investment tax credit to promote manufacturing. 

More recently, Biden has announced tech innovation hubs supported by CHIPS Act funds, four of which will focus directly on improving semiconductor production and manufacturing. 

Legislation put forth to expand broadband to public parks 

Congressman Bruce Westerman, R-Arkansas, and Congressman Raúl Grijalva, D-Arizona, introduced legislation Wednesday that would bring broadband connectivity to public parks and lakes. 

The Expanding Public Lands Outdoor Recreation Experiences Act would include increasing broadband connectivity in those visitor centers and surrounding areas as well as create digital passes for visitors to use when going to those parks. 

“The increasing popularity of outdoor recreation is a boon for local economies and job creation, but we must make sure our public land management agencies have the tools, resources, and staff they need to keep up,” said Grijalva. 

The broader legislation looks to improve access to public lands and waters, modernize visitor experiences and reduce overcrowding. 

FCC granted emergency alert development extensions to broadcasters

The Federal Communications Commission granted extensions to certain national broadcasters Wednesday, allowing them more time to acquire equipment needed to comply with national emergency alert system requirements. 

There are two ways that broadcasters can transmit emergency messages, either to devices connected to the internet using what is called the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System or over audio channels, which is referred to as the legacy emergency alert broadcast system. 

Historically, messages sent via IPAWS transmit more information to the recipient than ones that are formatted for being transmitted via the legacy system. Because of that, in 2022 the FCC required emergency broadcasters to alert constituents via the IPAWS unless they were unable to. 

Broadcasters were required to comply with this by December 12 of this year. However the National Association of Broadcasters and REC Networks, a broadcast advocacy group, filed a joint request for a 90-day compliance extension.

They explained that Sage Alerting Systems, a manufacturer of firmware needed to encode and decode emergency messages, is not able to meet supply demands for broadcasters to update equipment by the December 12 deadline. 

As a result, the FCC waived the deadline and granted a 90-day extension to emergency broadcast participants who are customers of Sage Alerting Systems. 

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Broadband Roundup

FCC Fines TracFone, Rip and Replace Extensions, Kansas State Internet Exchange Point

The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau has entered into a settlement with TracFone for subsidy program violations.



Photo of Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly taken by K-State Research and Extension, 2023.

November 29, 2023 – The Federal Communications Commission announced Wednesday that the Enforcement Bureau and TracFone Wireless, a Verizon Subsidiary, have reached a $23.5 million settlement for TracFone’s violation of broadband subsidy program rules

After TracFone was acquired by Verizon, the company self-reported instances in which it violated the FCC’s regulatory rules for the Lifeline and Emergency Broadband Benefit programs, according to the agency  

During an investigation into TracFone, the agency found that the company reported improperly claiming support for customers jointly-enrolled in subsidy programs and improperly using inbound text messages to make claims for customers who had not been using those services for at least 30 days, according to a press release.

According to the FCC, TracFone also conceded that some of their field enrollment representatives used false tax documents to enroll customers in the lifeline and EEB programs.

“Whether attributable to fraud or lax internal controls, or both, we will vigorously pursue allegations of misconduct that harms critical FCC programs designed to help those most in need of communications-related services,” said Enforcement Bureau Chief Loyaan A. Egal.

As part of the settlement, TracFone has entered into an improvement plan agreement with the Enforcement Bureau.

Wireline Bureau grants more rip and replace extensions 

The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau announced in an order Wednesday that it has granted rip and replace extensions to Montana providers Triangle Telephone Cooperative Association Inc. and Triangle Communication System Inc.

The rip and replace program requires service providers to remove and replace any equipment they use that was manufactured by Huawei Technologies Company or ZTE Corporation that were installed prior to June 30, 2020, because of security concerns. 

Triangle Telephone filed for an extension on October 18 and on November 10th, requesting an extension to replace the equipment by Map 29, 2024 as opposed to their original deadline of November 29 of this year.

Triangle Communications filed their request for extension on October 18 and November 16 of this year requesting for additional time up until July 13, 2024, as opposed to January 13, 2024. 

Both petitioners cited supply chain disruptions and delayed equipment delivery as factors preventing them from replacing existing equipment alongside poor weather conditions and a decreasing number of employees. 

Both providers were granted the extensions they had requested. 

Additional funding from Congress has been requested by president Joe Biden to finance the rip and replace program, as a report published by the Federal Communications Commission in July of 2022 noted that the program’s initial $1.9 billion would not be enough to support providers. 

In October of this year the FCC’s Wireline Bureau issued extensions to two other providers who cited that they were unable to completely replace the equipment due to lack of funding. 

Kansas awards $5 million to internet exchange point 

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly on Wednesday announced that the state had awarded $5 million to help fund the construction of the first carrier-neutral internet exchange point at Wichita State University.

The construction of this carrier-neutral internet exchange point will allow for the operation of cloud services and streaming content networks to operate more efficiently alongside local and regional internet networks, explained a press release. 

The endeavor will be undertaken by Connected Nation, a Kentucky non-profit, and Hunter Newby, founder of Newby Ventures investment firm, working with them to build and operate the internet exchange facility. 

Tom Ferree, CEO of Connected Nation, said that the exchange point will support Wichita State and the economy well “by improving the entire regional broadband landscape — preparing Wichita, and Kansas more broadly, for the future evolution of the Internet and all that it will enable.”

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Broadband Roundup

NTIA Awards $13 Million from Wireless Fund, New Ritter CTO, Middle Mile in Virginia and North Carolina

The NTIA has awarded $13 million to open network projects.



Photo of Victor Esposito from Ritter Communications.

November 28, 2023 – The National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced Tuesday that it is committing $13 million in grant funding from the $1.5 billion Public Wireless Supply Chain Innovation Fund. 

“The transition to open, interoperable wireless networks is now well on its way — bringing with it greater security, competition, and resiliency,” said NTIA Alan Davidson in a press release announcing the funding, adding the fund will accelerate the transition toward open and interoperable wireless by financially backing research and development. 

The seven projects that will be awarded funding are expected to improve the networks’ security, energy efficiency, and allow them to leverage AI to automate the network testing process. 

The fund is supported by the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, which aims to invest in domestic manufacturing to improve national supply chain resiliency. 

Ritter Communications new CTO

Telecom service provider Ritter Communications announced Monday that Victor Esposito will serve as the company’s chief technology officer, after having served as its vice president of engineering and network operations. 

In his new role, Esposito will lead all of Ritter’s technology-related teams, read a press release. 

“[Victor] has the leadership, skills and drive to keep us and our customers on the cutting edge of innovation as well as maintaining the company’s steep growth trajectory,” said Ritter Communications president Heath Simpson. 

Esposito joined Ritter Communications in April of this year and will succeed Greg Sunderwood, who served as CTO position for 11 years.

Middle mile to be built in Virginia and North Carolina 

Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative announced Tuesday that it is partnering with Ciena, a networking systems service provider, to help install middle mile infrastructure to serve more than 31,000 customers in Virginia and North Carolina.  

MEC currently services 4,511 square miles in those respective states with its electric distribution system and is partnering with Ciena to deliver low-latency connectivity and aggregate operation technology to better broadband, explained a press release. 

“During our network deployment, we will pass tens of thousands of homes, businesses, and organizations, and we found it unthinkable to miss the opportunity to extend this fiber resource to our communities,” said Dwayne Long, vice president of information technology at MEC. 

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