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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.

Broadband Roundup

Order on Spyware, WISPA Adds VP of Government Affairs, Michael Baker Hosts Webinars

An executive order bans the federal government from using spyware deployed for human rights abuses.



March 28, 2023 – President Joe Biden on Monday signed an executive order prohibiting the federal government from using commercial spyware that poses a risk to national security or has been used by foreign actors for human rights abuses.

The types of spyware – which is used to discretely access electronic devices remotely – captures by the order includes those that have been sued to monitor a U.S. person without consent or used for political repression or torture. The ban applies to all federal government departments and agencies.

The order also requires new reporting and information sharing within the executive branch to help agencies navigate the requirements.

“The proliferation of commercial spyware poses distinct and growing counterintelligence and security risks to the United States, including to the safety and security of U.S. Government personnel and their families,” the White House said in a statement.

“U.S. Government personnel overseas have been targeted by commercial spyware, and untrustworthy commercial vendors and tools can present significant risks to the security and integrity of U.S. Government information and information systems,” it added.

The order will be a key talking point during the Summit for Democracy, where Biden will host leaders from Costa Rica, the Netherlands, South Korea and Zambia, according to the statement.

WISPA adds vice president of government affairs

The Wireless Internet Service Providers Association said Tuesday it added Matt Mandel as vice president of government affairs.

Mandel will oversee the industry association’s congressional and executive branch advocacy and its state-based portfolio, its said in a press release.

“WISPs have always been at the forefront of closing the digital divide and are constituents of the communities in which they operate,” David Zumwalt, president and CEO of WISPA, said in a release. “Matt’s work will be integral to bringing their experiences and core values to policymakers at the Federal and State levels, and fostering the continued growth and viability of the industry and the hard-to-reach localities they serve.”

Mandel has years of experience in telecommunications policy, according to the release, spending over seven years at the Wireless Infrastructure Association as senior vice president of government and public affairs. Previous to that, he was vice president of government affairs at the Glover Park Group, a business management consultancy firm based in Washington D.C.

Michael Baker International launches monthly webinar series

Michael Baker International, an engineering, planning and consultancy firm, announced Tuesday the launch of its Connecting Communities Playbook monthly webinar series, which features various topics on federal grant programs and will take place on Tuesdays at 1 p.m. EST.

The series begins May 2 with a discussion about creating an initial proposal for grants from the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment program, the $42.5 billion program administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Administrative. Expected allocation of the funds to the states is June 30.

The next webinar is on June 6 about building sustainable ecosystems for digital equity, then a July 11 talk on tips for securing broadband funding, a discussion on the BEAD subgrantee on August 1, developing a digital navigator program on September 5, the do’s and don’ts of a BEAD audit on October 3, and broadband grants compliance and best practices on November 7.

“Each of the series’ six sessions is designed to assist broadband leaders at the local, state and federal level, as well as telecommunications organizations, with navigating the emerging digital equity landscape,” a press release said. “The series will provide an interactive approach to broadband education and resources, encouraging audience participation and providing answers to frequently asked questions in real time.”

Michael Baker International is a sponsor of Broadband Breakfast.

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Broadband Roundup

Biden Administration Tour, NTIA Funding Internet for Two Tribal Nations, Ting Partnership in California

Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo will visit a fiber manufacturer in North Carolina.




Photo of Joe Biden from 2021

March 27, 2023 President Joe Biden and cabinet members will begin an “Investing in America” tour on Tuesday in Durham, North Carolina, which will highlight the president’s agenda for items including the CHIPS and Science Act, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and the American Rescue Plan Act, according to a White House brief on Friday.

Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo will travel to North Carolina to visit manufacturers producing fiber optic cable, while Biden will visit Wolfspeed in Durham, North Carolina, a semiconductor manufacturer, which recently announced a $5 billion investment to build the facility and create 1,800 new jobs in the state.

The new laws are “unleashing a manufacturing boom, helping rebuild our infrastructure and bring back supply chains, lowering costs for hardworking families, and creating jobs that don’t require a four-year degree across the country,” according to the brief.

Before the president starts the tour, the White House “will hold a cabinet meeting on Monday, where members from across the administration will come together to discuss how their agencies are working together to implement the president’s agenda to expand economic opportunities across the country,” the brief added.

In Biden’s the State of the Union address in February, he emphasized the importance of ”made in America” rules, especially for fiber optic cables.

NTIA announces $25.7 million to fund two tribal nations

The Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced Thursday it has awarded two grants totaling more than $25.7 million to two tribal nations for internet and broadband, according to a press release.

As part of the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program, the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe in Minnesota will receive $11.4 million fund and the Pueblo of Acoma in New Mexico will receive $14. 3 million.

“Tribal communities often face high barriers to Internet adoption that hinder their ability to thrive in the modern digital economy,” said NTIA head Alan Davidson in the release. “Today’s grants to the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and the Pueblo of Acoma will reduce these barriers for more than 1,500 Tribal households, connecting them to economic and educational opportunities that many of us take for granted.”

The Federal Communications Commission partnered with the Institute of Museum and Library Services last February to raise awareness about the agency’s E-Rate subsidy program, which is federal program used to supply libraries with funding for internet infrastructure and has come under fire for a lack of expansion to tribal communities.

Ting partners to bring fiber to California, Arizona areas

Fiber internet provider Ting, a division of Tucows, announced on Thursday it will partnership with Ubiquity, a company that invests and manage digital communications infrastructure, to bring fiber internet to Carlsbad, California and Mesa, Arizona, according to a Tucows press release.

“Our partnership with Ubiquity allows us to connect more residents and businesses to fiber, faster, while being efficient with construction resources,” said Elliot Noss, CEO of Tucows and Ting, in the release. “We’re excited to work with a team that shares our vision of what future-proofed communities can look like now, and into the future.”

Ubiquity began construction of the network in early 2023 in both Carlsbad, California and Mesa, Arizona. The tenant partnership between these two internet companies “is expected to result in up to 150,000 available fiber addresses across both markets over the build term”, according to the Tucows’s release.

The companies also partnered in 2019 to build in the markets of Solana Beach and Encinitas of Southern California.

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Broadband Roundup

CHIPS Act Rules Against China, Idaho State Broadband Funds, FCC Combats Hidden Fees

Commerce Department’s new proposal would limit CHIPS Act recipients from investing in other countries




Photo of Brad Little from his website

March 23, 2023 – The Department of Commerce released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to limit recipients of the CHIPS and Science Act from investing in the expansion of semiconductor manufacturing in foreign countries of concern such as People’s Republic of China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea, according to Commerce department press release Tuesday.

“The innovation and technology funded in the CHIPS Act is how we plan to expand the technological and national security advantages of America and our allies; these guardrails will help ensure we stay ahead of adversaries for decades to come,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo.

“CHIPS for America is fundamentally a national security initiative and these guardrails will help ensure malign actors do not have access to the cutting-edge technology that can be used against America and our allies.”

In addition to the national security guardrails the CHIPS and Science Act already included, these new proposed rules would prohibit significant transactions for leading-edge and advanced facilities in foreign countries of concern for 10 years from the date of award; limit the expansion of existing legacy facilities and prohibit recipients from adding new production lines or expanding a facility’s production capacity beyond 10 percent; classify semiconductors as critical to national security; and impose restrictions on joint research and technology licensing efforts with foreign entities of concern.

The Commerce Department is now seeking comments for 60 days.

Idaho invests $125 million in state funds for broadband deployment

Idaho on Monday passed legislation to spend $125 million in state funds on broadband deployments as a part of it’s “Idaho First” plan, according to a statement from the governor’s office. The state plans to spend an additional $100 million is nearing legislative approval.

“In a data-driven society, connectivity is imperative for a strong economy. Improved broadband infrastructure means both urban and rural Idaho will be connected and well-positioned to attract business and enhance our citizens’ quality of life,” said Idaho Gov. Brad Little.

“I appreciate my legislative partners for prioritizing these new ‘Idaho First’ investments in broadband expansion,” said Little. “Together, we are ensuring a kid in Pierce can learn online with a kid from Pocatello and a senior citizen in Challis can connect to her doctor in Chubbuck. This is about all about connecting Idaho and improving lives.”

Both of these two states could receive millions more in broadband funding through the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment program.

Cable and broadcast satellite providers must offer customers what they charge and why they charge

A new proposal introduced by Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel would require cable operators and direct broadcast satellite providers to specify their prices for video programming service in both their promotional materials and on subscribers’ bills, so that customers will not be confused, according to a Wednesday press release.

According to the proposal, cable and DBS providers need to include separate lines on each payment bill and promotional material for broadcast retransmission consent, regional sports programming, and fees for other programs that customers might sign up but without clear understanding.

“Consumers deserve to know what exactly they are paying for when they sign up for a cable or broadcast satellite subscription. No one likes surprises on their bill, especially families on tight budgets,” Rosenworcel said in the statement.

“We’re working to make it so the advertised price for a service is the price you pay when your bill arrives and isn’t littered with anything that resembles junk fees.”

This proposal of consumer protection is “latest in the Commission’s price transparency and increased competitiveness initiatives” which also includes the nation’s first Broadband Nutrition Label, that requires broadband providers to display easy-to-understand labels to allow consumers to compare broadband service shop and choose for their own, according to the press release.

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