Connect with us

Broadband Roundup

Biden Justice Department Withdraws Net Neutrality Suit, Section 230 Changes, Community Digital Infrastructure

Published

on

Photo of net neutrality protesters from MarketWatch

February 9, 2021 – The Justice Department on Monday withdrew its lawsuit against California for proposing net neutrality laws in the wake of a 2017 vote by the Federal Communications Commission that repealed those rules. The move signals a shift in how the White House and the new FCC could approach the issue.

“I am pleased that the Department of Justice has withdrawn this lawsuit,” Acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a Monday statement. “When the FCC, over my objection, rolled back its net neutrality policies, states like California sought to fill the void with their own laws. By taking this step, Washington is listening to the American people, who overwhelmingly support an open internet, and is charting a course to once again make net neutrality the law of the land.”

The net neutrality rules in California are suspended pending a lawsuit brought by the industry challenging the legality of the proposal. That hearing will be held on February 23.

In 2017, the FCC under Chairman Ajit Pai reversed the Obama Administration-era neutrality rules that ensures telecoms cannot prioritize certain content over others, such as to slow them down or block them entirely.

Senate Democrats propose reform of Section 230

Senate Democrats Mark Warner, D-Virginia, Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. last week proposed changes to Section 230, the law governing liability of internet intermediaries.

The proposed legislation, known as the Safe Tech Act, would effectively keep the general spirit of the legislation, but with a caveat that content that the platform is paid to post – such as advertising — will not be protected from legal liability.

“No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any speech provided by another information content provider, except to the extent the provider or user has accepted payment to make the speech available or, in whole or in part, created or funded the creation of the speech,” the proposal pitches.

This, the proponents say, will “allow social media companies to be held accountable for enabling cyber-stalking, targeted harassment, and discrimination on their platforms.”

Critics of the proposal, including Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., have said that, if enacted, the change would effectively create a new form of liability on commercial relationships that would force “web hosts, cloud storage providers and even paid email services to purge their networks of any controversial speech.”

Pandemic has put community broadband in focus

Increased dependence on remote learning has forced a deeper conversation about affordable and accessible broadband – and seeking stable models that don’t necessarily rely on private funding.

One such model is community broadband, where the municipality invests its own money to provide cheaper connectivity options to keep up with the increasing number of Americans turning to online learning for their education. However, according to a Broadband Now bulletin in May, 22 states have blocked or outlawed municipal broadband projects due to concerns about unfair competition, according to Bloomberg.

“The options in front of them looking at the affordability barrier were to pay for existing service — cellular through a hotspot, or wireline — or build something,” says Angela Siefer, executive director of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance. “And I think the folks who went with the build-it solution are the ones thinking, ‘This problem isn’t going away after the pandemic.’”

“Basically, try to offer free connectivity in areas that are heavily populated by people who cannot afford the connections that are available,” says Chris Mitchell, director of the Community Broadband Networks Initiative with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

With authorization from the FCC, a number of school districts in the western states have begun leveraging a band of the wireless spectrum known as Citizen Broadband Radio Service to establish high-speed wireless networks for students.

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation Director of Broadband and Spectrum Policy Mitchell Brake said, “It’s an exciting technology, but it’s also not clear to me that there is enough spectrum yet to be able to ensure that you can provide high-quality service.”

“One of the things I really hope the FCC does is create more spectrum that would be available to be shared in this way because I would worry that in many cities, it might be exhausted and congested very quickly.”

Brake says that it might be hard for some cities to afford the cost of building a CBRS system with the competitive agencies that are well place in the market, so he suggests communities invest as well on internet hotspots at public places. How these communities choose to overcome these challenges eventually depends on their needs and resources.

Broadband Roundup

Infrastructure Bill Reactions, Airbnb Lets Hosts Display Wi-Fi Speeds, No Child Left Offline

Organizations applaud infrastructure bill, Airbnb gives renters view into internet speeds, op-ed to support education during Delta wave.

Published

on

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer

February 9, 2021 – The Justice Department on Monday withdrew its lawsuit against California for proposing net neutrality laws in the wake of a 2017 vote by the Federal Communications Commission that repealed those rules. The move signals a shift in how the White House and the new FCC could approach the issue.

“I am pleased that the Department of Justice has withdrawn this lawsuit,” Acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a Monday statement. “When the FCC, over my objection, rolled back its net neutrality policies, states like California sought to fill the void with their own laws. By taking this step, Washington is listening to the American people, who overwhelmingly support an open internet, and is charting a course to once again make net neutrality the law of the land.”

The net neutrality rules in California are suspended pending a lawsuit brought by the industry challenging the legality of the proposal. That hearing will be held on February 23.

In 2017, the FCC under Chairman Ajit Pai reversed the Obama Administration-era neutrality rules that ensures telecoms cannot prioritize certain content over others, such as to slow them down or block them entirely.

Senate Democrats propose reform of Section 230

Senate Democrats Mark Warner, D-Virginia, Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. last week proposed changes to Section 230, the law governing liability of internet intermediaries.

The proposed legislation, known as the Safe Tech Act, would effectively keep the general spirit of the legislation, but with a caveat that content that the platform is paid to post – such as advertising — will not be protected from legal liability.

“No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any speech provided by another information content provider, except to the extent the provider or user has accepted payment to make the speech available or, in whole or in part, created or funded the creation of the speech,” the proposal pitches.

This, the proponents say, will “allow social media companies to be held accountable for enabling cyber-stalking, targeted harassment, and discrimination on their platforms.”

Critics of the proposal, including Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., have said that, if enacted, the change would effectively create a new form of liability on commercial relationships that would force “web hosts, cloud storage providers and even paid email services to purge their networks of any controversial speech.”

Pandemic has put community broadband in focus

Increased dependence on remote learning has forced a deeper conversation about affordable and accessible broadband – and seeking stable models that don’t necessarily rely on private funding.

One such model is community broadband, where the municipality invests its own money to provide cheaper connectivity options to keep up with the increasing number of Americans turning to online learning for their education. However, according to a Broadband Now bulletin in May, 22 states have blocked or outlawed municipal broadband projects due to concerns about unfair competition, according to Bloomberg.

“The options in front of them looking at the affordability barrier were to pay for existing service — cellular through a hotspot, or wireline — or build something,” says Angela Siefer, executive director of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance. “And I think the folks who went with the build-it solution are the ones thinking, ‘This problem isn’t going away after the pandemic.’”

“Basically, try to offer free connectivity in areas that are heavily populated by people who cannot afford the connections that are available,” says Chris Mitchell, director of the Community Broadband Networks Initiative with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

With authorization from the FCC, a number of school districts in the western states have begun leveraging a band of the wireless spectrum known as Citizen Broadband Radio Service to establish high-speed wireless networks for students.

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation Director of Broadband and Spectrum Policy Mitchell Brake said, “It’s an exciting technology, but it’s also not clear to me that there is enough spectrum yet to be able to ensure that you can provide high-quality service.”

“One of the things I really hope the FCC does is create more spectrum that would be available to be shared in this way because I would worry that in many cities, it might be exhausted and congested very quickly.”

Brake says that it might be hard for some cities to afford the cost of building a CBRS system with the competitive agencies that are well place in the market, so he suggests communities invest as well on internet hotspots at public places. How these communities choose to overcome these challenges eventually depends on their needs and resources.

Continue Reading

Broadband Roundup

Senators Intro Infrastructure Package, Influencers Fight Vaccine Disinformation, YouTube CEO on Content Moderation

Bipartisan senators package infrastructure deal, the White House employs influencers to fight vaccine disinformation, YouTube CEO wants platform independence.

Published

on

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki

February 9, 2021 – The Justice Department on Monday withdrew its lawsuit against California for proposing net neutrality laws in the wake of a 2017 vote by the Federal Communications Commission that repealed those rules. The move signals a shift in how the White House and the new FCC could approach the issue.

“I am pleased that the Department of Justice has withdrawn this lawsuit,” Acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a Monday statement. “When the FCC, over my objection, rolled back its net neutrality policies, states like California sought to fill the void with their own laws. By taking this step, Washington is listening to the American people, who overwhelmingly support an open internet, and is charting a course to once again make net neutrality the law of the land.”

The net neutrality rules in California are suspended pending a lawsuit brought by the industry challenging the legality of the proposal. That hearing will be held on February 23.

In 2017, the FCC under Chairman Ajit Pai reversed the Obama Administration-era neutrality rules that ensures telecoms cannot prioritize certain content over others, such as to slow them down or block them entirely.

Senate Democrats propose reform of Section 230

Senate Democrats Mark Warner, D-Virginia, Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. last week proposed changes to Section 230, the law governing liability of internet intermediaries.

The proposed legislation, known as the Safe Tech Act, would effectively keep the general spirit of the legislation, but with a caveat that content that the platform is paid to post – such as advertising — will not be protected from legal liability.

“No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any speech provided by another information content provider, except to the extent the provider or user has accepted payment to make the speech available or, in whole or in part, created or funded the creation of the speech,” the proposal pitches.

This, the proponents say, will “allow social media companies to be held accountable for enabling cyber-stalking, targeted harassment, and discrimination on their platforms.”

Critics of the proposal, including Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., have said that, if enacted, the change would effectively create a new form of liability on commercial relationships that would force “web hosts, cloud storage providers and even paid email services to purge their networks of any controversial speech.”

Pandemic has put community broadband in focus

Increased dependence on remote learning has forced a deeper conversation about affordable and accessible broadband – and seeking stable models that don’t necessarily rely on private funding.

One such model is community broadband, where the municipality invests its own money to provide cheaper connectivity options to keep up with the increasing number of Americans turning to online learning for their education. However, according to a Broadband Now bulletin in May, 22 states have blocked or outlawed municipal broadband projects due to concerns about unfair competition, according to Bloomberg.

“The options in front of them looking at the affordability barrier were to pay for existing service — cellular through a hotspot, or wireline — or build something,” says Angela Siefer, executive director of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance. “And I think the folks who went with the build-it solution are the ones thinking, ‘This problem isn’t going away after the pandemic.’”

“Basically, try to offer free connectivity in areas that are heavily populated by people who cannot afford the connections that are available,” says Chris Mitchell, director of the Community Broadband Networks Initiative with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

With authorization from the FCC, a number of school districts in the western states have begun leveraging a band of the wireless spectrum known as Citizen Broadband Radio Service to establish high-speed wireless networks for students.

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation Director of Broadband and Spectrum Policy Mitchell Brake said, “It’s an exciting technology, but it’s also not clear to me that there is enough spectrum yet to be able to ensure that you can provide high-quality service.”

“One of the things I really hope the FCC does is create more spectrum that would be available to be shared in this way because I would worry that in many cities, it might be exhausted and congested very quickly.”

Brake says that it might be hard for some cities to afford the cost of building a CBRS system with the competitive agencies that are well place in the market, so he suggests communities invest as well on internet hotspots at public places. How these communities choose to overcome these challenges eventually depends on their needs and resources.

Continue Reading

Broadband Roundup

Infrastructure Bill Gets Agreement, Fiber Connect Wraps Up, Washington Community Broadband

White House announced infrastructure bill to include $65B, Fiber Connect 2021 wraps up, Washington State community broadband bill becomes law.

Published

on

February 9, 2021 – The Justice Department on Monday withdrew its lawsuit against California for proposing net neutrality laws in the wake of a 2017 vote by the Federal Communications Commission that repealed those rules. The move signals a shift in how the White House and the new FCC could approach the issue.

“I am pleased that the Department of Justice has withdrawn this lawsuit,” Acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said in a Monday statement. “When the FCC, over my objection, rolled back its net neutrality policies, states like California sought to fill the void with their own laws. By taking this step, Washington is listening to the American people, who overwhelmingly support an open internet, and is charting a course to once again make net neutrality the law of the land.”

The net neutrality rules in California are suspended pending a lawsuit brought by the industry challenging the legality of the proposal. That hearing will be held on February 23.

In 2017, the FCC under Chairman Ajit Pai reversed the Obama Administration-era neutrality rules that ensures telecoms cannot prioritize certain content over others, such as to slow them down or block them entirely.

Senate Democrats propose reform of Section 230

Senate Democrats Mark Warner, D-Virginia, Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. last week proposed changes to Section 230, the law governing liability of internet intermediaries.

The proposed legislation, known as the Safe Tech Act, would effectively keep the general spirit of the legislation, but with a caveat that content that the platform is paid to post – such as advertising — will not be protected from legal liability.

“No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any speech provided by another information content provider, except to the extent the provider or user has accepted payment to make the speech available or, in whole or in part, created or funded the creation of the speech,” the proposal pitches.

This, the proponents say, will “allow social media companies to be held accountable for enabling cyber-stalking, targeted harassment, and discrimination on their platforms.”

Critics of the proposal, including Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., have said that, if enacted, the change would effectively create a new form of liability on commercial relationships that would force “web hosts, cloud storage providers and even paid email services to purge their networks of any controversial speech.”

Pandemic has put community broadband in focus

Increased dependence on remote learning has forced a deeper conversation about affordable and accessible broadband – and seeking stable models that don’t necessarily rely on private funding.

One such model is community broadband, where the municipality invests its own money to provide cheaper connectivity options to keep up with the increasing number of Americans turning to online learning for their education. However, according to a Broadband Now bulletin in May, 22 states have blocked or outlawed municipal broadband projects due to concerns about unfair competition, according to Bloomberg.

“The options in front of them looking at the affordability barrier were to pay for existing service — cellular through a hotspot, or wireline — or build something,” says Angela Siefer, executive director of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance. “And I think the folks who went with the build-it solution are the ones thinking, ‘This problem isn’t going away after the pandemic.’”

“Basically, try to offer free connectivity in areas that are heavily populated by people who cannot afford the connections that are available,” says Chris Mitchell, director of the Community Broadband Networks Initiative with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

With authorization from the FCC, a number of school districts in the western states have begun leveraging a band of the wireless spectrum known as Citizen Broadband Radio Service to establish high-speed wireless networks for students.

Information Technology and Innovation Foundation Director of Broadband and Spectrum Policy Mitchell Brake said, “It’s an exciting technology, but it’s also not clear to me that there is enough spectrum yet to be able to ensure that you can provide high-quality service.”

“One of the things I really hope the FCC does is create more spectrum that would be available to be shared in this way because I would worry that in many cities, it might be exhausted and congested very quickly.”

Brake says that it might be hard for some cities to afford the cost of building a CBRS system with the competitive agencies that are well place in the market, so he suggests communities invest as well on internet hotspots at public places. How these communities choose to overcome these challenges eventually depends on their needs and resources.

Continue Reading

Recent

Signup for Broadband Breakfast

Get twice-weekly Breakfast Media news alerts.
* = required field

 

Trending