Bill to Ban TikTok, Microsoft-Viasat Broadband Plan, NY Fiber for 5G

Some states have already banned TikTok from government networks.

Bill to Ban TikTok, Microsoft-Viasat Broadband Plan, NY Fiber for 5G
Photo of Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, in 2015, used with permission

December 14, 2022 – On Tuesday, a bipartisan trio of lawmakers introduced legislation that would prohibit the use of Chinese-owned TikTok for American consumers and businesses due to ongoing national security concerns.

The Averting the National Threat of Internet Surveillance, Oppressive Censorship, and Influence, and Algorithmic Learning by the Chinese Communist Party Act bill was introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Reps. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis. and Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-III. They referred to the Chinese potentially using the video sharing platform to spy on Americans, which are concerns of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Communications Commission.

TikTok, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, has more than 100 million U.S.-based users.

South Dakota, Maryland, Texas and Utah have implemented measures to prohibit TikTok in state government branches and on government-issued devices. Gov. Spencer Cox, R-UT, said “China’s access to data collected by TikTok presents a threat to our cybersecurity.”

Last week at a Broadband Breakfast Live Online event, panelists said proposed federal privacy bill, the American Data and Privacy Protection Act, is an option to protect American consumers against cybersecurity threats and could play an important role in TikTok’s privacy and security challenge.

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr has been an outspoken critic of TikTok and said in November it should be banned.

Microsoft and Viasat team up for global broadband delivery

Software company Microsoft and satellite company Viasat announced Wednesday a partnership to deliver high-speed internet access to 10 million people globally, including five million in Africa, by the end of 2025.

Viasat is working with Microsoft’s Airband Initiative – which is intended to bring broadband to underserved communities around the world – to expand broadband access in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Guatemala, Mexico and the U.S. Viasat and Microsoft said they want to expand their program into Egypt, Senegal and Angola as well.

Microsoft said it hopes to deliver internet access to nearly a quarter of a billion people globally by 2025.

Lightpath to add over 300  fiber miles to NY Metro for 5G

Fiber infrastructure provider Lightpath said in a press release on Tuesday that it is expanding its network in the New York Metro region with more than 300 miles of fiber for 5G.

“5G wireless network deployments require incredibly dense fiber infrastructure networks to backhaul and aggregate the massive bandwidths that they support. Expanding our fiber footprint in New York Metro to accommodate 5G is going to bring our network to thousands of new organizations,” said Lightpath CEO Chris Morley.

In September, Lightpath said it would expand its services into Connecticut with the addition of over 70 miles of network. It said it would connect Trumball and Norwalk, CT, to Katonah, NY in this earlier expansion.

Lightpath previously announced in June 2021 an expansion of more than 100 route miles in Queens, New York.

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