Carr Wants TikTok Ban, NAB Spectrum Concerns, Lakewood Added to Google Fiber Targets

‘I don’t believe there is a path forward for anything other than a ban.’

Carr Wants TikTok Ban, NAB Spectrum Concerns, Lakewood Added to Google Fiber Targets
FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr

November 2, 2022 – Federal Communications Commission Commissioner Brendan Carr is urging the Council on Foreign Investment to ban popular video sharing app TikTok from the U.S., according to Axios on Tuesday.

“I don’t believe there is a path forward for anything other than a ban,” Carr is reported as saying in an interview with Axios.

TikTok poses an increasing national security concern, according to Carr, because it’s owned by ByteDance, a Chinese-based company. Experts and U.S. officials have warned about the Communist government’s influence on all Chinese companies, alleging these companies will siphon data to their government for profiling and surveillance purposes when required to do so.

There simply isn’t “a world in which you could come up with sufficient protection on the data that you could have sufficient confidence that it’s not finding its way back into the hands of the [Chinese Communist Party],” Carr is quoted as saying, according to Axios.

Earlier this month, the Biden administration and TikTok came to a preliminary agreement to make changes to the app’s security without requiring a sale from ByteDance, according to the New York Times. American data would be stored on US-based servers and Oracle would monitor algorithms that recommend data to users. The Times said TikTok planned to create an oversight board that will report to the government on security issues.

But Carr, who previously called for Apple and Google to remove the app from their app stores due to cybersecurity concerns, said that agreement does not go far enough.

Carr has been an outspoken critic of the app, saying previously that it “functions as a sophisticated surveillance tool that harvests extensive amounts of personal and sensitive data.”

National Association of Broadcasters concerned about spectrum transitions

In light of a proposal by the Federal Communications Commission to open up a spectrum band used by broadcasters for mobile use, the National Association of Broadcasters told the agency in a letter Tuesday that it needs to be mindful of the impact this has on its members.

Last week, the agency proposed opening up the 12.7-13.25 GHz band to make more spectrum available for next-generation wireless services, including 5G. But to do that, it would need to move some users off the spectrum.

In a letter to the agency on Tuesday, which followed a previous day meeting with officials, the NAB general counsel Patrick McFadden said “protection of licensed mobile operations can pose particular challenges – yet licensed mobile [broadcast] operations are critical to broadcasters’ ability to cover live events and breaking news.

“With potential uncertainty regarding the availability of other bands for [broadcast] operations, we continue to urge the Commission to reserve just 55 Megahertz of the 6 GHz band exclusively for licensed mobile use until real-world data is available to justify the removal of such reservation,” it added in the letter.

“This would effectively serve as a pilot program to test the coexistence of unlicensed operations and licensed mobile operations and address our ongoing concerns regarding the potential for harmful interference to licensed mobile operations in the 6 GHz band,” it noted.

This summer, the National Spectrum Management Association said it was concerned that the FCC opening of the 6 GHz band to unlicensed use – which held off a legal challenge – by a possible one billion portable devices was done without proper testing.

Lakewood, Co., added to Google Fiber’s expansion plans

Google Fiber said Tuesday it is adding Lakewood, Colorado to its fiber markets, with construction likely to start next year.

This is Google Fiber’s first fiber-to-the-premises build in Colorado. This comes after Google inked a non-exclusive right-of-way use deal with the city, which enables Google Fiber to deploy its network efficiently.

The company plans to launch its 5 Gig and 8 Gig speeds by next year, while its competitor, Comcast will launch symmetrical, multigigabit speeds to select markets next year.

Other cities on Google’s build list include Omaha, Nebraska and Mesa, Arizona.

In September, Google Fiber announced its plan to include multi-gig service tiers.

Google Fiber is a sponsor of Broadband Breakfast.

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