Infrastructure Bill With Higher Speeds, 5G Apple Phones, California Broadband, FTC Bill

Leaked infra proposal has base 100 Mbps speeds, Apple’s phones getting 5G, Newsom signs broadband bill, FTC money recovery bill.

Infrastructure Bill With Higher Speeds, 5G Apple Phones, California Broadband, FTC Bill
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY

July 22, 2021—A tentative outline of the bipartisan infrastructure framework, which was leaked after Republicans blocked debate on the bill Wednesday, includes an amended definition of broadband.

Instead of the current categorization of underserved households as those receiving less than the federal standard of 25 Megabits per second download and 3 Mbps upload, the draft said it would consider households receiving less than 100 Mbps download and 20 Mbps as “underserved,” according to Politico.

Ultimately this falls short of the 100/100 symmetrical service many advocates – including some Democrats who introduced bills pushing for those symmetrical speeds — stated was necessary to address the ways in which Americans use the internet today. Some, however, have argued that increasing the speed definition for underserved would actually be a disservice.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, scheduled the bill to be debated in a move to motivate legislators to continue working on the bill; the bill failed 51 to 49, with Schumer himself voting “nay.” The measure will likely be brought up again soon, and proponents will need to secure 60 “yea” votes to pass the bill in the Senate.

Apple announces move to include 5G on all its phones in 2022

Apple will make all its iPhone models 5G capable in 2022. Even Apple’s most affordable model, the iPhone SE, will be able to connect to 5G networks, according to a Wednesday report by Nikkei Asia.

The move comes as an increasing number of carriers have announced that they will no longer support 3G, opting instead to free up spectrum for their burgeoning 5G services.

AT&T plans to shut down its 3G servers in 2022. Though it initially delayed the shutdown of its 3G network, Verizon will be ending 3G services in December of 2022. T-Mobile announced that it will sunset its 3G services in January of 2022.

Gov. Newsom signs broadband bill into law

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday signed into law a bill that would blow billions in broadband infrastructure.

Senate Bill No. 156, which passed the assembly unanimously on July 15 after amendments, allocates $3.25 billion to create and maintain a state-owned, open access, middle-mile, fiberoptic network; earmarks $2 billion for last-mile infrastructure connecting homes and businesses to local networks; and creates a head of broadband position at the California Department of Technology to operate alongside the also newly founded broadband advisory board appointed by the legislature.

House passes bill allowing FTC to return money to harmed consumers

The Consumer Protection and Recovery Act, or H.R. 2668, which would reinstate the Federal Trade Commission’s authority to recover money obtained from consumers by bad actors using deceptive practices, passed the House on Tuesday, 221-205 in favor.

The vote was largely split along party lines, with Republicans voting against expanding the scope of the FTC’s power. The bill will now be sent to the Senate.

“The [Biden] Administration applauds this step to expressly authorize the FTC to seek permanent injunctions and pursue equitable relief for all violations of law enforced by the Commission and ensure that the cost of illegal practices falls on bad actors, not consumers targeted by illegal scams,” the White House said in a statement.

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