New Section 230 Legislation, BAI Agrees to Buy Mobilitie, NATOA Awards Open

New Section 230 legislation introduced, BIA to buy Mobilitie, and nominations for the NATOA awards are now open.

New Section 230 Legislation, BAI Agrees to Buy Mobilitie, NATOA Awards Open
Photo of Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, in 2015, used with permission

June 28, 2021—Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, introduced legislation last week to address concerns surrounding Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, clarifying ambiguous terminology that allows Big Tech to allegedly engage in censorship.

Acting in response to longstanding criticisms of Big Tech, Rubio’s bill aims to “halt Big Tech’s censorship of Americans, defend free speech on the internet, and level the playing field to remove unfair protections that shield massive Silicon Valley firms from accountability.” Section 230 currently gives social media platforms immunity from legal action for the content posted on their website.

Rubio’s Disincentivizing Internet Service Censorship of Online Users and Restrictions on Speech and Expression Act updates the statute so that market-dominant firms lose those protections when they promote or censor certain material or viewpoints, including through the manipulation of algorithms.

“Big Tech has destroyed countless Americans’ reputations, openly interfered in our elections by banning news stories, and baselessly censored important topics like the origins of the coronavirus,” Rubio said. “It is absurd that these massive companies receive special protections through Federal law, even as they tear our country apart. No more free passes—it is time to hold Big Tech accountable for their actions.”

Global telecom firm acquirer’s the US’s largest private telecom infrastructure company

BAI Communications, a global communications infrastructure provider, agreed Monday to acquire Mobilitie, the largest privately-owned telecommunications infrastructure company in the United States.

The deal joins Mobilitie’s assets and operations across 5G outdoor and indoor wireless infrastructure, small cell deployment, and its work with transit operators across major US cities with BAI’s experience delivering communications in dense urban and transit environment, a press release said, adding it aligns with its strategy of supporting 5G carriers.

The acquisition, which must past regulatory muster and is expected to close in the third quarter, triggers an expansion of BAI’s business in North America, where it already provides cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity across large infrastructure projects, including in Canada.

“The scale and strong relationships with large venue operators and mobile network operators that Mobilitie brings fits perfectly with BAI’s existing leadership in connected transit and infrastructure,” said BAI’s Group CEO Igor Leprince.

NATOA’s Community Broadband and Digital Equity Award nominations now open

The National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisor’s Community Broadband and Digital Equity Award nominations are now open. The award recognizes the exceptional achievements from leaders in government, business, and community in advancing broadband efforts nationwide.

The Community Broadband Awards are announced at NATOA’s annual conference each fall and the recipients are highlighted on NATOA’s website.

Nominations are open until June 30, and award categories include:

  • Community Broadband Project of the Year
  • Digital Equity Project of the Year
  • COVID-19 Crisis Community Broadband and Digital Equity Initiative

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