Public Knowledge Launches ‘Better Internet’ Movement, FCC Against Authoritarians, SiFi in Saratoga Springs

‘By joining the movement, we can ensure an internet shaped by our shared public interest values.’

Public Knowledge Launches ‘Better Internet’ Movement, FCC Against Authoritarians, SiFi in Saratoga Springs
Photo of Saratoga Springs Public Works Commissioner Jason Golub and business leaders at the groundbreaking by Stephanie DiMartino

October 26, 2022 – Internet advocacy group Public Knowledge announced Tuesday the launch of the Movement for a Better Internet, an organization that will bring together technology policy advocacy groups to promote better policy decisions to create a “better internet.”

The group will share blog posts, social content, leadership pieces and events. The website says it will gather diverse voices through workshops, roundtables and meetings.

Public Knowledge said it’s collaborating with the Association for Progressive Communications, Creative Commons, Derechos Digitales, Internet Archive, Niskan Center, and Wikimedia Foundation in this effort.

“The internet lies at a crossroads and every member of society has a stake in its future,” Lisa Macpherson, Public Knowledge’s senior policy analyst, said in a blog post. “As the digital landscape evolves and innovates, the internet offers new opportunities for self-expression and community building. But it is also fraught with misinformation and manipulation; deceptive privacy practices; and all-powerful, unaccountable gatekeepers. In time, our Web3 innovations and metaverse futures will either approach or avoid this same crossroads that the current popular internet faces.

“By joining the movement, we can ensure an internet shaped by our shared public interest values — an internet that puts people and communities first. We encourage academics, activists, and advocates working at organizations passionate about creating this better internet to join us in this movement,” Macpherson added.

Legislation would mandate FCC list licensed entities with authoritarian ties

Brendan Carr, Federal Communications Commission commissioner, on Tuesday came out in support of the introduction of a bill that would require the FCC to publish a list of every entity that holds an agency license with ties to authoritarian regimes.

The Foreign Adversary Communications Transparency Act was introduced in the House of Representatives by Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, R-NY, on Tuesday.

Carr said on Twitter there’s a lack of disclosure on entities with ties to the Chinese Communist Party and other authoritarian governments operating in the U.S. tech and telecom markets. This makes it more difficult to assess potential harm to the U.S. national security interests, Carr said.

Carr added the CCP will use every tool available to advance its malign goals to surveil Americans. He said one example is that it develops and exploit tech and telecom relationships.

Last week, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel backed legislation introduced in both chambers that would allow the agency to require television and radio broadcasters to reveal who is sponsoring foreign programming.

SiFi Networks celebrates Saratoga Springs groundbreaking

Officials in Saratoga Springs, New York and representatives from telecom SiFi Networks formally celebrated Tuesday the groundbreaking of the telecom’s Saratoga Springs FiberCity project, a $32-million venture that they said will see every home, business and institution in the city connected to fiber.

The network was constructed earlier this year, but a SiFi Networks spokesperson told Broadband Breakfast that city and company officials could not get together when it initially broke ground.

The project will be an open access fiber network that will be turn on by 2024, providing fiber to homes, businesses and institutions.

GigabitNow will be the first provider on the network and will offer symmetrical plans between 350 Megabits per second and up to 10 Gigabits per second with pre-registration available now, a press release said

“It’s now estimated that one-third of the workforce works remotely, at least part of the week. Having the FiberCity in Saratoga Springs is a game changer for economic development and will also help the region attract large employers and technology companies,” Todd Shimkus, president and CEO of Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce in the release.

In February, SiFi Networks CEO Ben Bawtree-Jobson, said SiFi planned to put $2 billion towards open-access fiber networks in 30 cities in the US, with the goal of connecting every home directly to fiber.

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