Rosenworcel Robotext Proposal, Technology Strike Force, Sugar Land’s Fiber Deal

The commission will vote on the robotext proposal in March.

Rosenworcel Robotext Proposal, Technology Strike Force, Sugar Land’s Fiber Deal
Photo of FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel

February 22, 2023 –Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel proposed new rules Wednesday to keep robotexts away from consumers, which if adopted will require providers to mobile service providers to block suspicious text messages.

The proposal will require providers to block texts from the number that the subscriber has previously identified as illegitimate. It would also extend Do-Not-Call Registry protections (prohibiting marketing texts to registered numbers) to text messaging and close the lead generator loophole, which allows companies to use a single consumer consent to deliver robocalls and text messages from multiple – perhaps thousands – of marketers on subjects that may not be what the consumer had in mind.

The commission will vote on the proposal at its next open meeting on March 16, 2023.

The FCC has already requesting comments on a proposed new rule to apply caller ID authentication standards to text messaging last September.

The agency already has in place a regime, called STIR/SHAKEN, to combat illegal robocalls.

Commerce, Justice establish ‘Disruptive Technology Strike Force’

The Department of Justice and the Department of Commerce announced Friday they are launching the Disruptive Technology Strike Force, which brings together government experts to target illicit actors, strengthen supply chains and protect critical technological assets from being acquired or used by nation-state adversaries.

The Commerce Department website said the strike force will be co-led by assistant attorney general Matthew Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division and assistant secretary for export enforcement Matthew Axelrod of the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security.

According to the press release, the main job for this strike force will be “investigating and prosecuting criminal violations of export laws; enhancing administrative enforcement of U.S. export controls; fostering partnerships with the private sector; leveraging international partnerships to coordinate law enforcement actions and disruption strategies; utilizing advanced data analytics and all-source intelligence to develop and build investigations; conducting regular trainings for field offices; and strengthening connectivity between the strike force and the Intelligence Community.

“The Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security remains steadfast in our coordination with our federal partners at the Department of Justice and vigilant in our enforcement of our export controls,” said U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves. “This interagency strike force will further strengthen this shared national security priority.”

Last month, Graves addressed a concern that China has moved aggressively to establish a technological powerhouse “through massive government support for their own domestic industries, strategic use of capital to gain access to early stage, commercial tech” and allegedly through technology theft.

Sugar Land, Texas approves 30-year deal with SiFi Networks

SiFi Networks has been approved by the city of Sugar Land, Texas to build and maintain a fiber network throughout the city, according to a city press release Thursday.

The network, utilizing SiFi’s FiberCities program, will come with “affordable” speeds of up to 10 Gigabits per second, some of the fastest speeds in the nation. The project, which the city said is expected to be built within 48 months, is entirely funded by private investors, it added, with SiFi paying fees for access to the city’s rights of way.

“We’ve been told that faster Internet options and choice are important to our community,” Steve Budny, director of information technology, data and security at the city, said in the release.  “This is an example of how we’ve engaged the private sector to improve the quality of life for our citizens. Not only is the project funded through private investment, but there are zero costs to the city and taxpayers for the build out.”

SiFi Networks has previously started the telecom’s Saratoga Springs FiberCity project in New York in October.

Back in September 2021, SiFi Networks announced a plan to commit $2 billion, sourced from private investors, to build open-access fiber networks in cities across America. The plans target networks in 30 cities by the end of last year and to pass over 40,000 homes per month by early 2023, the company said.

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