Russia-backed RT Gets Blocked, NTIA Adds to Ranks, Open Access in California

Kremlin-backed media network RT has been blocked by broadcasters and big technology companies.

Russia-backed RT Gets Blocked, NTIA Adds to Ranks, Open Access in California
Photo of the press conference announcing the launch of Rancho Cordova FiberCity

March 1, 2022 – Television service providers and technology companies have moved to block Russia-backed media outlet RT from their platforms in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, and Google have blocked RT – which is known to push Russian President Vladimir Putin’s talking points – from monetizing its content on their platforms. Streaming platform Roku has also announced that it would be removing RT in Europe from the Roku channel store. And Bell and Rogers, two large telecommunications companies in Canada, have removed the channel from their rosters.

Altogether, more than 20 international media groups have turned off or blocked Russian news channels.

NTIA adds to senior ranks

Sarah Morris, the current director of New America’s Open Technology Institute, assumed her position Monday as senior advisor to Alan Davidson, head of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, according to a Thursday press release

Chhaya Kapadia, OTI’s chief of staff, has also been brought on to serve as interim director.

Davidson, who was confirmed by the Senate in January to head the agency tasked with delivering $42.5 billion from the Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act, early last month brought on April McClain-Delaney as deputy assistant secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information and Andy Berke as special representative for broadband.

Open access fiber broadband in California

Local government officials in Rancho Cordova, California, announced in a press conference Monday a $63 million project which is expected to provide broadband speeds of up to 10 Gigabits per second to 35,246 homes, businesses and institutions.

The project is privately funded and will allow an open access network, which allows the fiber infrastructure to be shared by multiple service providers, according to the press release.

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