The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee today approved legislation on broadband connectivity, protecting the public from online scams, and promoting industries of the future at a markup session March 11.

FirstNet

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority) Board announced today the appointment of Edward Parkinson is its new executive director.






Witnesses at today’s House Communications and Technology Subcommittee hearing agreed that closing the digital divide and increasing internet adoption in the U.S. requires a combination of private sector competition, and financial and regulatory help from the Federal government.






Reps. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., Frank Pallone, D-N.J., and Richard Neal, D-Mass., released a five-year infrastructure investment framework Jan. 29 with $98 billion dedicated to broadband initiatives.






The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today approved final rules for a program that will funnel $20.4 billion over ten years to communications service providers to extend fast broadband services to unserved and underserved areas of the U.S.






FirstNet

While AT&T is on track to meet all nationwide First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) milestones, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) this week flagged schedule, communication, and end-user satisfaction management issues that it said could stop the program from reaching its full potential.






While touting the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) efforts to smooth the path for 5G wireless infrastructure and service deployment, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr told the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee today that “accelerating infrastructure deployment [has] created a new challenge and opportunity.”






maternal care pregnancy

A bipartisan group of House members introduced legislation on Jan. 16 that would use broadband service data mapping to identify areas of the country where high rates of poor maternal health overlap with a lack of broadband service access.






FCC Chairman Ajit Pai proposed Dec. 4 to create a $9 billion fund to support the deployment of 5G wireless services in rural portions of the U.S. The proposal would require approval from a majority of the full five-member commission, with a vote likely sometime in 2020.






The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) launched a new broadband initiative dubbed the Minority Broadband Initiative (MBI), that will focus on “solving broadband deployment challenges in vulnerable communities.”






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