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Members of the Federal Communications Commission are back on the Hill this week, with Chairman Tom Wheeler and commissioner Ajit Pai testifying in budget and net neutrality hearings. Hearings and events on the Internet of Things are also on tap in the week ahead.
Georgetown University holds a panel discussion on discrimination and big data.
The Brookings Institution hosts a discussion with Craig Silliman, Verizon’s general counsel and executive vice president for public policy, on updating communications law and regulations.
An Energy and Commerce subcommittee holds a hearing on the Internet of Things.
A House Appropriations subcommittee holds an FCC budget hearing.
A House Science, Space and Technology subcommittee holds a hearing on the James Webb Space Telescope.
A Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation subcommittee holds a hearing on drones.
A House Judiciary subcommittee holds a hearing on abusive patent litigation.
The House Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on the FCC’s net neutrality rules.
The FCC holds an open meeting.
A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee holds a hearing on spectrum policy.
Microsoft holds a panel discussion on the Internet of Things.
New America holds an event on mobile health data.
The Telecommunications Industry Association hosts an event on the Internet of Things.
Members of the Federal Communications Commission testify on the Hill this week. Cybersecurity and data security and breach notification are among the topics of other congressional hearings this week.
A House Appropriations subcommittee holds a budget hearing on the National Science Foundation.
A House Armed Services subcommittee holds a hearing titled “Assuring Assured Access to Space.”
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee holds a hearing titled “FCC: Process and Transparency” on the commission’s process for developing its recently adopted net neutrality rules, where FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is scheduled to testify.
A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee holds a hearing on a data security and breach notification discussion draft bill.
A House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee holds a cybersecurity hearing.
The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee holds an FCC oversight hearing where the FCC’s five commissioners are scheduled to testify.
The Free State Foundation holds its telecom policy conference titled “The Future of the Internet: Free Market Innovation or Government Control?”
A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee holds an FCC oversight hearing, where the panel will hear from all five FCC commissioners.
The House Intelligence Committee holds a cybersecurity hearing.
A Senate Commerce subcommittee holds a hearing on cybersecurity risk insurance.
The week ahead include hearings and events on issues including FirstNet (which is tasked with building a nationwide wireless broadband network for first responders), music royalties and data encryption.
A Senate Judiciary subcommittee holds a hearing titled “How Much For a Song?: The Antitrust Decrees that Govern the Market for Music.”
Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley speaks at an event titled “Data-driven government: A new approach to governing” hosted by The Brookings Institution.
The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee holds a hearing on FirstNet.
The Advisory Committee to the Congressional Internet Caucus holds a panel event on data encryption.
The Brookings Institution hosts an event on mobile health in Africa.
The Heritage Foundation hosts an event titled “Standard Setting and Patents: Is Government Policy Harming Innovation?”
A Senate Commerce subcommittee holds a hearing on NASA’s fiscal 2016 budget proposal.
Last week, the Federal Communications Commission granted petitions to preempt Tennessee and North Carolina state laws that the city of Wilson, N.C., and Chattanooga, Tenn., Electric Power Board have argued prevent from expanding their municipal broadband offerings. Tennessee state GOP lawmakers are urging the state attorney general to sue, the Associated Press reported on Tuesday.
From the AP story:
On Tuesday Republican state lawmakers led by Rep. Jeremy Durham of Franklin urged state Attorney General Herbert Slatery to file a lawsuit challenging the decision as “a violation of state sovereignty.”
Slatery said no decision has been made about the state’s next step.
The AP also reports on Republican Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s statements Tuesday:
Haslam told reporters after an appearance at Lipscomb University on Tuesday morning that he is still consulting with his advisers about whether a legal challenge would be “reasonable.”
The governor said he’s concerned about whether broadband subsidized by local governments would make it more difficult for private businesses to compete. Yet he also acknowledged that private telecommunications companies haven’t offered super-fast Internet service to smaller cities like Chattanooga, Jackson, Clarksville and Tullahoma.
The Center for Public Integrity also had a story Tuesday on municipal broadband, writing that the the FCC ruling last week “may be viewed as opening the door to towns in those states to file similar petitions,” but that it’s “not likely to happen soon, said city officials overseeing networks and broadband experts.”
The Center for Public Integrity story reports that it’s because cities are waiting to see the text of the ruling and also:
Second, it is likely the FCC’s ruling will be challenged in court, and cities want to wait for the judges to weigh in before paying lawyers to petition the FCC. Any suit will have a chilling effect on cities.
The American Cable Association holds its summit and congressional committees hold cybersecurity hearings as well as budget hearings on NASA, the Federal Communications Commission and the Commerce Department this week.
The Center for Strategic & International Studies hosts a panel event on the Internet of Things and the transportation industry.
The German Marshall Fund of the United States hosts an event titled “Internet Freedom 2.1: Lessons from Asia’s Developing Democracies.”
A House Appropriations subcommittee holds a Commerce Department budget hearing.
A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee has a cybersecurity hearing.
The American Cable Association holds its summit, which continues on Thursday.
The Association of American Universities, the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, the Innovation Alliance, the Medical Device Manufacturers Association, and the National Venture Capital Association host a patent event.
A House Appropriations subcommittee holds a NASA budget hearing.
A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee holds a hearing titled “Reauthorization of the Federal Communications Commission: The FCC’s FY 2016 Budget Request.”
A House Homeland Security subcommittee holds a hearing titled “Industry Perspectives on the President’s Cybersecurity Information Sharing Proposal.”
New America hosts an event on technology and disability.
The House Intelligence Committee holds a cybersecurity hearing.
A Senate Appropriations subcommittee holds a hearing on NASA’s fiscal 2016 budget request.
USTelecom hosts a cybersecurity event.
The Federal Communications Commission took historic action this week to claim broader regulatory authority over broadband service providers, reclassifying broadband service under a 1934 law that governs common carriers. Your Weekly Wrapup includes posts on the FCC’s net neutrality rules, city-owned broadband and a tax bill in Oregon that state lawmakers hope will attract Google Fiber and others.
An Oregon state Senate committee approved legislation Thursday that could “resolve years of dispute over state taxes on telecommunications companies,” The Oregonian reports. The measure has drawn objection from cities, according to the newspaper.
From The Oregonian:
Lawmakers hope the bill would open the door for Google Fiber to bring its hyperfast Internet service to the Portland area and prompt Amazon and Apple to resume expansion of data centers they operate in central and eastern Oregon.
By capping some taxes and exempting data centers from others, though, the new law would also limit future revenues to local governments that are reliant on property taxes. That has therefore sparked skepticism, particularly of the tax cuts for existing telecom providers.
The big news Thursday was the Federal Communications Commission’s vote of net neutrality rules, so you might have missed another significant action the commission took Thursday. It pre-empted portions of state law in North Carolina and Tennessee that petitioners have argued restrict their ability to expand municipal broadband offerings.
That action responds to petitions submitted this past summer by Chattanooga, Tennessee’s Electric Power Board, which runs its network, and the government of Wilson, N.C., to preempt state laws they say prevent them from geographically expanding their broadband offerings.
On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission is expected to move to pre-empt state laws in North Carolina and Tennessee that restrict municipalities from offering Internet service. Earlier this month, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said he recommended approving petitions from the Electric Power Board of Chattanooga, Tenn., a public utility run by the city, and the city of Wilson, N.C.
Wheeler wrote last July, even before the petitions were filed, that, “If the people, acting through their elected local governments, want to pursue competitive community broadband, they shouldn’t be stopped by state laws promoted by cable and telephone companies that don’t want that competition.”
The Wall Street Journal in an editorial contends that Wheeler wants to “usurp state authority to regulate municipal broadband networks.”
The piece argues that municipally run networks can “undercut the private market” and that public financing of these networks “puts taxpayers and in some cases electric-utility ratepayers on the hook if the ventures got belly up.”
From the editorial:
In Nixon v. Missouri Municipal League (2004), the Supreme Court rejected federal pre-emption of a state ban on municipal telecom services.
Mr. Wheeler is trying to end-run this ruling by appealing to the FCC’s mandate to “promote competition” and “remove barriers to infrastructure investment.” But if the Labor Department construed its mandate to “foster, promote, and develop the welfare” of workers as broadly, the feds could nullify state laws that forbid cities from raising their minimum wage or restrict collective bargaining for local government workers.
Mr. Wheeler may figure that liberal ends justify illiberal means, but he is threatening serious damage to the federal system and local self-government.
It’s a big week in Washington with the Federal Communications Commission’s vote on net neutrality rules. A slew of events and congressional hearings are also on tap. Get ready for a busy, busy week, folks.
New America hosts a day-long event titled “Cybersecurity for a New America: Big Ideas and New Voices.”
COMPTEL hosts a day-long policy summit.
The Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy hosts an event on rewriting the 1934 Communications Act.
The Hudson Institute hosts an event titled “American Broadband Under Title II.”
A subcommittee of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee holds a space exploration hearing.
The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation hosts an event on cross-border data flows.
A House Appropriations subcommittee holds an oversight hearing on the Justice and Commerce Departments and NASA.
A subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee holds a hearing on the net neutrality proposal before the Federal Communications Commission.
The House Homeland Security Committee holds a hearing on the President’s cybersecurity information-sharing proposal.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee holds a hearing titled “FCC Process: Examining the Relationship Between the FCC and the White House.”
The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation hosts a panel discussion on net neutrality and network management.
The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee holds a hearing titled “Preserving the Multistakeholder Model of Internet Governance.”
BakerHostetler hosts a day-long symposium on Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act.
The Federal Communications Commission votes on net neutrality rules and an order addressing two municipal broadband petitions.
A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee holds a hearing on patent demand letters, which allege someone is infringing on a patent.
The House Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on the U.S. Copyright Office.
The heads of the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology testify before a House Science, Space and Technology subcommittee on their fiscal 2016 budget requests.
Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker testifies before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on the department’s fiscal 2016 budget request.
A House Science, Space and Technology subcommittee holds a hearing on NASA’s commercial crew program.