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European Commission Consults on Expansion of Its Competition and Regulatory Powers in Digital Markets

The European Commission recently launched two complementary consultations that would expand its competition enforcement powers and establish regulations for digital markets. The commission intends to close perceived gaps in its statutory powers to curb gatekeepers in digital markets.… Continue Reading

Transatlantic Trade: US and European Trade Talk Update – June 12, 2020

A potential area of increased transatlantic collaboration could center on ongoing efforts to reform the World Trade Organization (WTO).  China’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic may provide an avenue for the United States (US) and European Union (EU), along with the United Kingdom (UK) and other like-minded trading partners, to bridge divides on WTO reform … Continue Reading

Privacy vs. Security in the Post-pandemic World

Do you give up a little liberty to get a little protection?” As green sprouts start to appear in parts of the global economy, much uncertainty remains about how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect our collective future.  Amidst this ambiguity, one of the few things that appears certain is that technology will play a significant … Continue Reading

EU Public Policy Update ICT and Digital Markets – Select Developments from First Half of (H1) 2020

The European Commission (i.e. the European Union’s Executive Body) has started a new 5-year political mandate on 1 December 2019 under the leadership of its new President, the German Ursula von der Leyen. Three overarching priorities are woven into the EC policy agenda until 2024: (1) sustainability/climate neutrality (under the new European Green Deal), (2) … Continue Reading

Federal Communications Commission Tackles the “Reassigned Number Problem”

Reassigned numbers have been at the center of the surge in litigation under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) during the last few years.  By now the story is well known to businesses that actively communicate with their customers: the customer consents to receive telemarketing and/or informational robocalls[1] at a wireless telephone number, but months … Continue Reading

Senators Seek Hearing on Sinclair-Tribune Merger

Legislative Activity Senators Seek Hearing on Sinclair-Tribune Merger On June 5, a group of senators including Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Al Franken (D-MN), and Corey Booker (D-NJ) sent a letter to Sen. John Thune (R-SD), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation (Senate Commerce Committee) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), chairman of … Continue Reading

FCC’s Tentative Agenda for June 22 Open Meeting Includes Broadband and Public Safety Items

Legislative Activity Senators Seek Probe of Cyber Attacks on FCC’s Website On May 31, Sens. Brian Schatz (D-HI), Al Franken (D-MN), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Edward Markey (D-MA), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) wrote a letter to Andrew McCabe, Acting Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), asking agency to “prioritize” an investigation into cyber-attacks that … Continue Reading

FCC Adopts NPRM Proposing to Reverse Title II Classification of the Internet

Legislative Activity House Democrats Introduce Infrastructure Bill that Includes $40 Billion for Broadband On May 17, Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) introduced H.R.2479, the Leading Infrastructure for Tomorrow’s America Act (LIFT America Act). According to a press release on Rep. Pallone’s website, the legislation “sets out five years of funding for essential infrastructure improvements, job growth, … Continue Reading

FCC to Consider Net Neutrality Item at May 18 Open Meeting

Legislative Activity Senators Introduce Bill to Expand Broadband Deployment Using Accurate Coverage Data On May 11, Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Deb Fischer (R-NE), and Jerry Moran (R-KS) introduced S.1104, the Rural Wireless Access Act of 2017. The bill would require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to “collect broadband coverage … Continue Reading

FCC to Consider Proposal to “Restore the Internet to a Light-Touch Regulatory Framework” at May Open Meeting

Legislative Activity Online Privacy Legislation Introduced in the Senate On April 27, Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Tom Udall (D-NM) introduced S.964, the Managing Your Data Against Telecom Abuses Act of 2017 (MY DATA Act). The legislation prevents broadband providers and edge providers, such as Amazon or Netflix, from using “an unfair or deceptive act … Continue Reading

FCC Seeking Comment on Measures to Promote Deployment of Next-Generation Broadband Infrastructure

Legislative Activity Chairman Pai Tells Members of Congress that Set-Top Box Docket to Stay Open On Thursday, April 13, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai responded to a January 25 letter (previously discussed here) from members of the House Energy & Commerce Committee that asked Chairman Pai to make a “healthy practice of closing dockets … Continue Reading

House Approves Joint Resolution to Repeal the FCC’s Broadband Privacy Rules and FCC Announces Tentative Agenda for April Open Commission Meeting

Legislative Activity House Approves Joint Resolution to Repeal the FCC’s Broadband Privacy Rules, Sending the Measure to the President On March 28, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Congressional Review Act (CRA) joint resolution (S.J. Res. 34) passed by the Senate last week to repeal the broadband privacy rules adopted by the Federal Communications … Continue Reading

FCC Partially Stays Broadband Privacy Data Security Rule, Issues Tentative Agenda for March 23 Open Meeting

Legislative Activity Cybersecurity Legislation Introduced in the House and Senate On March 2, legislators in both the House of Representatives (House) and the Senate introduced several bills relating to cybersecurity reforms. As of this writing, the text of the bills below has not been publicly released. The following bills were introduced in the House: H.R.1340, … Continue Reading

FCC Extends Exemption from Enhanced Broadband Reporting Requirements for Smaller Broadband Providers

Legislative Activity Cell Location Privacy Act Introduced in House On February 15, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) introduced H.R.1061, the Cell Location Privacy Act of 2017. The bill proposes to ban the use of cell-site simulators, known as StingRay devices, without first obtaining a warrant. Cell-site simulators are devices that appear to be legitimate cell phone … Continue Reading

FCC Announces Close of Forward Auction Clock Phase of Incentive Auction

Legislative Activity House Approves Email Privacy Act On February 6, the U.S. House of Representatives (House) passed H.R.387, the Email Privacy Act, by voice vote. The bill updates part of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (ECPA) by enhancing the privacy protections applicable to electronic communications such as emails, social media posts, and other … Continue Reading

FCC Rescinds Multiple Prior Actions and Announces February Open Meeting Tentative Agenda

Legislative Activity Bill to Establish Rural Telecommunications and Broadband Committee Introduced in Senate On February 2, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) introduced S.277, the Rural Telecommunications and Broadband Service Act. The bill, the text of which is not yet publicly available, would establish a Rural Telecommunications and Broadband Advisory Committee within the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). … Continue Reading

Communications Bills Advance in House and Senate

Legislative Activity House Passes Seven Communications Bills On January 23, the U.S. House of Representatives (House) passed the following seven communications bills: H.R.290, the Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act of 2017: a bill sponsored by House Energy & Commerce Committee (House Commerce Committee) Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) that is designed to make the Federal … Continue Reading

FCC’s Broadcast Incentive Auction to Close in Current Stage

Legislative Activity Anti-Spoofing Act Introduced in Senate Senate Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee (Senate Commerce Committee) Ranking Member Bill Nelson (D-FL) has introduced S.134, the Spoofing Prevention Act of 2017. The legislation, the text of which has not yet been released, targets the practice of caller identification (caller ID) “spoofing,” which is a practice whereby … Continue Reading

President Obama Nominates Jessica Rosenworcel for Second Term as FCC Commissioner

Legislative Activity MOBILE NOW Act Reintroduced in Senate On Tuesday, January 3, Sen. John Thune (R-SD), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation (Senate Commerce Committee), reintroduced S.19, the Making Opportunities for Broadband Investment and Limiting Excessive and Needless Obstacles to Wireless (MOBILE NOW) Act. The bill, previously discussed here, here, and … Continue Reading

FCC Announces Agenda for December Open Meeting

Legislative Activity House Passes Bill Concerning Broadband Access for Veterans On December 6, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R.6394, the Improving Broadband Access for Veterans Act of 2016. The bill— introduced on November 29, 2016 by Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA)—requires the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to submit a one-time report to Congress “on promoting … Continue Reading
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