On Wednesday March 21 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives Energy & Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology is holding a hearing – Broadband: Deploying America’s 21st Century Infrastructure – in Washington DC. The Subcommitteewill examine ways to eliminate barriers to broadband infrastructure development. Members will look at draft legislation to streamline the permitting and siting process at the federal level to spur private sector investment and bring increased and more efficient broadband across the country. Witnesses: Steven Berry, President and CEO, Competitive Carriers Association; LeRoy T. Carlson Jr, CEO, Telephone and Data Systems, Inc. and Chairman, U.S. Cellular; Michael Conners Sub-Chief, Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe; Bryan Darr, CEO, Mosaik Solutions; Joanne S. Hovis, President, CTC Technology and Energy; Thomas A. Murray, Founder and Managing Member, Community Wireless Structures, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Wireless Infrastructure Association; James W. Stegeman, President, CostQuest Associates, Inc. The hearing is being webcast live via YouTube.
H.R. 1301, the Amateur Radio Parity Act, authored by Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) instructs the Federal Communications Commission to adopt rules to protect the rights of amateur radio operators to use amateur radio equipment. In general, communications equipment is recognized under current law as having a societal benefit in providing access to information. Land use restrictions imposed by governments or homeowners associations on other communications equipment is currently protected by FCC regulations. H.R. 1301 instructs the FCC to adopt similar regulations for the use of amateur radio equipment.
H.R. 2666, the No Rate Regulation of Broadband Internet Access Act, also authored by Kinzinger, would prevent the FCC from regulating the rates charged for broadband Internet. The FCC’s Open Internet Order reclassified broadband under Title II, giving the FCC the ability to regulate rates in two distinct ways: tariffing and through declarations of what are “reasonable” rates. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has stated that the Open Internet Order is not about regulating rates, and as such, the FCC used its authority to avoid applying the tariff authority to broadband. However, that still leaves the FCC free to regulate broadband through its enforcement authority. H.R. 2666 holds future FCC chairmen to this commitment by preventing rate regulation of broadband by statute.
H.R. 2669, the Anti-Spoofing Act, authored by Reps. Grace Meng (D-NY), Leonard Lance (R-NJ), and full committee Chairman Emeritus Joe Barton (R-TX), extends the provisions of the Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009 to text messaging. The legislation also addresses the growth of services that allows a user to knowingly transmit misleading or inaccurate caller identification information by adding a definition of “spoofing service,” to the Truth in Caller ID Act. The full House approved the Anti-Spoofing Act by voice vote in 2014.
H.R. ____, the Small Business Broadband Deployment Act, authored by subcommittee Chairman Walden would make permanent the FCC’s temporary exemption from the enhanced disclosure rules for small businesses required by the commission’s Open Internet Order. The bill also defines a small business as any provider of broadband Internet access service that has fewer than 1,500 employees, or 500,000 subscribers.
Witnesses: Elizabeth Bowles, President & Chair of the Board Aristotle, Inc. (on behalf of Wireless Internet Service Providers Association); Harold Feld, Senior Vice President, Public Knowledge; Robert McDowell, Partner, Wiley Rein LLP, Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute. The hearing is being webcast live via the Energy & Commerce YouTube Channel.
On Tuesday February 5 2013 the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology held a post-WCIT public hearing – Fighting for Internet Freedom: Dubai and Beyond Witnesses included the Internet Society’s own Sally Wentworth, Dr. Ndemo from Kenya, and Harold Feld from Public Knowledge. Archived webcast is below.