Representative Edward Markey (D-MA), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet today introduced the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act. Rep Heather A. Wilson (R-NM) joined Rep Markey as an original co-sponsor of the bill.
The bill would amend the Communications Act to ensure that new Internet-enabled telephone and video services and equipment are accessible to and usable by people with disabilities and closes existing gaps in telecommunications laws. Provisions include hearing aid compatibility and Internet closed captioning to real-time text support for emergency services.
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Comcast’s recent efforts to throttle file transfers using the BitTorrent protocol have led, perhaps predictably, to a renewed call for Congress to enact stiff Net neutrality laws.Â But even some supporters of new laws–meaning enacting antidiscrimination regulations aimed at broadband providers–are now reluctantly conceding that the proposals that have been circulating in Congress for more than a year may not do much to stop Comcast. Continue reading →
On Tuesday, the House passed the Broadband Census of America Act (HR 3919) which calls for the creation of a national, searchable broadband availability map that will allow consumers to find which service providers are available in their areas and authorizes funds for grants to local planning entities to increase broadband deployment and usage on the local level. Continue reading →