Since 2017, Voices for Innovation members have supported policies to close our nation’s broadband gap. This effort hit a key milestone with the passage of the 2021 bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which included significant funding to build out internet infrastructure and help Americans connect through the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).
Unfortunately, the ACP will run out of funding as early as the first half of next year if Congress does not extend the program. We have information about this issue here. If you support this program—which has enrolled more than 21 million households—please consider emailing your elected officials today. It takes just a few minutes from the VFI Action Center.
Thank you for reading. You’ll find our weekly roundup of tech policy news and a featured podcast below.
This Week in Washington
- Nextgov/FCW: During their final markup hearing, the House Science, Space and Technology Committee unanimously passed the National Quantum Initiative Act, which is dedicated to growing the U.S.’s domestic quantum science and technology industry, advancing it to the House floor.
- The Washington Post: Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, introduced a bipartisan bill that will renew Section 702, a workhorse surveillance program by which the NSA gathers data.
- The Hill: Five Big Tech CEOs, including Linda Yaccarino from X (formerly known as Twitter), Mark Zuckerberg from Meta, Shou Zi Chew from TikTok, Jason Citron from Discord, and Evan Spiegel from Snap, are set to testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee to discuss children’s safety on their social media platforms.
- Fierce Telecom and Telecompetitor: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) unveiled the third version of its national broadband map, which the NTIA used to determine state allocation for the Broadband Equity, Access and Development (BEAD) program. The third version of the map showed that the number of locations lacking high-speed internet had dropped by more than 13% in the six months since version two was released.
- Nextgov/FCW: To help K-12 schools protect themselves and their broadband internet networks from cyber threats, the FCC unveiled the Schools and Libraries Cybersecurity Pilot Program, which will help uncover which cybersecurity and firewall services will have the largest impact in helping schools and libraries protect themselves.
- Reuters: A federal judge has ruled in favor of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in their court battle with social media giant Meta, stating that the U.S. regulator can seek to reduce the amount of money the company makes from minors. Following the ruling, Meta announced that they would be seeking an appeal.
- The Hill: A new proposal from the FCC adds to President Biden’s efforts to get rid of “junk fees” by aiming to ban cable and satellite television early termination fees, which they believe limit consumer choice and negatively impact competition in the marketplace.
- Microsoft: In a recent interview, Microsoft’s Karmel Allison discussed common misconceptions about AI and how these misunderstandings can be viewed as opportunities to spur conversations.
- Reuters: Microsoft and ten other leading technology companies have agreed with the British government to sign the “Online Fraud Charter,” pledging each company to step up their efforts to tackle online fraud. Signing this agreement requires these companies to implement measures that apply to their companies within six months.
- Reuters: 18 countries, including the U.S. and Britain, signed the first detailed international agreement on AI to shape its development and push companies to create “secure by design” systems.
- StateScoop: California Governor Gavin Newsom’s office released a new report, the first since Newsom issued an executive order in September, outlining the potential benefits that AI could bring to state government while addressing the risks and threats it could bring.
- CNN: The Silicon Valley startup ClimateAi is developing a new AI platform to fight food scarcity by evaluating how vulnerable crops are to warming temperatures over the next two decades, just one way they believe the technology can help address climate change.
- Pivotal with Hayete Gallot
When we think of AI, it’s usually in the context of offices, call centers or manufacturing plants — but today USA Surfing is using AI to understand and analyze the performance of athletes in one of the world’s most unpredictable natural environments. On the latest episode of Pivotal, Chair of USA Skateboarding and President of the Global Action Sports Foundation Brandon Lowery discusses USA Surfing’s wave-breaking new AI solution and how it can help surfers, coaches and judges to learn, improve and even recover from injury. (USA Surfing brings AI to the waves – November 28, 2023)