Today, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology took a deep dive into the RAY BAUM’S Act and examined how the legislation is helping to bridge the digital divide in the United States.

Microsoft today announced that it plans to expand its rural broadband initiative, dubbed the Airband initiative, to reach an additional 1 million rural Americans.






In a report released Wednesday, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) could do more to expand broadband access on tribal lands. The GAO offered three recommendations to the FCC, which the agency agreed with.






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The Supreme Court (SCOTUS) has declined to hear a case regarding the legality of Obama-era Net Neutrality rules–putting an end to a lengthy legal battle by declining to hear USTelecom’s appeal. The telecommunication industry group originally sued the Federal Communications Committee (FCC) under the belief that the FCC lacked the authority to impose public-utility, common-carrier obligations on broadband internet access service. Under the Obama-era rules, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) were barred from blocking or throttling web content or creating the so-called internet “fast lanes.”






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California has agreed to delay enforcing its net neutrality law, signed in September, that put the state at odds with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and many telecommunications industry groups. The law reinstates Obama-era net neutrality rules and was scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2019.






Net Neutrality

Five telecommunication industry groups–American Cable Association; CTIA – The Wireless Association; NCTA – The Internet & Television Association; USTelecom – The Broadband Association and the New England Cable & Telecommunications Association–filed suit against the state of Vermont on Thursday over the state’s net neutrality law. The law in question seeks to prevent companies that do not abide by the state’s net neutrality rules from receiving state contracts.






On Tuesday, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai announced an investigation into how wireless services providers responded to Hurricane Michael, which devastated the Florida Panhandle and surrounding areas–along with service provider infrastructure–last week.






A group of 24 technology organizations banded together to urge the Senate to pass S. 3157, the STREAMLINE Small Cell Deployment Act. In a letter released today, the group said the legislation “will modernize wireless infrastructure regulations for next-generation 5G wireless networks” and will unlock “significant consumer and economic benefits.”






The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today approved by a 3-1, party-line vote a series of steps that its Republican-majority commissioners argue will speed the pace of infrastructure installations necessary for carriers to provide 5G wireless services, but which have drawn strong protest from states and localities in the run-up to today’s vote who object to restrictions on their ability to govern.






California’s Democratic Governor Jerry Brown on Sunday signed S.B. 822 , which restores in the state Obama-era Federal net neutrality laws that were gutted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) earlier this year.






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