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Technology & Science Archive

E-Rate Brought Classroom Internet Up by 80 Percent

The Federal Communications Commission’s E-Rate program is formally known as the Universal Service Program for Schools and Libraries . It was created under the 1996 Telecommunications Act and is administered through the Universal Service Administrative Company, an independent, not-for-profit corporation.

Funding Shake-Up May Change Subsidies for Internet Access in Schools, Libraries

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler’s plan to shake up the E-Rate program of federal subsidies for Internet service in public schools and libraries has only partly been successful — his FCC colleagues have agreed to make more money available for Wi-Fi, as Wheeler proposed in June, but only if the money isn’t needed for basic Internet connections.

Congress Should Agree on Allowing a Third National Wireless Carrier | Commentary

Already this year, we’ve seen announcements of two major transactions in the media and telecommunications space: Comcast announced plans to acquire Time Warner Cable, and AT&T announced plans to acquire DirecTV. Congress has begun weighing in on these transactions and, if recent press reports are to be believed, they will soon have an opportunity to review the long-rumored merger of Sprint and T-Mobile. It is this third proposed transaction that is most interesting because it carries the potential of a policy dilemma for both Republicans and Democrats in Congress.

Rural America: The Forefront of Innovation | Commentary

The productivity and growth of rural America are essential to the overall economic well-being and prosperity of our country. These regions are critical to our sustainability and should not be neglected when considering policies that promote job creation, investment and innovation. While Ohio’s 5th District boasts more than 60,000 manufacturing jobs, it is also the largest agricultural district in the state. Ensuring our rural areas are accounted for, especially when examining ways to tap our country’s technological potential, must be a top priority.

Prescott Grant May Leave Marine Mammals Stranded | Commentary

At Tuesday’s congressional briefing on marine mammal strandings, Congressmen William Keating, D-Mass., and Jared Huffman, D-Calif., spoke to approximately 80 congressional staffers and others about how crucial The John H. Prescott Marine Mammal Rescue Assistance Grant Program is for conducting important marine mammal rescue work and government-mandated research not only for their states, but nationwide.

After Aereo, the Cloud Comes Under Scrutiny

Discussions of the Aereo case on broadcast copyrights often include references to the Cablevision court case in 2008 and its importance to “cloud” computing.

Court's Aereo Decision Narrow Enough for Some, Continues to Raise Questions for Others

When the Supreme Court ruled last month that the television streaming service Aereo had violated the copyrights of major broadcasters, the justices also cautioned that their ruling was limited in nature.

'Assault on Science' Tired Partisan Rhetoric | Commentary

A June 24 Roll Call op-ed, “The Far Right’s Assault on Science Won’t Help Economy” made numerous unfounded charges against Republicans on the House Science Committee. While the author attempts to come across as an independent observer, his allegations are tired partisan rhetoric.

The Far Right's Assault on Science Won't Help Economy | Commentary

It wasn’t too many years ago that the Environmental Protection Agency came under fire for promulgating regulations that critics claimed had insufficient scientific validity. The pendulum now seems to have swung the other way, if a policy provision in the “Department of Energy Research and Development Act of 2014” is any indicator.

STELA Provides Immediate Opportunity to Bring Video into 21st Century | Commentary

With every passing day, our video laws grow more outdated and unable to keep up with the amazing changes in technology. Our current system of TV rules was created in 1992 and is based on decades of antiquated communications law.

Status of Legislative Moves to Hinder NTIA Switch

Here’s the status of various legislative moves in Congress, including those that would slow down the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s move to step out of Internet domain functions:

Lawmakers Voice Concerns as NTIA Looks to Relinquish Internet Domain Administration

Could authoritarian governments gain power over the Web if the U.S. steps out of its role in the Internet domain name system?

It's Time to Reboot Cyber-Debate, Renew Security Push | Commentary

As members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, we are keenly aware — thanks to our nation’s law enforcement and intelligence communities — of the potential damage a cyberattack on our nation’s critical infrastructure could cause.

Pediatric Research Bill Offers Guidance, No Clear Funding Guarantees

A pediatric research bill Congress cleared this week is winning praise for boosting efforts to combat childhood diseases, but the measure will not change any spending levels unless appropriators allocate money for the work to the National Institutes of Health.

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Tax Treaties at Standstill in Senate Over Privacy Issues

Approving tax treaties with other nations used to be relatively routine business on Capitol Hill, but that’s no longer the case.

Rogers Is Right --Time for the Senate to Move On Cybersecurity | Commentary

Recently, U.S. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., prodded his Senate colleagues to move forward with a piece of legislation that has vital implications for the security of individuals, businesses and our nation as a whole. Speaking at George Washington University, Rogers addressed the need for the Senate to pass a comprehensive cybersecurity bill. The House has already passed their own bill, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, which facilitates increased information sharing about cyber-threats between government and the private sector. The Senate, however, must produce its version so that the two can go to conference committee and produce meaningful legislation that can be signed into law.

Legislation to Allow Third Party Decryption of Cable Signals Met With Hostility by Some in Congress

Lawmakers from both parties regard with something close to hostility a congressionally mandated ban affecting the contents of the cable boxes that sit atop millions of Americans’ television sets. Texas Democratic Rep. Gene Green said the ban has “cost consumers and business over a billion dollars since 2007 in impeding innovation and efficiency,” and he has already tried to kill it with stand-alone legislation.

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CableCARD Integration Bill Would Have a Chilling Effect on Third-Party Devices, Interest Groups Say

Most of the language in a complex satellite and cable broadcast bill working its way through Congress deals with issues the average pay-TV viewer won’t see up close, ranging from retransmission negotiations to media ownership. But one section of the measure would affect a piece of hardware that sits in the TV tuner of every viewer’s cable box — and the makers of third-party units like TiVo say the bill is about to make those consumers’ lives much harder.

A Regulatory Step Backward: FCC Should Not Treat Broadband as a Common Carrier | Commentary

The artist and author Julia Cameron once wrote, “Nothing dies harder than a bad idea.” When Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler testifies in Congress next week, one of those stubborn bad ideas he will be asked about is the call by some online critics to reclassify broadband Internet access as a Title II “telecommunications service” instead of an “information service” as it is today. This bad idea would effectively treat broadband providers and a wide range of Internet firms as public-utility style “common carriers,” along the lines of railroads and canal boats of centuries past. Applying a 19th century regulatory solution to a 21st century problem simply does not make sense.

The Critical Infrastructure Protection Act | Commentary

On Thursday, May 8 at 2 p.m., in Cannon 311, my expert colleagues and I testified in an open hearing on the threat of electromagnetic pulse to critical infrastructures. The hearing will prepare members of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies to consider a vitally important bill, arguably the most important bill before this Congress — the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act (HR 3410) — that would prepare the nation for a natural or nuclear EMP catastrophe.

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