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ICYMI: E&C Bipartisan Bills to Expand Broadband Access, Secure Networks Become Law


Washington, DC – In today’s interconnected world, many Americans rely on technologies to go about our daily lives. However, with schools and offices closed during COVID-19, the ability to stay connected is imperative for Americans to work, learn, receive care, and keep in touch with others as we follow recommendations to stay home and distance ourselves.

The need to bridge the digital divide and stay safe online are now more important than ever. This week, President Trump signed into law two important, bipartisan bills shepherded by E&C members that, once implemented, will take important steps to expand access to broadband services and secure our networks.

As we use technologies more during COVID-19 we’re reminded of the importance of securing our networks. The Secure 5G and Beyond Act of 2020 makes sure our federal government works to develop a “Secure Next Generation Mobile Communication Strategy.” This includes heads of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), as well as the Director of National Intelligence and Secretary of Defense. It also includes that the President will develop an implementation plan to be carried out by the Administration, and specifically the NTIA.

The Broadband DATA Act is also vital as we seek to lower the number of Americans who currently cannot access standard broadband service, and expand services during COVID-19 as more Americans work, learn, and receive care through telehealth from home. We cannot address communities who need these resources the most without knowing where exactly these communities are. That’s where the Broadband DATA Act comes in. This bill helps improve our broadband mapping capabilities so we can more accurately access broadband services and make sure our limited resources are directed to those who need them most.

E&C Republicans are working to provide funding in COVID-19 relief for the FCC to implement this initiative, as well as the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act to help small and rural providers replace suspect equipment. We must make sure these policies to expand broadband and secure networks can make an impact as soon as possible.

Read more about these bills in Multichannel News, CNET, and POLITICO Pro.


Multichannel News

Trump Asserts His Primacy in Protecting 5G Security

By John Eggerton

President Donald Trump signed the Secure 5G and Beyond Act of 2020 Monday (March 23), but then issued a statement of the powers he said he retains regarding the implementation of the law.

The Act directs the President to develop a “Secure Next Generation Mobile Communications Strategy” in consultation with the heads of FCC, NTIA, and Department of Homeland Security, as well as the DNI and Secretary of Defense.”

House Energy & Commerce Committee leaders were applauding the signing, suggesting it was even more important given the pandemic.

CLICK HERE to read the full story.



Trump signs laws to boost 5G security, broadband availability

By Marguerite Reardon

President Trump on Monday signed into law a pair of bills designed to boost wireless and broadband networks: the Secure 5G and Beyond Act and the Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability Act. The first requires the president to develop a strategy to secure and protect 5G technology, while the second is meant to improve the accuracy of maps detailing where broadband is and isn’t available in the US.

The next generation of wireless technology, 5G brings increased networks speeds and network responsiveness and promises to help bring about real-time mobile applications for technologies like driverless cars and virtual reality. The nation’s biggest wireless companies, AT&TSprintT-Mobile and Verizon, began rolling out 5G service last year.

The Broadband DATA Act, meanwhile, is expected to change how and what information the FCC collects about broadband access to ensure that the federal government has more granular information about where broadband can be found.

CLICK HERE to read the full story.



Trump outlines strategy for securing 5G wireless networks

By John Hendel

The Trump administration has prepared a strategy document for securing the country’s 5G wireless networks, according to a copy dated March 2020 and obtained by POLITICO on Tuesday — less than a day after President Donald Trump signed a bipartisan bill requiring the White House to firm up its approach.

Trump’s document reemphasizes longstanding administration priorities and comes amid U.S. rivalry with China for 5G supremacy. The Trump administration has sought to crack down on Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, which it accuses of allegiance with the Chinese state despite the company’s denials.

The newly revealed strategy immediately follows Trump’s signature on a 5G strategy measure from Capitol Hill.

Trump on Monday evening signed into law the Secure 5G and Beyond Act, S. 893 (116), which compels such a plan from Trump. The law requires the president to submit a 5G security strategy within 180 days and broadly consult with other administration figures like the FCC and Commerce Department. Implementation of the strategy would fall to both the White House and the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration. That agency has only had acting leaders since last May, and Trump has not nominated a new administrator.

CLICK HERE to read the full story.

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