Today’s Regulatory Mix: Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Includes $65 Billion For Broadband, Federal Data Privacy Legislation Introduced, NLAD Enhancements
Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Includes $65 Billion For Broadband
The White House and the bipartisan group of senators who have been working on the bipartisan infrastructure framework unveiled last month announced a final agreement on the details of the package. The Senate voted 67-32 to take the first procedural step toward debating the measure supported by all 48 Democrats, two independents and 17 Republicans on this first procedural vote.As previously reported, the package includes $65 billion for broadband deployment. Debate and procedural votes on the bill are expected promptly, possibly into the weekend or beyond.
According to a White House Fact Sheet, the infrastructure deal “ensures every American has access to reliable high-speed internet.” Further, “the bill will also help lower prices for internet service by requiring funding, recipients to offer a low-cost affordable plan, by creating price transparency and helping families comparison shop, and by boosting competition in areas where existing providers aren’t providing adequate service. It will also help close the digital divide by passing the Digital Equity Act, ending digital redlining, and creating a permanent program to help more low-income households access the internet.”
Federal Data Privacy Legislation Introduced
U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), ranking member of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security, announced the introduction of the Setting an American Framework to Ensure Data Access, Transparency, and Accountability (SAFE DATA) Act. The legislation would provide Americans with more choice and control over their data and direct businesses to be more transparent and accountable for their data practices. The bill would also enhance the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) authority and provide additional resources to enforce the Act.
“With the recent increase in cyberattacks on our nation’s critical infrastructure and the ongoing efforts to expand internet services to every American, the need for federal privacy legislation is imperative,” said Senator Wicker. “We risk losing consumers’ confidence in the internet marketplace and undermining our national security and technological leadership abroad without a federal privacy law. My bill would provide all consumers across the country with the same strong protections while ensuring innovation and competition remain a foundational principle to our economic advancements.”
“Americans should be able to control their ‘virtual you.’ The increase in cyberattacks and data leaks have made it extremely apparent to consumers that their online data may not be safe. The first step is giving Americans a larger say in how companies are collecting and using their information,” added Senator Blackburn.
USAC released enhancements today to the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) intended to improve the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBB Program) experience for service providers. Improvements have been made to the NLAD User Interface and the update functionality has been streamlined, which are now available in the NLAD staging and production environments. In addition, USAC expanded device warnings that alerts a service provider when a consumer they are enrolling has previously been enrolled in the EBB Program with another provider who indicates the consumer received the one-time device benefit.
The Regulatory Mix, Inteserra’s blog of telecom related regulatory activities, is a snapshot of PUC, FCC, legislative, and occasionally court issues that our regulatory monitoring team uncovers each day. Depending on their significance, some items may be the subject of an Inteserra Briefing.