House Democrats Slate Network Future-Proofing Hearing

Rep. Frank Pallone

House Energy & Commerce Committee chairman Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) said he plans an Oct. 6 hearing on strengthening communications networks, given consumers’ reliance on them for health care, work, news, entertainment and connecting with loved ones.

Accessibility and affordability of those networks are a priority of the committee, as is cybersecurity.

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“Next week, we will consider several bills designed to advance that mission,” Pallone and Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.), the Technology Subcommittee chairman, said in a joint statement. “We look forward to considering these bills and working together on common-sense policies that enable these networks to meet consumers’ needs, now and into the future.”

One way Congress has been promoting future-proof networks is to disallow technology that represents a threat to national security to remain in U.S. networks, primarily by directing the FCC to deny broadband subsidy funding to suppliers of suspect technology.

Another is to emphasize that competition and affordability should be part of the definition of universal access to broadband networks, both wired and wireless.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.