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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.

Also Read: House E&C Extends Suspect Tech Ban to Non-Subsidized Nets

“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.