The Senate Commerce Committee will combine (back-to-back) an executive session bill markup and a nomination hearing March 11, both featuring communications-related elements.
At the markup, the committee will consider various bills including the mouthful, S.S. 1046, Advancing Critical Connectivity Expands Service, Small Business Resources, Opportunities, Access, and Data Based on Assessed Need and Demand (ACCESS BROADBAND) Act. sponsors are Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), and Gary Peters (D-Mich.).
The bill would create the Office of Internet Connectivity and Growth within the National Telecommunications & Information Administration, the White House's chief communications policy adviser. The office will track the construction, use and access to broadband infrastructure built with federal subsidies. Those include USDA-funded rural deployment programs and the FCC's Universal Service Fund.
Following that markup, the committee will hold a nomination hearing for, among others, Chase Johnson, as inspector general of the Federal Communications Commission.
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.
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