Morning tech tipsheet: News & events for Monday, April 19

What we're tracking this morning:

For now, there's little to do about a bad Internet provider (WashPost) -- If you aren't happy with your slow Internet connection, there isn't much you can do about it since over the past few years "your options have shriveled to just one or two companies selling the fastest access." The lack of competition in most markets is one reason the net neutrality debate is such an important one: "If we had vigorous competition among broadband providers, we might not need the Feds to referee the market."

Companies slowly join cloud computing (NYT) -- Cloud providers are trying to bring data-hosting services to "the more conservative and lucrative world of large corporations." Google and Amazon have launched public campaigns to alleviate lingering concerns about cloud computing and are even trying to convince potential competitors, like Netflix, to stop building their own data centers and buy the services from Amazon instead.

Why Intel wants to get into energy (Wired) -- Intel is showing off an experimental device that it says will cut the costs of wiring and homes and offices for energy efficiency. It's another example of devices attached to pattern-recognition software that can make home automation easier, one of the ways policy makers hope to curb consumer energy use. Intel says its products will be available later this year.


Tech events around the beltway:

The Politics Online Conference will kick off Monday with a keynote about WhiteHouse.gov, followed by sessions about using social media for political fundraising, cloud computing for campaigns and case studies of the successful online efforts by the campaigns of Scott Brown, Bob McDonnell and Barack Obama. Hillicon Valley's Kim Hart will be moderating a panel Tuesday morning on the implications of copyright for open-source platforms. Where: Washington Marriott, 1221 22nd Street NW When: Monday and Tuesday, beginning at 8 a.m.

Center for Democracy and Technology holds its annual dinner, also known as the "Tech Prom" because it attracts so many from Washington's technology community, Monday night. Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg will be the keynote speaker. Where: JW Marriott, 1331 Pennsylvania Ave. NW When: Monday, 6 p.m.

CES on The Hill aims to bring the products seen at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to Eastern Market near Capitol Hill.  The showcases will include green gadgets, broadband-enabled services and safe driving technologies. Where: North Hall, Eastern Market When: Tuesday, 5-7 p.m.

American Cable Association convenes its 2010 Summit, bringing together FCC staffers, Hill staffers and lobbyists to discuss developments in the cable industry and featuring a keynote address by Rep. Bart Stupak.  Where: Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Center, National Harbor, Md. When: Tuesday-Wednesday, beginning at 7 a.m.

Digital Patriots Dinner is the annual dinner put on by the Consumer Electronics Association, culminating two days of CES on the Hill and CEA executive board meetings.  Where: Andrew Mellon Auditorium When: Wednesday, 6:30 p.m.

The House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet will hold a hearing to examine the challenges involved in deploying "quality broadband services to the last mile." It is the second hearing the subcommittee has convened to oversee the implementation of the National Broadband Plan.   Where: 2322 Rayburn  When: Wednesday, 10:00 a.m.

FCC open meeting is the first chance for the agency to begin its work to implement the National Broadband Plan. On the agenda are notices of inquiry regarding proposed Universal Service Fund reforms, the use of video devices as gateway points to the Internet and the capacity of broadband networks to withstand damage from natural disasters and terrorist attacks.  Where: FCC, 445 12th Street SW When: Wednesday, 10:30 am.

The House Science & Technology Committee's Technology and Innovation Subcommittee will meet to markup a committee print of the National Institute of Standards and Technology programs.  Where: 2318 Rayburn (webcast)  When: Wednesday, 10:00 a.m.