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OVERNIGHT TECH: FirstNet safety network under scrutiny

LEDE: The Communications and Technology Subcommittee of House Energy and Commerce will convene on Tuesday afternoon to talk about FirstNet -- the nascent network for emergency first responders.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are expected to say the network has made strides after allegations of poor management and slow progress.

"There has been some turnover in management, and with the release of the Inspector General's report in December of last year confirming much of what we feared -- that FirstNet had been operating without proper processes in place and without compliance with the laws that guard against impropriety -- it is my hope that the missteps are behind us," Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) is expected to say. "And I believe they are."

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But Walden and others are also expected to call for continued oversight of the program. He will say that the panel's goal is "to leave with a higher level of comfort in FirstNet's progress and confidence in the way it is conducting its business."

Ranking member Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) will highlight the importance of allowing smaller carriers to work with FirstNet, having competition for the best devices to be used on the network and making the system compatible with upgraded 911 platforms.

A Department of Commerce inspector general report said that FirstNet, which was originally conceived after the September 11 attacks, did not have the proper procedures in place to protect the organization from conflicts of interest among its board members.

MEET YOUR NEW NET NEUTRALITY OMBUDSPERSON: The FCC has appointed Parul P. Desai as the nation's first "Open Internet ombudsperson." She'll serve as the main liaison between the public and the commission on questions and complaints related to the net neutrality order. Desai was previously the Assistant Bureau Chief and Director of Consumer Engagement of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau.

OBAMA: I 'SHOULD HAVE CAUGHT' HEATHCARE.GOV PROBLEMS: President Obama talked about the problem's with the federal government's IT purchase and procurement procedures, specifically in regarding the stuttered rollout of HealthCare.gov in 2013. "It's something, by the way, I should have caught, I should have anticipated: That you couldn't use traditional procurement mechanisms in order to build something that had never been built before and was pretty complicated," Obama told Fast Company in an interview.

REPORT DETAILS OBAMA'S 'STEALTH' TECH TEAM: Obama gave the interview for the Fast Company article exploring the administration's recent tech hires and three-pronged tech approach. The first part is the U.S. Digital Service -- "a group of technologists who strategize about what projects should become government priorities and which people should work on them; the second is 18F, "a group of 90 technologists and designers who work within the General Services Administration a few blocks away;" and the third is "tech teams, ranging in size from five people to 50, that will be installed within 25 government agencies over the course of the next 18 months."

SENATOR REMINDS PUBLIC OF T-MOBILE REFUNDS: Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) is urging the public to claim refunds from T-Mobile before the deadline lapses for its December settlement with the FCC over allegations that it allowed third-parties to cram customers' phone bills with unauthorized charges. The $90 million settlement is one of a number of deals the FCC reached with major mobile service providers recently. "Cramming victims face a June 30 deadline to seek money back from T-Mobile for unlawful charges forced on them without consent or even knowledge," Blumenthal said in a statement.

COGENT SAYS INTERCONNECTION NEGOTIATIONS IMPROVED: Backbone Internet provider Cogent said interconnection negotiations have improved with last-mile providers since the FCC's net neutrality regulations were approved in February. The company has struck deals with AT&T and Verizon. It is still trying to reach deals with others like Comcast, Time Warner Cable and CenturyLink. The company previously warned that it could file an early complaint about the issue, and told Multichannel News that the company hopes "all the parties will adhere to the open Internet order."

 

ON TAP

At noon, the New America foundation hosts an event on the future of Wi-Fi.

At 2:00 p.m., the Communications and Technology Subcommittee of House Energy and Commerce hosts a hearing on FirstNet.

At 5:00 p.m., Intel is hosting a discussion on "Asia-Pacific trade" as part of its Tech + Policy discussion series.

At 5:00 p.m., The House Energy and Commerce Committee will give opening statements about the Dotcom Act before a markup the following day.

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, a supporter of Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump touts report Warner attempted to talk to dossier author Poll: Nearly half of Iowans wouldn’t vote for Trump in 2020 Rubio on Warner contact with Russian lobbyist: It’s ‘had zero impact on our work’ MORE, is backing a $15-per-hour minimum wage.

Three-quarters of registered voters are unable to correctly identify a patent troll, according to a Morning Consult poll.

A consumer group on Monday asked the Federal Communications Commission to force web service providers like Google to honor users' requests that their information not be collected and sold.

European Union member states on Monday signed off on a broad restructuring of their data protection laws.

Dropbox is opening a Washington, D.C. office.

 

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