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Week ahead: Broadband debate heats up

Week ahead: Broadband debate heats up

An executive from Google Fiber and representatives from other tech firms will pitch lawmakers on ways to improve broadband investment around the country.

The House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on communications and technology will hold a hearing Wednesday on ways to improve the environment for investment in both fixed and mobile broadband.

Witnesses include Michael Slinger, director at Google's Fiber Cities, Craig Moffett of research firm MoffettNathanson, Jonathan Adelstein from PCIA, NextCentury Cities’ Deb Socia, and Stephen Roe Lewis, the governor of Gila River, N.M.

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“With new services and innovative technologies constantly redefining America’s Internet needs, the old rules for network investment no longer apply. We will explore current trends in broadband infrastructure buildout and look at ways to improve that environment for continued investment and growth,” said Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) who leads the subcommittee.

It won’t be the last tech hearing before the committee adjourns Congress’s August recess. On July 28, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler and Republican Commissioner Ajit Pai will appear before the panel for an oversight hearing.

On the patent front, proponents of a reform bill will be working to shore up support after delaying a vote.

The House had expected the bill to hit the floor in the coming week but pushed that timeline back amid concerns from lawmakers.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteBottom line No documents? Hoping for legalization? Be wary of Joe Biden Press: Trump's final presidential pardon: himself MORE (R-Va.) said he would use the extra time to build the bill's support.

"It is clear that some members still have concerns with the bill," he said in a statement Wednesday.

Officially Republicans have said only that the bill won't be taken up in the week ahead, but that could mean a delay past the August recess.

That would be a disappointment for patent reform advocates.

Earlier this year, United for Patent Reform, composed of large tech companies and retailers, made a bullish prediction that reform could move through both chambers before the August break. Reformers in Congress have long said time could be their greatest enemy in the fight.

 

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