Week ahead in tech: FCC oversight, broadband on agenda

The Federal Communications Commission is coming to Capitol Hill.

On Tuesday, Chairman Tom Wheeler and frequent sparring partner, Republican Commissioner Ajit Pai, will appear before the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology for a hearing on agency oversight.

“The commission has and will continue to tackle tough issues that shape the future of communications in the United States. We look forward to hearing from Chairman Wheeler and Commissioner Pai on recent developments at the FCC, their plans for the fall, and what efforts the FCC has made to fix its broken process,” said subcommittee Ranking Member Greg Walden (R-Ore.) in a statement.


Then on Wednesday, it’s Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel’s turn to go before lawmakers. She’ll appear before a Senate Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee hearing on wireless broadband — the first in a series on the issue.

“Consumer demand will only grow for high-speed wireless Internet access, 4G LTE, and other services that require wireless spectrum," said Commerce Chairman John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneDemocrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks Overnight Defense: Pentagon set for tighter virus restrictions as top officials tests positive | Military sees 11th COVID-19 death | House Democrats back Senate language on Confederate base names Trump keeps tight grip on GOP amid divisions MORE (R-S.D.) in a statement.

“The hearing on Wednesday will be the first in a series on U.S. wireless spectrum policy, designed to address the growing demand for wireless broadband and to gather input for a long-term legislative solution."

The hearing will address “U.S. spectrum policy and how it should be improved to accommodate consumers’ growing demands for wireless broadband,” and, in addition to Rosenworcel, will feature an industry representative and think-tank experts.

In other events on Capitol Hill, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology on Tuesday will hold a hearing on the exploration of the solar system, with officials from NASA and an investigator with the New Horizons mission that recently passed by Pluto.

On Wednesday, a House Judiciary subcommittee will hold a hearing on the so-called Internet of Things.


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