OVERNIGHT TECH: House Energy and Commerce subpanel to debate FCC incentive auctions

"As the Department of Justice observed earlier this year, an auction that protects and promotes a healthy, competitive wireless marketplace enhances consumer choice and serves the public good," Eshoo will say, according to prepared remarks. "Consistent with statute, the FCC should heed this advice by developing rules that promote competition and broad carrier participation."

During the hearing, AT&T and T-Mobile are expected to lock horns over how the FCC should structure the auction.

Kathleen O'Brien Ham, vice president of federal regulatory affairs for T-Mobile, intends to argue that the FCC "must impose reasonable limits on how much spectrum any one entity" can bid on. The auction presents a "critical opportunity" for T-Mobile and smaller carriers to get the spectrum they need to meet consumers' data demand and compete with larger competitors, Ham says in written testimony.

"Without appropriate limits ... the two dominant carriers could squeeze out competitors, reducing consumer choice and thwarting the type of innovation that T-Mobile and smaller carriers are introducing to the wireless marketplace today," Ham writes.

Joan Marsh of AT&T is expected to argue against proposals that call on the FCC "to game the rules to favor certain competitors over others." She will call on the commission to hold an open auction that awards spectrum to the highest bidder, according to written testimony.
"These proposals vary in their specifics but they share a common thread: restricting or preventing AT&T and Verizon from participating in the spectrum auction, while steering spectrum to others, in particular Sprint and T-Mobile," Marsh says, according to a copy of her written testimony. "These proposals are as ill-advised as they are unlawful."

Republicans on the subcommittee have argued that the agency should not favor any particular carriers.

Also testifying at the hearing will be Gary Epstein, the chairman of the Incentive Auction Task Force, who will represent the FCC; Rick Kaplan of the National Association of Broadcasters; Preston Padden, who is leading a coalition of TV stations looking to sell their licenses; and Public Knowledge Senior Vice President Harold Feld, who will represent consumer advocacy groups.

Issa and Chu introduce bill aimed at combating patent trolls:
Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Judy Chu (D-Calif.) on Monday introduced a bill that's aimed at clamping down on patent trolls, called the STOP Act. The bill would expand a program currently used by companies to ask the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to re-examine patents related to financial services.

Over the years, patent trolls have snapped up various patents and launched lawsuits against startups as a way to make money. 

"The STOP Act provides tools for legitimate patent holders to put an end to the abuse," Issa said in a statement.

The Computer and Communications Industry Association and Public Knowledge issued statements of support for the bill. 


On Tuesday, the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific will hold a hearing titled “Asia: The cybersecurity battleground.”

Testifying at the hearing will be Phyllis Schneck, vice president and chief technology officer for McAfee’s public sector; Jim Lewis, director of the technology and public policy program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies; and Karl Rauscher, chief technology officer and senior fellow at the EastWest Institute.


Report: Cyber crime may cost the US up to $100 billion a year:
Cyber crime and theft of intellectual property may cost the United States up to $100 billion in losses annually, according to a report released Monday by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

That estimate is significantly lower than previous estimates and figures cited by U.S. policymakers on the amount that cyber espionage costs the U.S. each year.

Aereo to expand service to Utah: Internet TV startup Aereo said Monday that it plans to roll out its service to Utah and Chicago in the coming weeks.

Aereo will launch its service in Utah on Aug. 19 and shortly after in Chicago on Sept. 13.

Capitol Hill staffers warned hackers might disclose more breached information: The House chief administrative officer on Monday warned Capitol Hill staffers that information stored in the breached iConstituent system "should be considered compromised" in the wake of a high-profile hacker attack on the email newsletter service.

"The CAO has confirmed with iConstituent that the hackers accessed the underlying operating system of the eNewsletter server within iConstituent’s infrastructure," House Chief Administrative Officer Dan Strodel wrote in an email sent Monday to all House chiefs of staff, obtained by The Hill. "All information on the impacted iConstituent system should be considered compromised."

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