SPONSORED:

Overnight Tech: House panel looks for better broadband

LEDE: The House Energy and Commerce Committee's Communications and Technology subpanel will meet on Wednesday to hear from witnesses about broadband investment.

Citing the high cost of entry into the broadband business, Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) will call for the government to make it easier to invest in the sector.

ADVERTISEMENT

"With new players and incumbents looking to invest in infrastructure and compete for customers on the networks of tomorrow, the federal government should find ways to encourage deployment and eliminate barriers," he will say. "Despite repeated calls to facilitate access to federal lands and buildings, to simplify and expedite access to utility poles, and improve the process for tower and cell siting, these still present hurdles to efficient investment and deployment."

Witnesses will include Google Fiber's Michael Slinger and research analyst Craig Moffett, among others.

Subcommittee Ranking Member Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) will mention several areas where she says policymakers can enhance broadband deployment, including expanding spectrum access.

"Finally, through the power of unlicensed spectrum, Wi-Fi can expand broadband coverage in underserved communities, including rural and tribal lands," she is expected to say. "The 600 MHz band and its ability to penetrate walls and travel longer distances makes it uniquely situated to serve these and other communities on a nationwide basis."

WHEELER RECOMMENDS AT&T-DIRECTV APPROVAL: Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler on Tuesday circulated an order for commissioners to approve the proposed $48 billion merger between AT&T and DirecTV. The order would have to be voted on by the five-commissioner panel before the deal goes through. In a statement, Wheeler announced a number of conditions including on interconnection and a prohibition on exempting AT&T's own content from data caps. The Department of Justice said in its own statement that it would not challenge the merger.

PUBLIC WANTS SCOTUS CAMERAS: Seventy-six percent of people believe the Supreme Court should allow cameras in the courtroom -- the highest level of support in at least six years, according to a poll commissioned by C-SPAN. Forty-three percent said cameras would increase the public's respect of the oral arguments, while 35 percent said it would not change. Another 22 percent said it would decrease the public's respect.

SENATE TO MARK UP BILL FUNDING FCC: The Senate Appropriations Committee will begin marking up its Financial Services and General Government spending bill, which includes FCC funding, on Wednesday. In the House, lawmakers used the appropriations bill to attach policy riders to temporarily block the FCC's net neutrality rules. The Senate Appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction will mark up the bill on Wednesday before it gets a vote in the full committee on Thursday. Appropriations bills in the House have been put on hold amid a fight over displaying the Confederate flag at federal cemeteries.

GRAHAM GETS DOXED: Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham pushes Schumer for vote to dismiss impeachment article Impeachment trial tests Trump's grip on Senate GOP An attack on America that's divided Congress — and a nation MORE (R-S.C.) on Tuesday became a high-profile victim of "doxing"  -- an Internet term for when someone widely releases identifying information about an individual -- when GOP presidential candidate Donald TrumpDonald TrumpGiuliani used provisional ballot to vote in 2020 election, same method he disparaged in fighting to overturn results Trump gets lowest job approval rating in final days as president Fox News' DC managing editor Bill Sammon to retire MORE read out Graham's mobile phone number during a televised speech. Trump encouraged people to try the number amid a feud between the two candidates. Graham, who is known to use a flip phone, joked on Twitter he would likely get a new phone, instead of just changing numbers. He asked his followers "iPhone or Android?"

FACEBOOK LOSES WARRANTS CASE: A New York appeals court said on Tuesday that Facebook does not have standing to challenge search warrants on behalf of its clients. The judge in the case was upholding a lower court decision, in a move that is a blow to civil liberties advocates. Google, LinkedIn and Twitter all filed briefs in the case, The New York Times reported.

 

ON TAP:

At 10:30 a.m, the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government will mark up its spending bill.

At 12:30 p.m., a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee will hold a hearing on broadband infrastructure.

At 2:30 p.m., the Internet of Things Caucus will host a talk on "smart cities."

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

There is nothing stopping scores of individuals and media outlets from starting their own private Politwoops projects, said the manager for the now-defunct archive at the Sunlight Foundation.

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTrump allies, Washington insiders helped plan rallies before Capitol breach: reports What Martin Luther King, at 39, taught me at 35 GOP senators wrestle with purging Trump from party MORE (R-Texas) has placed a hold on legislation designed to increase congressional oversight of the transfer of the Internet domain name system from U.S. control.

Patent reform legislation is not on the House schedule ahead of the August recess, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Tuesday.

An Uber executive and former top adviser to President Obama said Tuesday that he believed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonJuan Williams: The real 'Deep State' is pro-Trump Rep. John Katko: Why I became the first Republican lawmaker to support impeachment Can we protect our country — from our rulers, and ourselves? MORE would come to embrace the burgeoning "gig economy."

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is considering March 29, 2016 as the start date for a major auction of wireless airwaves.

 

Please send tips and comments to David McCabe, dmccabe@thehill.com and Mario Trujillo, mtrujillo@thehill.com

Follow us on Twitter: @HilliconValley@dmccabe