Overnight Tech: Republicans to look at net neutrality's effect on economy

THE LEDE: The economic effect of net neutrality regulations are slated for review this fall at the House Energy And Commerce subcommittee on communications and technology. 

“We’ve got a full plate: Fall highlights include FCC oversight, taking a closer look at how the commission’s net neutrality rules impact our fragile economy, as well as what can be done to foster continued deployment of broadband networks,” subcommittee Chair Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) said in a statement regarding the panel’s hearing schedule.


The impact of the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules on the economy, and particularly capital investment by ISPs, has become a matter of much debate in recent months.

Hal Singer of the Progressive Policy Institute recently charted a fall in capital expenditures by service providers — and suggested the rules could be one cause. Supporters of the rules quickly disputed that portrayal. But the claim, and the broader idea that the net neutrality rules were bad for business, has been pushed by conservatives and FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai.

The debate over the cost of the rules comes as Republicans and conservatives look to shape perceptions of the measure in advance of its day in court.

"What’s responsible for the recent drop in infrastructure investment?” Pai said at an American Enterprise Institute event last month. "There’s no disruption in the overall economy to blame. Instead, it’s the FCC’s decision to capitulate to the President’s demands and impose Title II public utility regulation upon the Internet that is playing a large role.”

PATENT OFFICE OPENS IN SILICON VALLEY: The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially cut the ribbon on its Silicon Valley regional office in San Jose, Calif. PTO Director Michelle Lee was there with a host of House members from the area. Regional offices in Detroit and Denver have already opened, and one in Dallas is scheduled to open next month. 

FCC AGENDA DOMINATED BY PRISON CALLING: As expected, reforms to inmate calling services loom large over the FCC’s October agenda. There are also six other items on the agenda, released Wednesday, that concern spectrum, foreign ownership and the compensation rates for video relay services used by deaf people.

10 GIGABITS PER SECOND?: The City of Chattanooga rolled out 10 Gbps internet speeds on Thursday. But it acknowledged those speeds are overkill for most residents — for now at least. The speeds would allow 1,754 HD movies to stream through a single connection at one time with no buffering.

RESEARCHERS HOPE TO DESIGN APP FOR EPILEPSY PATIENTS: Researchers from Johns Hopkins University hope to gather enough data through the Apple Watch to eventually design an app for epilepsy sufferers, which can notify others of a seizure, track conditions and help manage them. Currently, researchers are also using an app that utilizes the many sensors in an Apple watch to gather data about people with epilepsy, according to The Washington Post.  

THE LEGACY OF GAMBLING LAW: It’s been a rough month for the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. An exemption in the 2006 law is behind the creation of daily fantasy sports sites like DraftKings and FanDuel, which are facing a whirlwind of criticism for alleged “insider trading.” Now, it’s the subject of a New York Times investigation that finds the law was a “spectacular failure” at its purpose: Stopping the use of funds for online gambling.

SHARED PASSWORDS AND UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear a case next week asking whether the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act could be triggered when accessing an account using a shared password. George Washington University law professor Orin Kerr outlined some of the questions surrounding the issue in draft sections of a forthcoming paper


AT 10 a.m., Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWill the Horowitz report split the baby? Gabbard commemorates John Lennon's passing by singing 'Imagine' Bannon: Clinton waiting to enter 2020 race and 'save the Democratic Party from Michael Bloomberg' MORE aide Huma Abedin will give testimony behind closed doors to the House Select Committee on Benghazi.


Netflix blamed its smaller than expected subscriber growth in the United States partly on the U.S. adoption of microchip-embedded credit cards.

Chattanooga, Tenn., is rolling out Internet speeds hundreds of times faster than the federal broadband benchmark through its city-owned utility company. 

A Democratic group of senators sent a letter Thursday praising a Federal Communications Commission proposal to limit the amount of money that inmates are charged for phone calls.

A group of tech giants is pressing House leadership to pass a bill giving key Privacy Act rights to European Union citizens, following a high court decision that damned the U.S. approach to online privacy.

The number of people coming out on Facebook has jumped significantly this year, two academics said in a blog post on Thursday.


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