The Federal Scene 

April updates

04.30.19 - The USDA released a report entitled “A Case for Rural Broadband: Insights on Rural Broadband Infrastructure and Next Generation Precision Agriculture Technologies” on April 30, 2019. The USDA said the report finds deployment of both broadband e-connectivity and next generation precision agriculture technology on farms and ranches throughout the U.S. could result in at least $47 billion in national economic benefits every year. | press release

04.30.19 - The House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology held a hearing entitled “Legislating to Stop the Onslaught of Annoying Robocalls.” | press release

04.23.19 - The Rural Utilities Service published a notice in the Federal Register, announcing it will begin accepting applications on April 23, 2019, for the eConnectivity Pilot Program (ReConnect Program) through https://reconnect.usda.gov for all three ReConnect Program funding categories. The Reconnect Program will provide loans, grants and loan/grant combinations to facilitate broadband deployment in rural areas. | p ress release

04.12.19 - The Rural Utilities Service published a notice in the Federal Register, to clarify rules for the ReConnect Program. It said, as required by the 2019 Appropriations Act, the definition of broadband loan in the original funding opportunity announcement must be revised. It is also taking further actions to ensure all eligible service areas receive fair consideration for funding under the ReConnect Program. 

04.11.19 - The Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet held a hearing titled, “Illegal Robocalls: Calling All To Stop The Scourge.” The hearing examined the FCC’s first ever report on robocalls and review the steps Congress is currently taking to provide consumers relief from illegal robocalls. 

04.10.19 - The D.C. Circuit Court released an amended opinion to its February 1, 2019 opinion vacating the FCC’s 2017 Tribal Lifeline Order.

04.10.19 – The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, held a hearing titled, “Broadband Mapping: Challenges and Solutions.”  The hearing examined the current state of the nation’s broadband maps and evaluated the ongoing efforts within the federal government and private sector to collect more accurate broadband coverage data. |  press release

04.04.19 – The Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, announced it will hold a  hearing on April 11, 2109, titled, “Illegal Robocalls: Calling All to Stop the Scourge.” The hearing will examine the FCC’s first report on robocalls and review the steps Congress is currently taking to provide consumers relief from illegal robocalls. |  press release

04.03.19 - The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation announced it will hold a hearing entitled “ Broadband Mapping: Challenges and Solutions,” on April 10, 2019. The hearing will examine the current state of the nation’s broadband maps, and evaluate the ongoing efforts within the federal government and private sector to collect more accurate broadband coverage data. | press release

04.03.19 - The House Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government held a hearing on the FCC’s budget on April 3, 2019.  Chairman Pai and Commissioner Rosenworcel are listed as witnesses. | press release 

News clips

04.30.19 Pelosi, Schumer say they've agreed to pursue $2T infrastructure bill with Trump (The Hill) 
04.17.19 Dems introduce bill to tackle 'digital divide' (The Hill) 
04.12.19 FCC to hold major 5G spectrum auction, launch $20 billion fund for rural broadband (The Hill) 
04.12.19 Trump rejects government intervention in 5G wireless networks (Politico) 
04.10.19 House Democrats' net neutrality win likely DOA in Senate but poised to become 2020 issue(Politico) 
04.10.19 House votes to reinstate Obama-era net neutrality rules (The Hill) 
04.09.19 Life in the minority at the FCC(The Hill) 
04.08.19 Trump administration threatens veto of net neutrality bill (The Hill) 
04.04.19 Kudlow says Trump administration opposes government intervention in 5G (The Hill) 
04.03.19 House panel approves bill reinstating net neutrality rules (The Hill) 
04.03.19 Senate panel advances bill penalizing illegal robocalls (The Hill) 
04.02.19 Trump administration at war with itself over 5G airwaves (Politico)