Startup News Digest 10/19/2018

The Big Story:  

Pushing 5.9 GHz for 5G. The federal government is seeing more and more pressure to free up airwaves currently reserved for vehicle safety so that they can be used for the next generation of wireless networks, especially as different vehicle safety technologies that don’t depend on that spectrum are becoming commonplace.

This week, NCTA -The Internet & Television Association and New America’s Open Technology Institute asked the Federal Communications Commission to kick off a proceeding to look into whether spectrum in the 5.9 GHz band can be opened up beyond vehicle safety, including making the spectrum unlicensed so that it can be used to fuel WiFi networks.

The push to open up the 5.9 GHz band already has bipartisan support within the commission. Republican Commissioner Michael O’Rielly and Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel have both called attention to the fact that the vehicle safety technology that’s dependent on the 5.9 GHz band has yet to be widely used. They’ve also both questioned whether it’s time that the federal government consider freeing up that spectrum for unlicensed uses, including WiFi.

Policy Roundup:

Another Supreme Court patent case. We teamed up with the R-Street Institute to file an amicus brief this week in Helsinn v. Teva, a patent case that address the on-sale bar in patent cases. We argued that patent holders shouldn’t be allowed to use confidentiality agreements to extend the life of their patents.  

Why we all need strong encryption. In a new op-ed, Robyn Green from New America’s Open Technology Institute, explains how strong encryption on her phone protected all of the information the device contains when it was stolen.

N.Y. AG subpoenas over net neutrality comments. New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood has subpoenaed over a dozen telecom trade associations, lobbyists, and advocacy groups in an attempt to get information about whether the telecom industry submitted fake comments to the FCC as it repealed its 2015 net neutrality rules last year.

Lawmakers pressure India on data rules. Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) are asking the Indian government to reconsider proposed rules that would require companies to store Indian users’ data in India.

FTC’s small business cybersecurity push. The Federal Trade Commission, along with other federal agencies, is out this week with guidance to help small businesses understand cybersecurity risks and the steps they can take to protect themselves.

Startup Roundup:

#StartupsEverywhere: Wichita, K.S.Wichita is touted as the “Air Capital of the World”, but Jacob Wayman, Director of Startup Grind Wichita, hopes to make the city into an innovation capital of the world. Starting with local elected officials, Jacob hopes that lawmakers will do more to incentivize entrepreneurship. 

In D.C.? Help us celebrate veterans in tech.We have partnered with General Assembly to host an exciting panel on November 1 from 6:30 - 8:30pm .Register here.