Engine supports congressional Democrats’ efforts to adopt legislation that would reinstate the Federal Communications Commission’s 2015 Open Internet rules.
The Big Story: White House tees up AI, 5G work. The White House will take steps in the coming weeks to boost the U.S.’s competitiveness in the fields of artificial intelligence and 5G, the next generation wireless network, according to reports out this week. Those specific tech policy areas are ones where policymakers have expressed concerns about losing out to other countries, including China.
New year, new Congress, same issues. The new year and the new Congress kicked off this week, but many of the policy debates that concerned startups in 2018 will continue on. As the Democrats take control of the House and the gavels of key committees, expect vigorous oversight of the Trump administration across the board, which is likely to impact several of the policy areas startups care most about, including trade, net neutrality at the Federal Communications Commission, and more.
The Big Story: Trump’s STEM push. The White House released a report this week aimed boosting the country’s science, technology, engineering, and math skills over the next five years, including through work with educational institutions like colleges and libraries as well employers, nonprofits, and others.
A U.K. tax on online services. The British government has announced a new tax on the biggest companies offering online services in the United Kingdom. The tax, 2 percent of U.K. revenues, will be levied on companies with global revenues of $640 million or more starting in April 2020.
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.
The Big Story: A second Senate privacy hearing. The Senate Commerce Committee held its second hearing on online privacy this week, which included testimony from privacy advocates pushing for federal privacy legislation.
The Big Story: FCC wrong about net neutrality comment ‘attacks.’ The Federal Communications Commission repeatedly made inaccurate statements about supposed distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks related to last year’s net neutrality proceeding, according to a new report from the agency’s internal watchdog.
Internet service providers would like you to think there’s broad agreement on net neutrality because everyone agrees cable companies shouldn’t block or slow access to websites and online services. But mention the words “paid prioritization” and you’ll get a much different reaction. The issue is sure to divide the House Energy and Commerce Committee during its hearing on the topic next week.
The world of innovation is at an exciting point in time, unrivaled by anything we’ve ever seen before. The cost of launching a startup has never been cheaper and the process has never been more efficient. This is largely due to reduced business costs (e.g. server fees) resulting from advancements in technology services and internet access. What once cost a startup hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars in capital expenditures just to get to the starting line is now accessible to almost anyone for much, much less. With the Internet, the distance between business and consumer has also shortened drastically; marketing directly to your customer demographic across the world is now possible. Additionally, information in the form of advice, mentoring, and best practices is now abundant and accessible. What was once restricted to Ivy League schools or knowledge bases such as New York and San Francisco is now available for free online.
Ahead of the Federal Communications Commission’s vote late last week to dismantle 2015 net neutrality rules — which prevented ISPs from blocking or slowing access to certain websites — FCC Chairman Ajit Pai continued to misrepresent his plan as a boon to innovators and Internet users across the country instead of the ISP industry sell out it really is.
“The Federal Communications Commission voted today to strip the critical protections that made the Internet a level playing field for startups. With its rushed, party-line decision to repeal the 2015 Open Internet Order, the Commission is ignoring the pleas of innovators, investors, and everyday users to keep the Internet free and open"