While the European Union and the state of California have been devising comprehensive privacy protection systems within their regulatory borders, the United States government has chosen not to regulate, or to regulate only a limited number of data controllers. It is time for Congress to create a unified privacy law that applies to all players equally.
California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law SB 822 that adopts a state-level net neutrality requirement for broadband providers operating in California. However well-intentioned this effort may be, it is deeply legally flawed. It also contains substantive provisions that would serve as a major barrier to broadband investment.
The majority of today’s teachers routinely make homework assignments with the expectation that students will go online to complete the work. But students don’t have equal access to high-speed broadband. One straightforward way increase access to high-speed broadband is a spectrum auction to repurpose a currently-underutilized spectrum band and open up more wireless capacity for everyone, including for educational use.
A new survey shows just how fast the market for broadband is changing. Consumers no longer see mobile and fixed internet access alternatives as fundamentally different but use different types of broadband access in similar ways. In other words, mobile and fixed broadband are now functional substitutes.
The door is open once again to large-scale broadband investment, but some in Congress are now urging a return of the heavy-handed regulatory treatment imposed on broadband in 2015. That would be a major mistake for the country at large and particularly punishing for broadband investment in our rural regions.