Rep. Boucher Remarks at State of the Net

by on January 27, 2010 · 5 comments

I’m attending day 2 of the 2010 “State of the Net” conference today. CDT founder Jerry Berman kicked off the show and, echoing Ithiel de sola Pool, said that the Internet is a “technology of freedom” but that it needs stewardship and protection to thrive. He specifically mentioned how First Amendment protections were vital.

Jerry then introduced Rep. Rick Boucher of the House Commerce Committee and the Co-chair of the Congressional Internet Caucus. Here are some of the highlights:  [And you can follow my ongoing live Tweeting from the State of the Net conference @AdamThierer]

  • “We have an active year ahead of us” in Congress
  • Priority #1: Spectrum inventory legislation will help ensure more efficient use; will hopefully help America meet growing demand for wireless service
  • Priority #2: Comprehensive reform of universal service fund; “current system is simply unsustainable”; “change must come and come soon”; people on both sides of the debate have now come to the table and agreed to work together;
  • Heart of universal service reform = Competitive bidding; cap on high-cost fund; other steps to ensure efficiency; expanding  contribution base
  • Key part of reform is move to expand fund to cover broadband service instead of just basic telephony; requirement that carriers use it for broadband
  • Priority #3: Satellite Home Viewer Act renewal
  • Priority #4: Privacy & online advertising bill… says he doesn’t want to derail targeted advertising but give people “greater control”; discussion draft coming soon
  • Priority #5: cell phone bill w/ national consumer protection standards
  • “an ambitious agenda” but he hopes it can all get done
  • Hearing coming about FCC’s national broadband plan once it is out
  • Feb. 4th oversight hearing about the Comcast-NBC Universal deal (I’m testifying there!)

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