U.S. Congress TOWER Infrastructure Deployment Act
U.S. Representatives Tim Walberg (MI-07) and Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09) announced they introduced H.R. 3255, the TOWER Infrastructure Deployment Act. The Act is intended to help close the workforce shortage in the telecommunications industry for highly-skilled, professional workforce equipped to deploy 5G, lightning-fast broadband networks, and new broadcast technology.
Among other things, the Act creates an advisory council at the FCC to examine the needs of the telecommunications industry as it transitions to new technologies like 5G, next-generation broadband, and next-generation television. The council would: develop recommendations to improve and streamline workforce development in the telecommunications industry, especially for underrepresented communities; and report information about the needs of the telecommunications industry and recommendations to improve participation in workforce development programs.
“As the telecom industry deploys next generation technologies, there are tens of thousands of good-paying, highly-skilled jobs but nobody to fill them. Developing a skilled workforce needs to be a top priority,” said Congressman Walberg. “By streamlining workforce development programs and promoting industry collaboration, we can free up resources for greater broadband deployment instead of recreating the same curriculum across the country.”
“Women and people of color are underrepresented in the telecom industry, which is why I am committed to drafting and supporting legislation that addresses this unacceptable reality. As a black woman, I know how capable women and people of color are which compelled me to lead a bipartisan effort to address the telecom industry’s workforce diversity shortage. I am excited to witness my fellow women and people of color who will act as trailblazers in bringing 5G to America,” said Congresswoman Clarke.
Responding to the Act’s introduction, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr said: “Expanding America’s skilled workforce is essential to our country’s leadership in 5G and building out next-generation networks. In fact, industry estimates that it could fill another 20,000 job openings for tower climbers and telecom techs alone. So I commend Congressman Walberg and Congresswoman Clarke for tackling this challenge and working to build up the skilled workforce needed to complete 5G builds in communities across the country.”
The Regulatory Mix Today: U.S. Congress TOWER Infrastructure Deployment Act, U.S. Congress Cyber Defense Legislation, FCC Precision Ag Connectivity Task Force
U.S. Congress Cyber Defense Legislation
Reps. Tom Graves and Josh Gottheimer announced that they introduced the Active Cyber Defense Certainty Act (ACDC), a bipartisan bill that “gives American businesses and consumers more tools to defend themselves online.” The bill makes targeted changes to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) to allow use of limited defensive measures that exceed the boundaries of one’s network in order to monitor, identify and stop attackers. Enacted in 1986, the CFAA currently prohibits individuals from taking any defensive actions other than preventative protections, such as anti-virus software. The ACDC gives authorized individuals and companies the legal authority to leave their network to:
- establish attribution of an attack,
- disrupt cyberattacks without damaging others’ computers,
- retrieve and destroy stolen files,
- monitor the behavior of an attacker,
- and utilize beaconing technology.
FCC Precision Ag Connectivity Task Force
The FCC announced the formation of a new federal advisory committee, the Task Force for Reviewing Connectivity and Technology Needs of Precision Agriculture in the United States (Precision Ag Connectivity Task Force), upon approval by the General Services Administration. Among other things, the Task Force will
- identify and measure current gaps in the availability of broadband Internet access service on agricultural land;
- develop policy recommendations to promote the rapid, expanded deployment of broadband Internet access service on unserved agricultural land, with a goal of achieving reliable capabilities on 95% of agricultural land in the United States by 2025;
- recommend specific new rules or amendments to existing rules of the FCC to achieve these goals and policies;
- recommend specific steps that the FC should take to obtain reliable and standardized data measurements of the availability of broadband Internet access service as may be necessary to target funding support, from future FCC broadband programs;
- submit annual reports to the FCC on the status of fixed and mobile broadband Internet access service coverage of agricultural land, the projected future connectivity needs of agricultural operations and the steps being taken to accurately measure the availability of broadband Internet access service on agricultural land.
Nominations for membership to the Precision Ag Connectivity Task Force should be submitted to the FCC no later than July 17, 2019. The FCC seeks applications from, among others, ISPs (including regional or rural fixed and mobile broadband Internet access service providers and telecommunications infrastructure providers) and representatives from the electric cooperative industry. The FCC intends to establish the Precision Ag Connectivity Task Force for an initial period of two years.
The Regulatory Mix, Inteserra’s blog of telecom related regulatory activities, is a snapshot of PUC, FCC, legislative, and occasionally court issues that our regulatory monitoring team uncovers each day. Depending on their significance, some items may be the subject of an Inteserra Briefing.