Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Congressman Brett Guthrie (R-KY), both members of the House Energy and Commerce Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee, and Senator Todd Young and Senator Ed Markey, members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation announced the introduction of the Blockchain Promotion Act of 2019 (HR 1361 and S 553). The legislation would establish a working group of stakeholders across the federal government and private industry to establish a common definition of blockchain. The Act would direct the Department of Commerce to establish a blockchain working group to recommend a consensus-based definition of the technology. The working group would also consider recommendations for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to undertake a study that would examine the potential impact of blockchain on spectrum policy and opportunities for the adoption of blockchain to promote efficiencies within the Federal government. As States are considering legislation that includes different definitions of blockchain, this bill would bring a broad group of stakeholders together to develop a common definition.
“Opportunities to deploy blockchain technology range from greatly increased transparency, efficiencies and security in supply chains to more-opportunistically managing next generation broadband networks,” said Congresswoman Matsui. “This bipartisan, bicameral bill will bring a broad group of stakeholders together to develop a common definition of blockchain, and, perhaps even more importantly, recommend opportunities to leverage the technology to promote new innovations. I am pleased to work with Congressman Brett Guthrie and Senator Ed Markey and Senator Todd Young on this effort and look forward to ensuring our efforts maintain the pace of rapidly advancing technologies.”
“As our economies become increasingly digital, more organizations are turning to blockchain for business transactions and other new applications,” said Congressman Guthrie. “Blockchain can be a great resource for innovation and technology, but as the technology develops we must reduce regulatory uncertainty by figuring out whether there is a common definition and how the technology can be used. I was proud to join my colleague Congresswoman Doris Matsui to introduce the Blockchain Promotion Act to better understand blockchain and its role in our digital economy.”
“Blockchain has the potential to be a catalyst for sustained economic growth across all industries in America. If America leads in its development, we can ensure that it’s benefits will be shared far and wide. Blockchain has the potential to not only provide financial and economic benefits at home, but humanitarian and social support in developing countries will benefit from American leadership. I’m proud to join with my colleagues to ensure the U.S. is at the forefront of this revolutionary technology,” said Senator Young.
“Blockchain is an exciting technology that has already been deployed to expand access to renewable energy, improve supply chain efficiency, and protect privacy,” said Senator Markey. “I am proud to partner with Senator Young to introduce the Blockchain Promotion Act in order to further understand applications for this technology and explore opportunities for its use within the federal government. This is a commonsense step that helps position the U.S. economy for success.”
The Regulatory Mix Today: Federal Blockchain Legislation Introduced, Indiana Announces Broadband Grant Program
Indiana Announces Broadband Grant Program
Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb announced the launch of the Next Level Broadband program, which will dedicate $100 million to bridge the digital divide in rural areas of the state. “The internet is just as essential to Indiana’s prosperity today as highways were a century ago,” Gov. Holcomb said. “By expanding access to affordable broadband, we’ll ensure more Hoosiers can use this business and personal necessity.”
For the initial round of funding, broadband providers can apply for up to $5 million to expand service to unserved areas if they provide at least a 20 percent match. Unserved areas are without at least one broadband provider offering internet fast enough to provide the most basic services – at least 10 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload. The application program will be overseen by Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs. The Indiana Department of Transportation will administer grant funding and provide technical support.
The grant program is launching after months of working with stakeholders as a part of Gov. Holcomb’s Next Level Connections, a $1 billion statewide infrastructure program announced in September 2018. Applications and more information can be found here. The deadline for applications is April 5 by 4 p.m. ET.
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.