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Posted by Amy Gross on 7/31/19 4:51 PM

FCC front viewFCC Announces Tribal Workshop

The FCC announced it will hold a workshop on August 20-21 in Billings, Montana designed to provide information that will help Tribal Nations identify and evaluate opportunities to develop more robust broadband, telecommunications, and broadcast infrastructure and services in Tribal communities. It is also designed to provide information about the FCC and how it conducts its regulatory responsibilities, and to encourage Tribal participation in the regulatory process.

 

The workshop will include:

  • Information on the Universal Service Fund programs, including the new Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, and the related Tribal engagement obligation for High Cost Fund recipients.
  • An open discussion with participants about their experiences with the Tribal engagement obligation.
  • A Tribal Information Technology (IT) panel will discuss deployment of telecommunications services on their lands.
  • Information on the transformation of the regulatory framework governing the 2.5 GHz band, which provides opportunities for Tribal Nations in rural areas to gain access to this spectrum.
  • Presentations on the FCC’s Tribal Radio Priority, as well as on public safety communications issues of concern to Tribal Nations.

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The Regulatory Mix Today: FCC Announces Tribal Workshop, SMART Act Introduced in Senate

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us-capitol-building-and-congressSMART Act Introduced  In Senate

Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) introduced legislation to curb addictive and deceptive techniques that tech giants use to exploit users. The Social Media Addiction Reduction Technology (SMART) Act would ban certain features that are designed to be addictive, would require choice parity for consent, and would give users the power to monitor their time spent on social media.

The bill:

  • Bans infinite scroll, autoplay, and other addictive features on social media that make it difficult to leave a social media platform
    • Includes exceptions for music playlists, social media predominantly designed to stream music, and “achievement” badges that substantially increase access to new services or functionality
    • Social media platforms would have to include natural stopping points
  • Requires choice parity for consent
    • Companies would no longer be allowed to manipulate people into consenting by making it difficult to decline consent
    • Companies would have to design “accept” and “decline” boxes using the same formats, fonts, and sizes
  • Gives the FTC and HHS authority to ban other similar practices
    • Rules would expire after 3 years unless ratified by Congress
  • Gives users power to monitor and control their use time on social media
    • Social media companies must provide an in-app tool that enables users to track the time they spend on social media across all devices and allows users to impose caps on the amount of time they spend.

Senator Hawley said, “Big tech has embraced a business model of addiction. Too much of the ‘innovation’ in this space is designed not to create better products, but to capture more attention by using psychological tricks that make it difficult to look away. This legislation will put an end to that and encourage true innovation by tech companies.”

 

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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.

 

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Topics: US Senate, 2.5 GHz Band, FCC Tribal Workshop, Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, SMART Act, High Cost Fund, Social Media

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