Senate Advances Schatz Technology Initiatives
Senate Passes Schatz Legislation to Develop Internet of Things, Expand Internet Access, Streamline FCC Reports
WASHINGTON – Yesterday, the U.S. Senate passed key technology legislation introduced by U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), lead Democrat on the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet.
“The march of technology does not stop or slow down with the political climate in Washington,” Senator Schatz said. “I’m glad that we can still come together, regardless of party or politics, to give Americans greater access to the internet, while also focusing federal resources on protecting consumers and harnessing the Internet of Things.”
Three technology initiatives that passed the Senate include:
- The FCC Consolidated Reporting Act, introduced by Senator Schatz and Senator Dean Heller (R-Nev.), will streamline reporting requirements for the Commission, freeing up limited resources at the federal agency to focus on protecting consumers and promoting competition;
- the Developing Innovation and Growing the Internet of Things (DIGIT) Act, led by Senator Schatz and Senators Deb Fischer (N.D.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), will require the federal government to develop a national policy on the Internet of Things;
- and a provision, sponsored by Senator Schatz and Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), included in the Making Opportunities for Broadband Investment and Limiting Excessive and Needless Obstacles to Wireless (MOBILE NOW) Act that will help boost unlicensed spectrum, further expanding affordable Internet access across the United States.
The legislation advanced this week as Schatz introduced a resolution with U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) to support a next generation wireless network for the American public and the private sector. He also joined with U.S. Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and nineteen other Democratic Senators to make sure Americans had time to weigh in on the FCC’s attempt to roll back net neutrality protections. The senators wrote a letter to the FCC urging the Commission to extend the reply comment period on the proposal to undo the Open Internet Order. The FCC received more than 15 million comments in the initial comment period.