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Technology 11 February 2020

The Week in Internet News: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

Grant Gross
By Grant GrossTechnology Reporter

The FBI weighs in, again: The U.S. FBI, which has complained for years about the lack of access to encrypted communications, isn’t yet ready to call for legislation that would force tech companies to let police in, FCW.com reports. During a recent congressional hearing, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fl.) asked if there was “meaningful legislation that Congress should consider so that technology partners have a yellow brick road to work with the government.” The decision “should be made by the American people through their elected representatives, not through one company making a business decision on behalf of all of us,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said.

Community networks rising: CircleID has a blog post featuring broadband predictions for 2020, including expectations that community broadband networks will see a “massive surge.” The prediction: “As the public becomes better acquainted with broadband policy issues thanks to the election cycle and the growing digital disparity, we are seeing that more and more communities are taking matters into their own hands.”

Super speedy: In related news, the UTOPIA Fiber network, boasting the fastest broadband speeds in the U.S., has expanded in Utah, KSL.com reports. The fiber network offers download speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second, about 200 times faster than the Utah average.

Policy moves: As the U.S. looks for more broadband access, the Federal Communications Commission is proposing to offer billions of dollars to satellite providers as an incentive for them to give up the so-called C band, a section of radio spectrum that could be used for mobile broadband, Bloomberg reports. In addition, the FCC will allow Native American tribes to apply for spectrum licenses that are largely unassigned in the western U.S., the Associated Press says.

The Internet is for everyone. Learn more about community networks and join the global movement to help close the digital divide!

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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