The United States government must take immediate action to advance its interests in 5G wireless development or else risk falling behind Chinese tech companies like Huawei and ZTE for generations to come, Attorney General William Barr and Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Director Christopher Wray said Feb. 6.

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FCC

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today approved final rules for a program that will funnel $20.4 billion over ten years to communications service providers to extend fast broadband services to unserved and underserved areas of the U.S.

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The Social Security Administration (SSA) has chosen CenturyLink to provide wide-area network and high-speed network services to the agency via the General Services Administration’s Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) program.

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Witnesses at today’s House Communications and Technology Subcommittee hearing agreed that closing the digital divide and increasing internet adoption in the U.S. requires a combination of private sector competition, and financial and regulatory help from the Federal government.

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United Kingdom authorities said today they will allow communications service providers to use in their networks a limited amount of equipment made by “high risk vendors,” and impose restrictions on more extensive use of equipment from those firms.

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FirstNet

While AT&T is on track to meet all nationwide First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) milestones, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) this week flagged schedule, communication, and end-user satisfaction management issues that it said could stop the program from reaching its full potential.

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Pentagon Military Defense DoD

While touting the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) efforts to smooth the path for 5G wireless infrastructure and service deployment, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr told the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee today that “accelerating infrastructure deployment [has] created a new challenge and opportunity.”

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The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) launched a new broadband initiative dubbed the Minority Broadband Initiative (MBI), that will focus on “solving broadband deployment challenges in vulnerable communities.”

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The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), along with the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), on Oct. 24 launched their Accelerate R2 Network Challenge.

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Two bills introduced in the House aim to improve the accuracy of the oft-maligned Federal Communications Commission (FCC) broadband availability map by changing reporting requirements and allowing community groups access to funds to do their own reporting.

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FCC

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is seeking comment on a report, order, and further notice of proposed rulemaking dealing with the accuracy and usefulness of its Digital Opportunity Data Collection (DODC) that aims to more accurately determine residential and small business locations in the U.S. that do not have access to broadband services.

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Sens. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., introduced the TOWER Infrastructure Deployment Act (TOWER Act) with the goal of increasing broadband deployment across the country and addressing the workforce shortage within telecommunications industry.

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