Last updated: December 22, 2011 - 2:23am
Despite the partisan gridlock in Washington, some tech and telecom stakeholders realized big victories in 2011 with the passage of patent reform and the Federal Communications Commission’s overhaul of an $8 billion phone subsidy called the Universal Service Fund. But other key policy priorities remain unresolved entering 2012, and the question is whether Congress will be able to take action in the face of budget politics and the election cycle.
- Spectrum: Work must be done to relocate federal users and possibly broadcasters from choice airwaves, set up auctions and begin work on the board overseeing the new public safety broadband network.
- Cybersecurity: Congress enters 2012 with some momentum behind cybersecurity legislation, but differences between parties and chambers need to be resolved.
- Copyright: Congress quickened efforts in late 2011 to boost the protection of copyright holders online by cracking down on piracy. New bills in the House and Senate command big Hollywood support but alarm Web companies, many of which are fighting regulations that could hold them responsible for copyright infringement on their networks. The Internet players have congressional allies, but the push to protect American-made content is bipartisan.
Five key players to watch: NTIA’s Lawrence Strickling, House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Chairman Mary Bono Mack (R-CA), the Department of Homeland Security’s Mark Weatherford, Cary Sherman of the Recording Industry of Association of America, and Michael Petricone, senior vice president of government affairs at the Consumer Electronics Association.
- Congress still at cyber odds after CISPA passage
- Politicians jockey over cybersecurity positioning
- Cybersecurity bill on list for passage this year
- Joint defense measure seeks to disarm hackers
- Few tech issues will move in Congress for the rest of the year
- House Commerce Committee Counts Incentive Auctions Among 3rd Quarter Accomplishments
- Rep Langevin: Senate cybersecurity bill could spur House to act
- Telecom tussle over public safety
- White House circulating draft of executive order on cybersecurity
- Broadcasters, Wireless Missed Joint Victory
- Should Some of Broadcasters' Spectrum Be Auctioned Off to Wireless Carriers?
- July Fireworks: Senate May Take Up Cybersecurity, But Then What?
- Cybersecurity: Incentives and Governance
- Chairman Rockefeller Announces Legislative Agenda for 2011
- Senator Hopes for a Vote on Cybersecurity Measure Before Elections