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February 21, 2024
By

They say knowledge is power. The Commission’s March agenda is highlighted by a series of actions to equip the public and policymakers with information they can use to make smarter decisions. Here’s what to expect at our March Open Meeting.

  • We’re enhancing security for the Internet of Things. Internet-connected smart devices create tremendous value for consumers, but also create new cybersecurity risks. The Commission will vote to establish the first-ever voluntary cybersecurity labeling program for connected smart devices. If adopted, the new “Cyber Trust Mark” would empower consumers to choose more secure smart products for their homes, while encouraging companies to meet higher cybersecurity standards.
  • We’re re-defining “high-speed” internet to match market realities. The Commission will vote to ratify its annual assessment on the availability of high-speed broadband and whether advanced internet service is being deployed in a timely manner. To make sure this report accurately reflects the speed demands of today’s consumers, this so-called 706 Report would raise the Commission’s benchmark for high-speed broadband to download speeds of 100 megabits per second, a four-fold increase from the previous standard. The benchmark for upload speeds would go up from 3 megabits per second to 20.
  • We’re leveraging satellites to close gaps in mobile coverage. Wireless carriers have begun collaborating with satellite operators to make sure smartphone users stay connected even in areas where there is no terrestrial mobile service. The Commission will vote to create a domestic regulatory framework—the first of its kind in the world—to enable these collaborations. Enabling supplemental mobile coverage from space can facilitate life-saving rescues in remote locations and open new opportunities for innovation.
  • We’re protecting TV subscribers from surprise junk fees. Charges and fees for video programming provided by cable and satellite TV providers are often obscured in misleading promotional materials and bills. The Commission will consider rules requiring cable operators and satellite providers to clearly specify the “all-in” price for video programming in their promotional materials and on subscribers’ bills.
  • We’re bolstering our emergency alert system. By mobilizing the public’s attention, AMBER Alerts have contributed to the safe recovery of over 1,100 children. The Commission will vote to explore changes to our Emergency Alert System to make it easier to use TV and radio to sound the alarm about missing and endangered persons, an issue that is particularly acute in Tribal communities where thousands of native and indigenous women have seemingly disappeared.

—Jessica


Wednesday, February 21, 2024