Construction Industry News

The Race to 5G: A View from the Field

U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) chairman of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, will convene a hearing titled “The Race to 5G: A View from the Field,” at 3:00 p.m. CDT on Friday, October 12, 2018 at Carnegie Town Hall in Sioux Falls, S.D.. This hearing will focus on identifying existing barriers to broadband deployment of next generation wireless technology deployment and ways to streamline broadband infrastructure siting and encourage investment in next generation communications services.  

 
Witnesses:

  • The Honorable Brendan Carr, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission
  • The Honorable Paul TenHaken, Mayor, City of Sioux Falls
  • Dr. José-Marie Griffiths, President, Dakota State University
  • Mr. Robert Fisher, Senior Vice President, Federal Government Affairs, Verizon
  • Mr. Justin Forde, Senior Director, Government Relations, Midcontinent Communications
  • Mr. Mark Shlanta, Chief Executive Officer, SDN Communications, Sioux Falls, SD

*Witness list subject to change. 

Hearing Details:

Friday, October 12, 2018
3:00 p.m. CDT/ 4:00 p.m. EDT
Full Committee
Carnegie Town Hall
235 W. 10th Street
Sioux Falls, S.D. 

Witness testimony and opening statements will be available on www.commerce.senate.gov. The hearing will be livestreamed on YouTube.

<p>Good afternoon.&nbsp;&nbsp;<span

Good afternoon.   

Today, I’ve convened this hearing of the Senate Commerce Committee to explore ways to maintain global leadership in the race to 5G, while ensuring the benefits of remarkable new wireless technologies reach rural America.

Over the past two years, I have convened several hearings in Washington D.C. aimed at identifying barriers to the deployment of next generation services and what we can do in Congress to help lower them.  

I am pleased that today, we will be able to discuss these very important issues here in South Dakota.

We’ve heard from stakeholders throughout the country who represent American businesses that are on the ground building and maintaining our communications networks, deploying the infrastructure, and bringing to market cutting edge technologies like autonomous vehicles, precision agriculture, and remote health care services that will transform our everyday lives.  

We have also heard from the community and tribal leaders, small businesses, hospitals, schools, and everyday Americans that will benefit from this important technology.

The race to 5G has begun and the United States has the technology to win it. 

But as I’ve said before, technology is only part of the equation.  

We must ensure that wireless providers have spectrum on which their systems can operate and they must be able to deploy those networks in a reasonable and timely manner.

The MOBILE NOW Act, my legislation which was enacted earlier this year, addressed both spectrum and infrastructure needs.  But more work needs to be done.

In July, the Committee examined ways to free up more spectrum for 5G.   

I’m pleased to see the Federal Communications Commission and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration are taking critical steps this year to make more spectrum available for wireless use.

And our Committee will continue to encourage innovative approaches to using spectrum more efficiently. 

Indeed, spectrum is critical to winning the race to 5G, but removing barriers to infrastructure deployment is the final piece of the puzzle.

Earlier this year, I introduced the STREAMLINE Small Cell Deployment Act on a bipartisan basis with Senator Schatz.

The STREAMLINE Act reflects more than a year of hard work with stakeholders – including many here today – to eliminate needless barriers to deploying 5G and to bring the benefits to American consumers.

In fact, just last week, we received a letter of support for the STREAMLINE Act signed by 25 groups representing a range of stakeholders from health care to agriculture, the automotive and manufacturing industries, internet companies, consumer technologies, and more. 

I am confident that our legislation will allow Americans across the country, no matter where they live, the ability to reap the benefits of 5G leadership while at the same time respecting the important role State and local governments play in deployment decisions. 

Additionally, I am very pleased that the FCC, as part of an effort led by Commissioner Carr, has just taken an important step to modernize its siting rules consistent with the goals of the STREAMLINE Act. 

As Mayor TenHaken knows, making infrastructure siting easier is particularly important for those of us in rural America, where the business case for deployment is different than in larger metropolitan areas.  

Lowering deployment costs is especially important in more rural communities, where we simply don’t have the population density to justify deployment if barriers are high.

Excessive fees, delays, and uncertainty can ruin the case for deployment of 5G in a community.

I am proud that our home state of South Dakota is leading the way in 5G. 

Dr. Griffiths and Dakota State University are training the young men and women who will design and protect our 5G networks and the services they will offer.  

Mayor TenHaken and Commissioner Carr are leading the way with their work to establish rules and policies that encourage 5G deployment.

And Justin Forde from Midco, Mark Shlanta from SDN Communications, and Robert Fisher from Verizon are working to deploy the 5G networks and related infrastructure that will bring South Dakota the next generation of wireless communications. 

I thank all of you for being here, and I look forward to hearing from you today.  

Commerce Committee Leaders Seek Google+ Memo on Vulnerability

Three Commerce Committee leaders requested a copy of an internal Google memo and answers about a security vulnerability that placed private user information at risk.

The Future of the Fleets: Coast Guard and NOAA Ship Recapitalization

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) chairman of the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, & the Coast Guard, will convene a hearing titled “The Future of the Fleets: Coast Guard and NOAA Ship Recapitalization,” at 9:30 a.m. on October 11, 2018. This hearing will examine the need for Coast Guard and NOAA fleet recapitalization, different vessel acquisition and procurement strategies, and the status of ongoing recapitalization efforts of each agency. 

Witnesses:

  • Rear Admiral Michael Haycock, Assistant Commandant for Acquisition, U.S. Coast Guard
  • Rear Admiral Michael Silah, Director, Office of Marine and Aviation Operations, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Ms. Marie Mak, Director, Contracting and National Security Acquisitions, Government Accountability Office
  • Mr. Ronald O’Rourke, Specialist in Naval Affairs, Congressional Research Service

*Witness list subject to change.

Hearing Details:

Thursday, October 11, 2018
9:30 a.m.
Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard 

This hearing will take place in Russell Senate Office Building, Room 253. Witness testimony, opening statements, and a live video of the hearing will be available on www.commerce.senate.gov.

Consumer Data Privacy: Examining Lessons From the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation and the California Consumer Privacy Act

U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) chairman of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, will convene a hearing titled “Consumer Data Privacy: Examining Lessons From the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation and the California Consumer Privacy Act,” at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday October 10, 2018. This hearing will examine new data privacy laws in Europe and California and provide the committee members the opportunity to hear from privacy advocates about the types of consumer protections to consider in future legislation. The hearing follows a discussion with top technology companies and internet service providers last month. 

Witnesses:

  • Dr. Andrea Jelinek, Chair, European Data Protection Board
  • Mr. Alastair Mactaggart, Board Chair, Californians for Consumer Privacy 
  • Ms. Laura Moy, Executive Director and Adjunct Professor of Law, Georgetown Law Center on Privacy & Technology
  • Ms. Nuala O’Connor, President and CEO, Center for Democracy & Technology

*Witness list subject to change.

Hearing Details:

Wednesday, October 10, 2018
10:00 a.m.
Full Committee 

This hearing will take place in Russell Senate Office Building, Room 253. Witness testimony, opening statements, and a live video of the hearing will be available on www.commerce.senate.gov.

<p>Good morning. Today we are holding

Good morning. Today we are holding our second hearing on needed safeguards for consumer data privacy. As we consider potential federal legislation on privacy, it is essential that we hear from stakeholders and experts with varying perspectives to inform our work.

Two weeks ago, we heard from major technology companies and internet service providers about how they are seeking to address consumer privacy and their efforts to comply with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, and the new California Consumer Privacy Act, or CCPA.

While the experience of such companies is important to consider, I want to be clear that the next federal privacy law will not be written by industry. Any federal privacy law should incorporate views from affected industry stakeholders and consumer advocates in an effort to promote privacy without stifling innovation.

With that in mind, today’s hearing will focus on the perspectives of privacy advocates and other experts. We will also continue to solicit input from additional stakeholders in the days ahead.

GDPR and CCPA have undoubtedly spurred our conversation about a national privacy framework, and they give us useful examples as we contemplate federal legislation. Of course, Congressional action on privacy is not entirely new. Over the last several decades, Congress has enacted legislation to protect children, healthcare, and financial information. Privacy debates have been ongoing in multiple sectors. Even the recently-enacted FAA Reauthorization includes provisions on privacy specifically regarding the use of unmanned aircraft systems for commercial purposes. Federal agencies, such as the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Commerce, have also performed long-standing roles regarding privacy and have been increasingly active recently in this area.

At the same time, I am well aware Congress has tried, and failed, over the last few decades to enact comprehensive privacy legislation. To be successful this time, we all must endeavor to keep open minds about the contours of a bipartisan bill.

In the wake of Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal and other similar incidents, including a vulnerability in Google-plus accounts reported just this past week, it is increasingly clear that industry self-regulation in this area is not sufficient. A national standard for privacy rules of the road is needed to protect consumers.

At the same time, we need to get this right. Passing onerous requirements that do not materially advance privacy would be a step backward. While it may be too early to determine the impact that GDPR and CCPA will have in the U.S., the most notable difference most consumers can see directly has been the increase in GDPR-inspired pop-up notices and cookie consent banners on their devices.

As we continue to work toward possible legislation, I encourage my colleagues to challenge what industry told us at our first hearing, but also to examine both the benefits as well as the potential unintended consequences of the new rules put forth by the European Union and the state of California.

Thank you to the witnesses for appearing here today. With that, I’ll turn to Senator Nelson for his opening remarks.

Committee Announces Field Hearing to Examine 5G in Sioux Falls

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) chairman of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, will convene a hearing titled “The Race to 5G: A View from the Field,” at 3:00 p.m. CDT on Friday, October 12, 2018 at Carnegie Town Hall in Sioux Falls, S.D.. This hearing will focus on identifying existing barriers to broadband deployment of next generation wireless technology deployment and ways to streamline broadband infrastructure siting and encourage investment in next generation communications services.  

Witnesses:

  • The Honorable Brendan Carr, Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission
  • The Honorable Paul TenHaken, Mayor, City of Sioux Falls
  • Dr. José-Marie Griffiths, President, Dakota State University
  • Mr. Robert Fisher, Senior Vice President, Federal Government Affairs, Verizon
  • Mr. Justin Forde, Senior Director, Government Relations, Midcontinent Communications
  • Mr. Mark Shlanta, Chief Executive Officer, SDN Communications

 *Witness list subject to change.

Hearing Details:

Friday, October 12, 2018
3:00 p.m. CDT/ 4:00 p.m. EDT
Full Committee
Carnegie Town Hall
235 W. 10th Street
Sioux Falls, S.D. 

Witness testimony and opening statements will be available on www.commerce.senate.gov. The hearing will be livestreamed on YouTube.

NOTE: Mr. Mark Shlanta added to the witness list on 10/9/18.

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