So-Called 'Kill Switch' Legislation Back on the Table

By Cindy Waxer January 31, 2011

President Obama may have emphasized the need for expanded broadband access in his recent State of the Union speech to the U.S. Congress but he’s also in the market for Internet-killing powers, according to a recent article from Wired.com.

The popular news site reveals that legislation that could authorize the President to kill access to today’s so-called “critical infrastructure” is to be re-introduced soon to a Senate committee. The bill’s chief sponsor is Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican ranking member on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. According to Wired.com, the proposed legislation would not necessarily enable the president to shut down the Internet altogether but rather to safeguard against significant cyber threats.

Recently, as reported by TechZone360.com, President Obama took the opportunity during his State of the Union speech to emphasize the need for more robust high-speed wireless services in order to satisfy the increasing demands of consumers and organizations, as well reach out to rural areas.

"Within the next five years, we will make it possible for business to deploy the next generation of high-speed wireless coverage to 98 percent of all Americans," Obama said. "This isn't just about a faster Internet and fewer dropped calls. It's about connecting every part of America to the digital age."

This isn’t the first time the President has called for expanded broadband access. TechZone360.com reported back in June that Obama signed a memorandum calling for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), in collaboration with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), to make 500 megahertz of spectrum available for fixed and mobile wireless broadband in the next 10 years.

The thinking is that freeing up more airwaves will improve America’s economic competiveness, create jobs and help maintain America’s leadership role in technological innovation. Not to mention accommodate today’s burgeoning demand for iPhones, laptops and other mobile devices that connect to the Internet.

Want to learn more about how federal regulations are shaping and re-defining communications and information technology? Then be sure to attend the Regulatory 2.0 Workshop, collocated with TMC’s ITEXPO East, taking place Feb 2-4, 2011, in Miami. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski has pursued the singular goal of ubiquitous broadband access to an open Internet. While some progress has been made, the most difficult decisions are ahead. What's the Commission to do? This program will examine the important issues facing the FCC including net neutrality, inter-carrier compensation and universal service reform, new CALEA legislation, next generation 911, additional spectrum for wireless broadband and the evolving role of state regulation. To register, click here.




Edited by Tammy Wolf

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

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