A ban on some tech-related commercial transactions with China will go into effect on March 22, despite protests from telecoms and other businesses. The regulation, which former President Donald Trump established and President Joe Biden's Commerce Department has declined to repeal, concerns companies deemed national security threats.
Jessica Rosenworcel, acting Federal Communications Commission chair, used #FCCfirsts on Twitter to honor trailblazers during Black History Month. William Kennard became the commission's first Black chair in 1997, Michael Powell was the second, and Mignon Clyburn was the first Black woman on the commission and later acting chair.
The Federal Communications Commission expects to start doling out funds from the $3.2 billion Emergency Broadband Benefit program within the next two months. The FCC will award most eligible low-income homes up to $50 a month to offset their broadband costs and a $100 to help purchase a computer or tablet may also be awarded.
Transmit Security is developing a system that relies on smartphone biometrics rather than passwords to access PCs. The cloud-based BindID, which lets users log in by scanning QR codes, uses open standards and protocols.
Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted is considering fixed wireless networks as a way to provide internet access in places where fiber is unfeasible. Point Broadband currently offers fixed wireless service in Ohio's south central region for a monthly charge of $45.
A federal 60-day freeze on issuing permits is reportedly slowing down the expansion of broadband in rural Wyoming. Richard Wardell, chief operating officer at provider TCT, says that the need for duplicate examinations is also hindering speed improvements.
The pandemic has highlighted the possibilities of remote work, and many technology startups report that offices may become optional going forward. All-remote workplaces give companies more choice about employee locations as well as letting the firms spend less on rent.
OpenVault predicts that average broadband usage in the US could reach 650 GB monthly by the end of the year. The pandemic spurred some of the growth, but CEO Mark Trudeau says the availability of faster speeds and better devices is also driving consumption.