US Telecom

“Dear Joe” – US Telecom writes open letter to Biden

12 November 2020 | Melanie Mingas

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Broadband association US Telecom has written to President-elect Joe Biden setting out five connectivity-related priorities for his first 100 days as POTUS.

The letter detailed five “actions” that the association said should take precedence between 20 January and 30 April. It read: “Below are actions we believe should be prioritised in the First 100 Days to fuel the limitless potential of broadband to rebuild our economy, reinvent our health care and education systems, and improve virtually every aspect of modern life.

“We are writing to make clear that whatever the challenge — Covid-19, economic recovery, racial equity, climate change, healthcare, education, job creation, or national security — broadband can and must play an essential role in any plan to lift Americans up and move our nation forward.”

US Telecom’s priorities are to:

  • Finish the job of connecting every American;
  • Tackle broadband affordability – starting with our kids;
  • Any new online consumer protections must be modern, consistent and national;
  • Strengthen global leadership on cybersecurity; and
  • Elevate and Coordinate Technology Policy at the White House.

The open letter continued: “It is our sincere hope that our work ahead can prove a unifying turning point for the United States — one that includes a constructive and collaborative dynamic between the public and private sectors. Broadband holds virtually limitless potential to help rebuild our economy, reinvent our health care and education systems, and improve virtually every aspect of modern life. Confrontation squanders those possibilities. Collaboration toward shared national objectives can make them transformative."

With the ongoing Huawei and ZTE saga, the Tik Tok ban, concerns about the transfer of data and traffic on the PLCN, and ongoing competition hearings implicating its domestic tech firms, the US already has its work cut out when it comes to ICT infrastructure.

As Capacity reported this week, since ballot boxes closed on the 2020 election AT&T has appointed former FCC chairman William Kennard as its next chairman, effective January.

With strong Democrat ties, Bill Clinton appointed Kennard chair of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1997 – the first African American to hold the role – and he served until the inauguration of George W Bush, a Republican, in 2001.

Barack Obama, also a Democrat, then made Kennard the US ambassador to the European Union after his inauguration in 2009 and he served four years in Brussels.

According to US Telecom the digital economy in the United States supports 10.5 million jobs.