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The US Week Ahead: Senators prepare for FCC oversight hearing

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The US Week Ahead: Senators prepare for FCC oversight hearing

Senate and the FCC:

The Senate Commerce Committee will hear testimony from all four sitting commissioners on the U.S. Federal Communications Commission this week at a hearing titled "Oversight of the Federal Communications Commission." This hearing is set to focus on policy issues before the commission, while Senators will also review the FCC's ongoing duties and activities.

"From efforts to better utilize spectrum powering our wireless economy to expanding rural broadband access, combating robocalls, and reviewing the media landscape, the FCC and its operations are critically important," Senate Committee Chairman John Thune, R-S.D., said in a statement.

This will be the agency's second oversight hearing in the past 30 days. Last month, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, along with the agency's three commissioners, testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where Pai defended his decision to refer the proposed Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc./Tribune Media Co. deal to an administrative law judge. This will be the first oversight hearing since the deal has been terminated.

The House of Representatives remains out on recess until Sept. 4.

The rest of the executive branch:

President Donald Trump's National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee, or NSTAC, will host a public conference call Aug. 15 to discuss "advancing resiliency and fostering innovation in the information and communications technology ecosystem." The committee is comprised of executives, appointed by the president, from across the telecommunications industry. The NSTAC's goal is to develop recommendations aimed at ensuring vital telecommunications links through any event or crisis, and to help the U.S. government maintain a reliable, secure and resilient national communications structure.

Also during the call, the committee will provide an update about the committee's work on its Cybersecurity Moonshot study. The committee claims the study aims to assess and improve the country's most pressing cybersecurity challenges, including network design, machine learning, automatic orchestration and quantum computing. The committee says it is in the process of developing recommendations for the administration.

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Congress:
Aug. 16 The Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing titled "Oversight of the Federal Communications Commission."
The FCC:
Aug. 17 The 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference Advisory Committee's informal working group for terrestrial services will hold a teleconference. The advisory committee provides the FCC with public views and recommendations in preparation for the 2019 World Radiocommunication Conference.
Other parts of the executive branch:
Aug. 15 The National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee will host a public conference call to discuss "advancing resiliency and fostering innovation in the information and communications technology ecosystem."
Aug. 15 The National Telecommunications and Information Administration will host a webinar as a part of its BroadbandUSA program to engage with the public and stakeholders about improving broadband connectivity and digital inclusion.
Industry events:
Aug. 14 Nomura's Instinet will host its Cloud Builders Summit in New York City. Presenting companies include Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc.

Stories of note:

Sinclair expected to face more regulatory hurdles after Tribune deal termination

Tribune CEO pledges to hold Sinclair 'accountable for its actions' with lawsuit

Sinclair still mulling Tribune options; plans to fight price-fixing suits

FCC report faults agency staff for false statements about alleged cyberattack

DOJ says judge made 'fundamental errors' in AT&T/Time Warner decision

Analysis: Debt load, build-out deadlines complicate DISH's wireless ambitions

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