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The US Week Ahead: Senate to explore how US can lead in industries of the future

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The US Week Ahead: Senate to explore how US can lead in industries of the future

Although CES, the Consumer Technology Association's influential annual technology and media trade show, has just ended, policymakers will continue to talk about ushering in a new era of innovation in the U.S. this week.

On Jan. 15, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation will host a hearing titled, "Industries of the Future." According to a committee announcement, the hearing will assess ways the U.S. can "maintain its global economic edge in artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing, quantum information science, biotechnology, and developing the next generation of wireless networks and infrastructure."

Witnesses will include Jessica Rosenworcel and Michael O'Rielly, both commissioners at the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. Michael Kratsios, the United States' chief technology officer, will also testify.

One way in which the FCC has attempted to help make 5G a reality for more consumers is through making more spectrum available for the technology. In November 2019, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced a proposal to make 280 MHz of C-band spectrum available in a public auction for use in 5G mobile broadband.

The 3.7 GHz to 4.2 GHz band spectrum, commonly referred to as the C-band, is allocated in the U.S. for fixed-satellite service or space-to-Earth transmissions. C-band is considered key for rolling out 5G services.

5G mobility service promises to provide increased bandwidth and more opportunities for connectivity, enabling the new era of the internet of things where billions of devices in homes and across cities will be connected at all times. When fully implemented, 5G will offer download speeds many times faster than 4G LTE networks and significantly lower latency times. Latency is the amount of time it takes to send a message from the device to the network and get a response.

The agency has said an auction will commence before the end of 2020.

Last month, the agency also announced plans to launch a 5G fund for rural America, which would make up to $9 billion in Universal Service Fund money available to carriers for 5G mobile wireless service deployment. The USF provides subsidies to connect unserved and rural areas with telecommunications services.

Kratsios' responsibilities at the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy include encouraging the development of new and emerging technologies. On Jan. 7, Kratsios announced proposed regulatory principles in an op-ed that he has said will help "govern AI development in the private sector," as part of the presidential administration's artificial intelligence strategy.

Ultimately, Kratsios said the goals of the principles are to "ensure public engagement, limit regulatory overreach and promote trustworthy technology."

The principles are a follow-up to an executive order signed by President Donald Trump in February 2019 to attempt to help guide AI development and research using resources of the federal government.

Government

Jan. 15 The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation will host a hearing titled "Industries of the Future."
Jan. 15 A subcommittee of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce will host a hearing titled "Lifting Voices: Legislation to Promote Media Marketplace Diversity."
Jan. 15 The U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform will host a hearing titled "Facial Recognition Technology (Part III): Ensuring Commercial Transparency & Accuracy."
Jan. 15 Closing arguments for the state-led challenge to the T-Mobile US Inc. /Sprint Corp. merger will take place in New York.
Jan. 17 A subcommittee of the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary that focuses on antitrust issues will host a field hearing titled "Online Platforms and Market Power, Part 5: Competitors in the Digital Economy" in Boulder, Colo.
Industry, legal and think tank events
Jan. 13 TechFreedom will host an event titled "Will Kids Privacy Crackdown Break the Internet?" in Washington, D.C.
Jan. 14 The Washington Space Business Roundtable will host a panel on space investment in Washington, D.C.
Jan. 14 FedScoop, a government IT media company, will host a data cloud summit in Washington, D.C.
Jan. 14-17 The Future of Education Technology Conference will take place in Miami.
Jan. 15-17 The North American Bitcoin Conference will take place in Miami.
Jan. 16 The Federal Communications Bar Association will host a lunch titled "Mass Media Committee Brown Bag Lunch" in Washington, D.C.

Stories of note:

T-Mobile embraces higher churn as it signals more wireless competition

CES 2020: FTC plans to release antitrust guidance for tech companies

US regulatory pressures to shape big tech's 2020 spending strategies

CES 2020: 5G to be driven by enterprise use