Communications & Technology


Subcommittee on Communications & Technology

Electronic communications, both Interstate and foreign, including voice, video, audio and data, whether transmitted by wire or wirelessly, and whether transmitted by telecommunications, commercial or private mobile service, broadcast, cable, satellite, microwave, or other mode; technology generally; emergency and public safety communications; cybersecurity, privacy, and data security; the Federal Communications Commission, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the Office of Emergency Communications in the Department of Homeland Security; and all aspects of the above-referenced jurisdiction related to the Department of Homeland Security.

Subcommittees News & Announcements

Subcommittee Chair Latta Delivers Opening Remarks at Hearing on Rural Broadband Funding

Washington D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chair Bob Latta (R-OH) delivered the following remarks at today’s hearing titled “Connecting Every American: The Future of Rural Broadband Funding.” “Americans rely on internet connectivity for work, education, health care, and staying connected with loved ones. Yet, despite years of effort and billions of dollars, many Americans are still without a reliable broadband connection. “Closing this digital divide is a bipartisan priority and significant federal resources have been dedicated to this effort. “Unfortunately, a problem that requires a dedicated and efficient response spurred an overwhelming and scattered federal funding response. As Ronald Reagan rightly said, the 'government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.'” ONGOING BROADBAND PROGRAMS “In May 2022, the Government Accountability Office found that there are over 130 broadband programs across 15 federal government agencies. The largest of these programs—the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment, or BEAD, program, created in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act—commits $42.45 billion to broadband deployment. “One of this Committee’s top priorities is making sure these programs are administered effectively so that money dedicated to closing the digital divide achieves its goal. I remain concerned about whether that will happen. Some of these programs, including BEAD, were created outside of regular order. “There was no discussion of whether $42 billion is the right number or debate on how this program should be administered. “Very little of this money, if any, will support rural wireless carriers that provide critical services. I am also concerned that rising costs for labor and equipment will create supply chain shortages, taking both additional money and time required for deployment. Given this uncertainty, I worry that the federal government will waste this opportunity to connect all Americans.” FUTURE OF BROADBAND FUNDING “Oversight of these existing programs is crucial for their success, but we also need to look towards the future to consider what federal funding for broadband should look like once programs like BEAD conclude. “For example, the Universal Service Fund, or USF, was created in 1997 and distributes approximately $8 billion per year. It supports four broadband programs targeting high-cost areas, schools and libraries, low-income households, and rural health care facilities. Many small, rural providers are dependent on the USF to support their deployment in unserved areas. “Over the past few years, however, Congress has also spent billions of dollars funding these same efforts through BEAD, the Emergency Connectivity Fund, the Affordable Connectivity Program, and COVID-19 Telehealth Program. “Given this duplication, Congress needs to address whether we still need the USF and, if so, what it should look like. This includes addressing what programs the USF should fund, how the USF should be funded, and what reforms are needed to ensure the programs are run effectively and without waste, fraud, or abuse. “These are important questions for Congress to consider. Answering them will require serious bipartisan, bicameral discussions. “That is why I am pleased to announce today that Ranking Member of this subcommittee and I are joining the bipartisan Universal Service Fund Working Group, led by Senators Thune and Lujan. I look forward to hearing from stakeholders and working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and the Capitol to find a solution that will ensure sustainable universal service for years to come. “Today’s hearing is a start of looking towards the future of federal broadband programs. I look forward to hearing from our witnesses. And I also thank you again for appearing before us today.”

Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers: “We all share the same goal—ensuring connectivity for every American.”

Washington D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) delivered the following opening remarks at today’s hearing titled: “Connecting Every American: The Future of Rural Broadband Funding.” E&C IS LEADING TO CONNECT ALL AMERICANS “Broadband connectivity has become essential for Americans. “People need it to pay their bills, continue their education, open a new business, and so much more. “Yet there are still many communities, particularly in rural areas, who lack a reliable connection. “That includes many in my district in Eastern Washington.” “Energy and Commerce is committed to supporting policies that lead to better and faster internet access. “Today, there are more than 130 federal broadband programs, and Congress has dedicated an unprecedented amount of taxpayer dollars towards funding these programs in recent years. “That includes the $65 billion for broadband deployment, affordability, and adoption in the IIJA, as well as existing programs like the Universal Service Fund, or USF. “As resources are made available and new funding programs are considered, we must ensure taxpayer dollars aren't being wasted or duplicated.” ENHANCING EFFECTIVENESS OF BROADBAND PROGRAMS “The USF, for instance, has helped internet service providers connect rural homes and health centers, schools, libraries, and low-income Americans across the country for more than 25 years. “Now, with so many other programs working to achieve the same or similar goals, it is important that we evaluate the necessity of the USF and consider what it should support to ensure federal resources are achieving their intended purpose and that efforts aren’t being duplicated. “Once we address those questions, we can turn to how we fund the USF. “Today, the USF is funded by contributions from providers based on a revenue source that is declining, causing the contribution factor to increase. “In fact, next quarter, the contribution factor will hit a new record. “This cost ultimately increases the cost of services. “This means that Americans will soon see the highest ever USF fee on their phone bills. “This is not sustainable. “As we consider the future of the USF, it is important that we develop a stable funding mechanism that meets the needs of the program without raising costs for hardworking Americans.” AFFORDABLE CONNECTIVITY PROGRAM “The Affordable Connectivity Program, or ACP, is also important in the context of today’s discussion. “This COVID-era program was supposed to be a temporary band-aid to help families economically impacted by the pandemic stay connected to broadband. Then, Congress made it permanent and has given it over $17 billion. “That money will soon run out and we must consider the program’s future. “This program is in addition to the Lifeline program, a federal subsidy program under USF designed to ensure that low-income Americans can afford broadband and telephone service. “Congress has a responsibility to ensure that these programs are run effectively, and I do have questions about which program is most effective, how efforts can be consolidated or streamlined, and what a federal subsidy program for low-income Americans should look like going forward. “Ultimately, minimizing duplicative spending, waste, and fraud will ensure resources are being used efficiently and serving as many people as possible. “Otherwise, without careful evaluation, rural Americans will continue to watch from a distance as technologies advance. “Kids will continue to grow up without access to online educational resources and businesses in rural America will continue to be left behind as the digital economy booms in urban centers and across the globe.” “Today’s hearing is an important step as we look to the future of rural broadband funding. All of us here today share the same goal—ensuring connectivity for every American. This will improve lives, strengthen the economy, and ensure that America wins the future.”

Chairs Rodgers and Latta Announce Hearing on Rural Broadband and Broadband Funding

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chair Bob Latta (R-OH) announced a subcommittee hearing today titled: “Connecting Every American: The Future of Rural Broadband Funding.”  “High-speed broadband is essential to participate in today’s modern economy, yet some Americans still do not have reliable Internet access, especially in rural communities. Congress has dedicated an unprecedented amount of taxpayer dollars towards closing this digital divide. As these resources are made available and new funding programs are considered, it is critical that we ensure taxpayer dollars aren't being wasted or duplicated. We look forward to hearing different perspectives as we consider these important questions,” Chairs Rodgers and Latta said. Subcommittee on Communications and Technology hearing titled: “Connecting Every American: The Future of Rural Broadband Funding.” WHAT: Communications and Technology Subcommittee hearing on rural broadband and broadband funding. DATE: Thursday, September 21, 2023 TIME: 9:00 AM ET LOCATION: 2123 Rayburn House Office Building This notice is at the direction of the Chair. The hearing will be open to the public and press and will be live streamed online at . If you have any questions concerning the hearing, please contact Noah Jackson at . If you have any press-related questions, please contact Sean Kelly at .

Subcommittee Members


Chairman Communications and Technology

Bob Latta


Ohio – District 5

Vice Chair Communications and Technology

Buddy Carter


Georgia – District 1

Ranking Member Communications and Technology

Doris Matsui


California – District 7

Gus Bilirakis


Florida – District 12

Tim Walberg


Michigan – District 5

Neal Dunn, M.D.


Florida – District 2

John Curtis


Utah – District 3

John Joyce


Pennsylvania – District 13

Randy Weber


Texas – District 14

Rick Allen


Georgia – District 12

Troy Balderson


Ohio – District 12

Russ Fulcher


Idaho – District 1

August Pfluger


Texas – District 11

Diana Harshbarger


Tennessee – District 1

Kat Cammack


Florida – District 3

Jay Obernolte


California – District 23

Cathy McMorris Rodgers


Washington – District 5

Yvette Clarke


New York – District 9

Marc Veasey


Texas – District 33

Darren Soto


Florida – District 9

Anna Eshoo


California – District 16

Tony Cardenas


California – District 29

Angie Craig


Minnesota – District 2

Lizzie Fletcher


Texas – District 7

Debbie Dingell


Michigan – District 6

Ann Kuster


New Hampshire – District 2

Robin Kelly


Illinois – District 2

Frank Pallone


New Jersey – District 6

Recent Letters

May 10, 2023
Press Release

E&C Leaders Continue Bipartisan Investigation into Data Brokers' Potential Exploitation of Americans' Privacy

Members press companies to answer what information is collected and where it is sold Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans, led by Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Committee Democrats, led by Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), today wrote to the heads of data broker companies, requesting information to help the Committee protect Americans’ data from misuse. They were joined by Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chair Morgan Griffith (R-VA) and Ranking Member Kathy Castor (D-FL), Subcommittee on Innovation, Data and Commerce Chair Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Ranking Member Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Subcommittee on Health Chair Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Ranking Member Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA), and Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Chair Bob Latta (R-OH) and Ranking Member Doris Matsui (D-CA).  BACKGROUND:   The Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations launched a bipartisan investigation at a hearing on April 19, 2023, titled “Who is Selling Your Data: A Critical Examination of the Role of Data Brokers in the Digital Economy.”  Data brokers purchase, collect, aggregate, license, sell, or otherwise share a wide range of information from Americans, including but not limited to demographic, location, and health data.  These companies profit from trading in Americans’ personal information, including sensitive information, often with little government oversight and in some cases, without any concern for how buyers use the consumer data that they purchase from brokers.  A recent study from Duke University found, for example, that “some data brokers are marketing highly sensitive data on individuals’ mental health conditions on the open market, with seemingly minimal vetting of customers and seemingly few controls on the use of purchased data.”  KEY EXCERPT:   “American privacy concerns in the data broker industry are not new, and existing laws do not sufficiently protect Americans’ data from misuse. In 2014, the FTC issued a report recommending that Congress require data brokers to increase transparency and give Americans more control of their data. However, data brokers can easily circumvent existing rules and laws regarding the collection and sharing of certain types of data, such as HIPAA.   “Enacting a comprehensive federal privacy law is a top priority for the Committee on Energy and Commerce. Currently, Americans do not have control over whether and where their personal data is sold and shared; they have no guaranteed way to access, delete, or correct their data; and, they have no ability to stop the unchecked collection of their sensitive personal information. According to the Electronic Privacy Information Center, the overcollection and secondary uses of personal data, including the sale to and use by data brokers, are inconsistent with the reasonable expectations of online consumers and may lead to discriminatory targeting that violates the privacy and autonomy of consumers.”  The leaders asked the companies for information pertinent to helping the Committee understand how data brokers purchase, collect, use, license, and sell Americans’ data, including:  What data elements do you possess on Americans and market to your clients?   In particular, do you possess any of the following:  Americans’ health data? If yes, what kind of health data?  Americans’ location data? If yes, what data elements?  Americans’ phone data, such as data on any apps downloaded on their mobile devices? If yes, what data elements?  Information revealing Americans’ purchase history? If yes, what data elements?  Information about children under the age of 13?  Information about children between the ages of 13 and 18?  Are there any categories of Americans’ personal information that you will not purchase, collect, aggregate, license, or sell and, if so, what categories are those?  When you license, sell, or otherwise share Americans’ personal information with your clients, do you require your clients to disclose the purpose(s) for which they will use the data?   If so, what do you do, if anything, to confirm they are using the data for the stated purpose(s)?  How much money did you spend in each of the past five years on purchasing or licensing Americans’ personal information?  What percentage of your annual revenue for each of the past five years was derived from selling or licensing Americans’ personal information?  How many clients did you sell or license Americans’ personal information to?  Does your company use the personal information of Americans that you purchase, collect, or aggregate to categorize people based on income, sex, age, race, or other categories?  What steps, if any, does your company take to protect data of users under eighteen?  When you become aware that you or your clients have transferred Americans’ personal information to a foreign adversary or a company beholden to a foreign adversary—currently defined by the Secretary of Commerce to include China, Russia, North Korea, Cuba, the Maduro regime in Venezuela, and Iran—do you notify the individual(s) whose personal information has been transferred or any U.S. government entity? If not, why not?  You can view the letters below:  Acxiom LLC AtData Babel Street   CoreLogic Solutions, LLC   Epsilon Data Management, LLC Equifax   Experian   Gravy Analytics, Inc. Intelius, LLC Kochava Inc. LiveRamp, Inc. Mylife   Oracle America, Inc.   PeopleConnect, Inc.   RELX Safegraph Inc. Spokeo, Inc.   Thomson Reuters   TransUnion   Verisk Analytics   Whitepages, Inc.

Rodgers and Cruz Request Answers from FCC on Action Effectively Blocking Planned Standard General Acquisition of TEGNA

Washington, D.C. – House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and U.S. Senate Commerce Committee Ranking Member Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) are seeking answers to a decision by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that effectively blocks the Standard General-TEGNA transaction. In a  letter  sent today to FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel, the lawmakers want to know why the FCC broke Commission rules and precedent in sending the transaction to an Administrative Law Judge for review without a Commission-level vote. Chair Rodgers and Ranking Member Cruz wrote: “On February 24, 2023, Standard General’s plans to acquire TEGNA’s 61 full-power TV stations and two full-power radio stations were thwarted when the FCC’s Media Bureau, purportedly acting under Commission-delegated authority, issued a Hearing Designation Order (“HDO”) that referred the transaction to an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) hearing. In the past 30 years, no broadcast license transfer has gone through the hearing process in less than 358 days (the average time is 799 days). With the deadline for financing of the Standard General-TEGNA deal expiring on May 22, 2023, the Media Bureau’s action effectively kills the transaction. “The Media Bureau’s decision to send the transaction to an ALJ hearing violates Commission rules and precedents in several ways. First, to keep the Commission accountable to Congress and the public, a full Commission vote is required for certain matters, particularly those involving novel issues and/or significant legal or policy consequences. Designating a multi-billion-dollar transaction such as the Standard General-TEGNA transaction for an ALJ hearing is precisely the type of serious decision for which commissioners must take responsibility. The last time the FCC referred a major transaction to an ALJ, the decision was made at the Commission level, and the FCC should not have departed from that precedent. Second, the Media Bureau’s HDO relied on novel interpretations of the Commission’s public interest standard and appeared to ignore—if not contradict—the Commission’s precedent that ‘an increase in retransmission consent rates, by itself’ does not constitute a public interest harm. Third, under Commission precedent, the Media Bureau should have provided the full Commission 48 hours’ notice before issuing the HDO on February 24, 2023. It did not.” Chair Rodgers and Ranking Member Cruz also raised concerns regarding previous reporting suggesting that a former TEGNA bidder’s political connections with influential Democrats may have played a role in the FCC’s decision to stray from precedent, writing: “Given these departures from precedent, it is no surprise that the decision has raised questions about the Commission’s fairness. According to numerous public reports, outside interests pushed Commission officials to block this transaction in order to pave the way for an alternative buyer, namely Byron Allen. For example, the Wall Street Journal reported that Mr. Allen’s Allen Media Group had previously tried, unsuccessfully, to acquire TEGNA in the fall of 2021. Coincidentally, Mr. Allen is a major Democratic donor. In 2021, he donated $2,900 to Nancy Pelosi’s campaign fund, $5,000 to PAC to the Future, $44,000 to the Nancy Pelosi Victory Fund, and $255,500 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, among others. After the Standard General-TEGNA transaction was announced in 2022, he donated $250,000 to the House Majority PAC and $100,000 to the Senate Majority PAC. Some have observed that the well-connected Mr. Allen is ‘the most likely beneficiary if the Standard General deal falls through.’” In addition, Chair Rodgers and Ranking Member Cruz request the FCC give details about previous Hearing Designation Orders involving similar matters and specifics regarding the FCC’s handling of the Standard General-TEGNA transaction, including whether or not anyone in the chairwoman’s office had any contact with Byron Allen or anyone affiliated with Allen Media Group. The full text of the letter is available HERE . 

E&C Republicans Demand Accountability on Biden’s Massive Spending and Inflation Agenda

American People Deserve Full Accounting of Funds   Washington, D.C. —  House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy Rodgers (R-WA) and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chair Morgan Griffith (R-VA), along with the chairs of the subcommittee of jurisdiction, today wrote letters to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Department of Energy (DOE), Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), requesting a full accounting of how they’ve spent taxpayer dollars. KEY LETTER EXCERPT : “Over the past two years, under one-party, Democratic rule, Congress and the Biden administration have spent trillions of dollars across the federal government. Beginning with the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and most recently with the so-called Inflation Reduction Act (IRA),  Democrats have funneled an excessive amount of taxpayer dollars to advance their radical, progressive agenda and to benefit their political allies. The American people deserve a full, transparent, and regular accounting of the funds  that have been spent, where the funds have gone, who has benefited, and how much remains.”  The Chairs specifically requested funding information from: ARPA, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), the CHIPS and Science Act, and the IRA, including but not limited to:  1. The total amount of funding from each Act that has been obligated to date. 2. A list of each financial award funded, in part or in full, by these laws, including the following information for each award: a.    All recipients for which funding has been expended. b.    All recipients for which funding has been obligated. c.     The amount of funding that has been obligated for each recipient. d.    A description of the project funded. e.    The type of award (i.e., grant, loan, etc.). 3. The number, job title, compensation, and duties of any employees, contractors, or consultants who have been hired or engaged using the funding, in whole or in part. 4. An accounting of the funds that have not yet been obligated. CLICK HERE  to read the letter from Chairs Rodgers and Griffith and Subcommittee on Energy, Climate, and Grid Security Chair Jeff Duncan (R-SC) to DOE Secretary Jennifer Granholm regarding more the than $100 billion above annual appropriations and the more than 60 new programs created with little Congressional scrutiny of long-term taxpayer risks.  CLICK HERE  to read the letter from Chairs Rodgers and Griffith and Health Subcommittee Chair Brett Guthrie (R-KY) to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra requesting information related to:  The IRA’s Implementation Fund designed to carry out the law’s drug pricing provisions  The Provider Relief Fund has had $178 billion appropriated into it  Vaccine Education Funding, which includes more than a billion dollars  Funding appropriated COVID-19 Vaccines, Therapeutics, Testing, and Supplies, which the Biden administration rerouted billions to other programs—like housing illegal immigrants at the border—before asking Congress for additional resources  CLICK HERE   to read the letter from Chairs Rodgers and Griffith and Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Chair Bob Latta (R-OH) to FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel requesting information related to:  $98 million to implement the Broadband DATA Act, as well as the status of the broadband map development   $450 million for the COVID-19 telehealth program $3.2 billion for the Emergency Broadband Benefit   $7.17 billion for the Emergency Connectivity Fund program  $14.2 billion for the Affordable Broadband Benefit  CLICK HERE   to read the letter from Chairs Rodgers, Griffith and Latta to NTIA Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information Alan Davidson requesting information related to: $300 million for the Broadband Infrastructure Program  $3 billion for tribal broadband deployment  $285 million for the Connecting Minority Communities Program $42.45 billion for the Broadband, Equity, Accessibility, and Deployment (BEAD) Program $2.75 billion for digital equity grants $1 billion for middle mile infrastructure