• CompTIA DC Fly-In

  • The KC Tech Council traveled to Washington, D.C. on February 13th for the annual CompTIA DC Fly-In with six representatives from member companies including Black & Veatch, Cerner and DataBank. These representatives, along with the KC Tech Council formed a Kansas City delegacy to advocate for advancing apprenticeship opportunities through the CHANCE in Tech Act, an initiative supported by CompTIA that includes Bill HR 3174.

    The conference began Wednesday with a series of panels that featured experts on immigration, 5G, tech policy and Blockchain. Panelists explored everything from the impact of immigration on the tech workforce to roadblocks in increasing internet accessibility across the US.

    Before heading to Capitol Hill on Thursday afternoon, FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly, FCC Chair Ajit Pai and other tech experts presented on current issues that affirm the need for advocacy. From there, Kansas City Delegates traveled to Capitol Hill and met with eight lawmakers and staff, including Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II and Sen. Jerry Moran.

    During these meetings, members spoke on how the CHANCE in Tech Act would add value to their businesses and the tech industry in Kansas City.

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  • What is the CHANCE in Tech Act?

    The CHANCE in Tech Act is an initiative promoted by CompTIA that focuses on increasing the amount of internships accessible to workers from all backgrounds.

    It will achieve this by providing funding and other resources to intermediaries such as community colleges and workforce development organizations to help integrate apprenticeship opportunities into tech companies.

    The specific legislation included in this initiative is bill HR 3174, sponsored by Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts. 


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  • KCTC member Chris Brown of Venture Legal asks FCC Chair Ajit Pai a question after his presentation on Wednesday, February 14.

    Q: Now that the open internet rules have been repealed, let’s say next year we discover that ISP is throttling traffic or discriminating, who and how will we prevent that in the future?

    A: As a result of our decision, we require transparency, so the internet service provider would have to disclose to the public and to us exactly what internet practices they were engaged in, if they didn’t to that, that would be a violation of our rules. Additionally, the Federal Trade Commission would be empowered to take action against any behavior that they deem competitive or in parlance of the Federal Trade Commission Act as an unfair or deceptive trade practice. So, both with respect to before the fact with our transparency rule and after the fact, enforcement if necessary through the FTC, the federal government would be able to take action. That’s in addition to whatever authority states might have.


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  • KCTC member Annie Brock of DataBank, pictured above hearing from Rep. Emanuel Cleaver's staff, asked a panel of Blockchain experts a question on Tuesday afternoon about the future of Blockchain technology.

    Q: I was involved with Bitcoin early in 2013, and grew to understand more about Blockchain technology. My question falls along the lines of regulations, since we’re in DC. I just want to know what the future holds as far as any sort of regulations for the technology, and what are you all hearing about that?

    A: (Summary) Anti-money laundering rules have already been in process for about four years. Now that the technology is evolving to offer more sophisticated financial products and virtual currencies have been determined to be a commodity, the CFTC is beginning to get involved. Now, we are working to synthesize all these regulatory systems to encompass all components of Blockchain technology. The FCC is also beginning to get involved to combat fraud and security violations.

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  • KCTC President Ryan Weber, pictured above shaking hands with Sen. Jerry Moran, also posed a question for Pai on Wednesday.

    Q: Many of these municipalities are interested in becoming telecommunications companies, and some states are starting to not allow that. Does the FCC have any philosophies on some of these cities or municipalities becoming their own provider of the internet?

    A: It’s been litigated for a while, and my position on this has always been pretty simple: it’s up to the voters of the state to decide how to structure their laws, and if a state law permits a municipality to make that decision, then it’s up to the voters of that state or municipality to figure it out. My position from the FCC perspective is that we should be dictating what the content of that state law is.

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