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What’s in Store for Technology Policy in 2010?

Melanie WynePlease welcome AG’s newest writer, Melanie Wyne who has been a technology policy advocate for nearly a decade. At NAR Melanie’s policy portfolio includes telecommunications/ internet policy, data privacy and security and intellectual property issues. Prior to joining NAR, Melanie was the Director of public policy for a global technology trade association where she lobbied in Washington and in foreign capitals for the technology industry. She has also been a policy advocate for Bank of America where she handled the Bank’s technology portfolio including data privacy and security issues. Melanie‘s professional background also includes stints as a software startup executive and a commercial litigation attorney. Clearly, she will be writing from a highly experienced point of view about technology changes in this tumultuous times and the political finesse it takes for worthwhile policy to be passed- we are very excited for Melanie to be on board and ask you to welcome her in the comments!

2010For my inaugural post I thought I’d do a brief roundup of what federal policymakers in will be paying attention to in the coming year. Congress gets back to work next week and while health care and the underpants bomber will be on the immediate front burner, a number of tech policy issues are sure to get some play in 2010. Here are a few topics that I’ll dive into in more depth in future posts.

National Broadband Plan

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will release its National Broadband Plan to Congress on February 17. The plan is intended to enable greater access to the internet and to encourage competition and innovation in the broadband marketplace. NAR supports efforts to encourage broadband access and adoption as studies show that communities with broadband availability are more economically viable than those without it.

Network Neutrality

Net Neutrality aims to ensure that internet service providers do not block, degrade or discriminate against online content, services or applications that might compete with them. While most agree that this is a worthy goal, as with all things policy, the devil is in the details. This issue is currently under consideration by the Federal Communications Commission and there is legislation pending in Congress to codify network neutrality rules. Because the business of real estate is increasingly conducted online, NAR supports network neutrality principles as a way to ensure that future innovations in the industry are not impeded.

Privacy & Data Security

Privacy and data security issues are facing more scrutiny on Capitol Hill and with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) than in years past. Two subcommittees of the House Energy & Commerce committee are jointly working on a draft Comprehensive Privacy Bill likely to be introduced early in 2010 that would mandate increase disclosure of data collection and use practices. In addition the Federal Trade Commission is engaged in a comprehensive review of the privacy regulations and is likely to issue new regulations in this area this year.

Mobile Phone Issues

A number of issues related to mobile phone services have cropped up recently with both Congress and the FCC looking into early termination fees for mobile phone contracts as well as handset exclusivity arrangements that restrict consumers from using any device on any network. The Senate has introduced a bill to put limits on early termination fees and the FCC has begun an inquiry on the matter.

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These are just a few of the issues that will be considered in Washington this year. I look forward to discussing these and other tech policy issues with the AG community. Please weigh in with comments, especially helpful for me are examples of how these policy issues affect real estate professionals in their business operations. I’ll share those stories with policymakers and work to get them to do the right thing for the real estate industry.

Written By

Melanie is the Senior Technology Policy Representative at the National Association of Realtors. That means she lobbies Congress and Federal Agencies on technology policy issues of importance to the real estate industry. In her pre-NAR life Melanie has been a practicing attorney and a software start-up executive. Like any native Californian, Melanie loves good wine and bountiful farmers markets.

25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. Houstonblogger

    January 5, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    Looking forward to your posts! Glad you are part of the AG team!

  2. Benn Rosales

    January 5, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    Melanie, posted just an hour and already the number 5 trending topic of the day- I had a feeling and I’m so glad you’re finally here!

  3. Lani Rosales

    January 5, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    Melanie (@nartech), first I want to welcome you aboard, we are SO excited!! Secondly, my interest is piqued by the net neutrality issue- do you think it’s going to get pretty heated in 2010?

  4. Jim Duncan

    January 5, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    Melanie –

    Thanks for the intro to some of what we need to watch for this year. I’m looking forward to what you have to say.

    Between what you write and what I find on opencongress.org and govtrack.us, I’ll be as well-informed as possible.

    Is the draft privacy bill online anywhere?

  5. Melanie Wyne

    January 5, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    Thanks for all the kind welcomes. I am really looking forward to the opportunity to talk with tech savy Realtors on these issues.

    Lani- Net Neutrality is a hot topic this year. The FCC has a rulemaking underway (I’m working on NAR’s comments as we speak.) It is less clear whether Congress will get anything done on this, my guess is that they’ll wait to see what impact the FCC rule will have–I’ll post more on this, promise.

    Jim- Nothing is public yet on the privacy bill. We have some ideas about what the broad outlines will be–again I’ll post more soon.

  6. Janie Coffey

    January 5, 2010 at 9:49 pm

    Welcome Melanie! I look forward to anything you have to say on the advancement of technology and the RE industry. And can’t wait for ATT to loose their lock on the iPhone.

  7. Ken Brand

    January 5, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    Greeting, Salutations and Cheers Melanie. I will enjoy your sharing:-)

  8. Roberta Murphy

    January 5, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    Melanie: Looking forward to you keeping us all on the bloody edge of the envelope!

  9. Greg Cooper

    January 6, 2010 at 9:24 am

    Welcome Melanie! Excited to read your posts and getting more educated on those things that are essential to the future of our industry.

  10. Jerry Giovaniello

    January 6, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    Nice, readable summary of issues that span Congress and regulatory agencies!

  11. Realtor Action Ctr

    January 6, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    Great overview on Agent Genius of legislative technology policy issues NAR is tracking in 2010 https://bit.ly/5Zg7DS

  12. Bruce Bednarski

    January 6, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    @agentgenius What’s in Store for Technology Policy in 2010? https://bit.ly/7zthT7

  13. Thomas A. B. Johnson

    January 6, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    Welcome aboard!

  14. Duke Long

    January 6, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    Welcome,
    FYI I’m kind of “officially” banned from Napa …Cheers
    Looking forward to your posts.

  15. Melanie Wyne

    January 6, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    Duke…

    Can’t wait to hear that story…in my experience, that takes a lot.

  16. Duke Long

    January 6, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    Some of us are professionals!

  17. Kari A Battaglia

    January 7, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    Welcome Melanie – I look forward to reading your posts!

  18. Deborah Bernat

    January 8, 2010 at 3:54 am

    RT @RealtorAction: Great overview on Agent Genius of legislative technology policy issues NAR is tracking in 2010 https://bit.ly/5Zg7DS

  19. Jacquelin Andronico

    January 13, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    RT @RealtorAction: Great overview on Agent Genius of legislative technology policy issues NAR is tracking in 2010 https://bit.ly/5Zg7DS

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