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Lisa Hone/photo courtesy of Lisa Hone

Lisa Hone, a longtime Federal Communications Commission attorney with deep expertise in broadband policy, has joined the National Economic Council team to steer the Biden administration's broadband expansion efforts.

Why it matters: Expanding broadband internet service to all Americans is a top priority for the Biden White House. Hone's primary focus is ensuring that money Congress allocated through the American Rescue Plan Act is spent appropriately.

The big picture: The administration is trying to include broadband in infrastructure legislation, as the pandemic underscored the importance of reliable and affordable broadband connections to Americans' ability to participate in remote school, work, tele-health and e-commerce.

Details: Hone, who officially started her job as as senior adviser for broadband and technology policy last week, is now the White House's point person on broadband deployment efforts happening across the government.

  • She reports to Bharat Ramamurti, the NEC deputy director working on broadband as part of his broader portfolio. She works with Tim Wu and Hannah Garden-Monheit, whose portfolios also include broadband policy.

Background: During her FCC career, Hone led the modernization of the FCC's E-Rate program providing subsidies to connect K-12 schools and libraries to high-speed internet.

  • Now, 99% of K-12 schools and libraries have access to high-speed, fiber-based broadband.
  • That experience that will inform her efforts at the White House, which is also taking an approach that emphasizes fiber over other internet technologies.

At the FCC, Hone held many leadership roles in the bureau responsible for wireline broadband, and was a legal adviser to Chairman Tom Wheeler during the Obama administration.

  • She also spent time on staff at the Senate Commerce Committee. From 2004-2010, she was Assistant Director of the FTC's Division of Marketing Practices.

What they're saying: Hone is well-known on both sides of the aisle and by the broadband industry.

  • Wheeler, now a Brookings Institution visiting fellow, said Hone is a "detail-oriented person who is also a visionary and a leader."
  • "Lisa will be a tremendous asset to the White House on broadband policy," said Patrick Halley, general counsel and SVP of policy and advocacy for U.S. Telecom, the trade group representing broadband providers including Verizon and AT&T. "She knows the substance and the process as well as anyone and is well respected by all."

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
37 mins ago - Technology

Microsoft to buy Activision Blizzard

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Microsoft announced Tuesday it plans to acquire video game giant Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion in cash.

Why it matters: The move comes as Activision Blizzard has faced a wave of accusations of workplace harassment.

1 hour ago - World

Blinken to visit Ukraine as Russia invasion threat looms

Blinken (R) with President Zelensky. Photo: Efrem Lukatsky/Pool via Getty

Secretary of State Antony Tony Blinken will travel to Ukraine on Tuesday as the country faces an ongoing threat of Russian invasion.

Driving the news: Blinken will meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, as well as officials at the U.S. embassy in Kyiv to discuss contingency planning. He'll then travel to Berlin to meet German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and attend a meeting of the "Transatlantic Quad" — France, Germany, the U.K. and U.S.

Updated 1 hour ago - World

At least 3 dead after Tonga volcano eruption and tsunami

A satellite image of the explosive eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano on Saturday. Photo: UNICEF/NOAA

At least three people are confirmed to have died in Tonga following the undersea volcanic eruption that sent tsunami waves toward the island nation and across the Pacific over the weekend, officials said Tuesday.

The big picture: Officials reported major damage along the western coast of the main island of Tongatapu, where the capital, Nuku'alofa, was covered in ash and dust, including on the runway of the airport. Officials in Tonga confirmed three deaths in the country's first official statement since the crisis began.