Newark Mayor Ras Baraka. Photo: Dominick Reuter/AFP/Getty Images)

The mayor of Newark, NJ, is taking a stand against the recent FCC decision to overturn net neutrality rules. Ras Baraka will announce today that the city's high-speed fiber optic network will continue to prohibit blocking, throttling and fast lanes on its network even after the FCC rules go away. The city's contracts with third parties that connect its network will also include net neutrality clauses.

Why it matters: It's not the first time local officials have pledged to abide by regulations that the Trump administration has rolled back (remember the Paris Agreement on climate change?). On the net neutrality issue, Newark appears to be the first municipality to take a stand.

What to expect: The tech crowd will cheer Newark's voluntary commitment to net neutrality. But don't expect a slew of cities to follow suit. Most cities don't operate their own municipal broadband network, which is an extremely expensive undertaking. Their businesses and residents have to get broadband service through private companies like Comcast, Verizon or smaller local providers.

Between the lines: Newark says its fiber network (as well as a lot of dark fiber coursing beneath the city) has helped attract companies that need access to its high-speed network. Newark is also gunning to be chosen to host Amazon's second headquarters, for which high-speed broadband is a requirement. So the city is appealing to the pro-net-neutralty leanings of the biggest tech companies as a differentiator. The city plans to expand Newark Fiber next year.

Go deeper

57 mins ago - Technology

Congress' next moves to rein in Big Tech

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

After grilling the CEOs of Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple last week, members of Congress are grappling with whether to accuse any of the firms of illegal anticompetitive behavior, to propose updating federal antitrust laws — or both.

The big picture: Congress is just one arm of government making the case against these companies. Google is expected to be the first of the firms to face possible antitrust litigation from the Justice Department before summer's end, but all four face a full-court press of investigations by DOJ, the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general.

Fauci: Coronavirus task force to examine aerosolized spread


A sneeze. Photo: Maartje van Caspel/Getty Images

The White House coronavirus task force will examine more closely just how much SARS-CoV-2 might be transmitted via aerosols, and not just from droplets, NIAID director Anthony Fauci said Wednesday at an online forum sponsored by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Why it matters: The longer the coronavirus can remain infectious in the air, the more likely it can infect people, particularly indoors — leading to the possible need to alter air filtration and circulation within buildings.

The next wave to hit Main Street

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Call it the great retail wash. A wave of defaults, bankruptcies and evictions expected in cities across the U.S. is poised to remake the retail landscape across the country, but there may be some upside for consumers and small businesses.

Why it matters: Rather than an overnight descent into a collection of urban wastelands full of Starbucks, Amazon fulfillment centers, Chase bank branches and nothing else, the coronavirus pandemic and resulting retail apocalypse may just mean that, in major U.S. cities, less is more.