The Washington Post

The Circuit:

T-Mobile, MetroPCS: T-Mobile and MetroPCS have finalized their merger deal, and began trading under the ticker “TMUS” Wednesday after ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange.

The merger puts T-Mobile USA in a better position to expand its 4G LTE network, but the new firm will have to work to integrate the two networks. T-Mobile, a GSM carrier, need to get customers off MetroPCS’s CDMA network and onto its own when they buy new devices to unify its network as quickly as possible.

Tom Wheeler to be named as FCC chair: Telecom industry lobbyist Tom Wheeler will be named to head the Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday, The Washington Post reported, taking over an agency that’s struggling with transition in the telecom industry.

Wheeler has long been considered a front-runner to take over for outgoing FCC chairman Julius Genachowski but had faced some opposition from those worried about his lobbying ties to the industry he will be regulating.

Others say that Wheeler will help the agency with his broad industry experience and technical expertise.

“He can’t be pigeonholed,” Gigi Sohn, president of consumer advocacy group Public Knowledge, said in an interview with The Post. “He’s had a wide variety of experiences and has worked with competitive companies as well as incumbents. I truly believe he will be independent and thoughtful.”

Digital library access: Parents said they are more likely to use advanced digital library services, such as access to e-books, Internet services and classes on how to use technology than said other adults in a recent survey. According to study from the Pew Internet and American Life, 62 percent of parents said, for example, that libraries should offer broader collections of e-books, compared with 49 percent of other adults. Parents also said that they would be interested in online research services, apps that let smartphone users view library services and “tech petting zoo” programs that let parents try out new devices before buying them.

Immigration hearing: The Senate Commerce Committee has scheduled an immigration hearing for next Wednesday, that will focus on the contributions foreign-born workers make to the U.S. technology industry. The committee has not announced witnesses for the hearing, which will examine current immigration policies and the impact they have on economic growth.

CISPA: The White House responded Tuesday to a petition on its “We The People” site opposing the Cybersecurity and Information Sharing Act (CISPA) by giving more background on why the administration has opposed the bill.

U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park and Michael Daniel, the special assistant to the president and cybersecurity coordinator, said in the response that the White House looks to three standards when evaluating bills such as CISPA, which aim to improve communication between the government and private enterprise.

Cybersecurity laws, they said, must limit information sharing to what is “relevant and necessary” for cybersecurity purposes, preserve traditional roles for civilian and intelligence agencies and provide legal clarity for companies that share data with the government without providing “broad immunity” for those who improperly disclose personal information.

Since passing the House, the bill has lost much of its momentum, particularly after a veto threat from the White House.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.



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