first_img17Jan Rep. VanderWall attends State of the State Categories: VanderWall News,VanderWall Photos State Rep. Curt VanderWall, R-Ludington, is joined by his wife, Diane, to listen to the governor’s State of the State address on the House floor on Tuesday evening.###last_img

first_img15Mar Rep. Hauck bill addressing drone use passes House committee vote The House Committee on Communications and Technology this week advanced a bill proposed by state Rep. Roger Hauck of Union Township as part of a larger legislative package establishing needed state guidelines for drones.Hauck’s bill, House Bill 5495, highlights facilities where use of unmanned aircraft systems will be prohibited under state law. The language refers to knowingly and intentionally interfering with “key facilities” as defined in the Michigan Penal Code, including manufacturing plants, electric or natural gas utilities, correctional sites and telecommunication facilities. Companion legislation sponsored by state Rep. Jim Lower of Cedar Lake offers a sentencing guideline making intentional drone interference with a key facility up to a four-year felony.“Over time, improved education will lead to more educated use,” Hauck said. “My bill allows for a lot of prosecutor discretion because of how new this technology is. Knowledge and intent will be two big things within that discretion. A surveyor who flies a drone over a highway or high voltage power line may not know that he is breaking a law. This proposal improves safety, offers clear deterrents for bad actors, grants leeway for hobbyists and puts rules on the books that can be better recognized and accepted the longer we have this technology.”A 2016 Federal Aviation Administration report estimated 2.5 million drones were being operated nationwide for a variety of purposes, including hobbyist and commercial. That number could grow to a projected 7 million by 2020.A 27-member Unmanned Aircraft Systems Task Force, appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder, began work in April 2017 to develop statewide recommendations on the operation, use and regulation of unmanned aircraft in Michigan. The bills offered largely reflect the task force’s policy recommendations.“There needs to be some definition here where the letter of the law could be clearly identified regarding drone usage,” Hauck said. “There are a lot of hobbyists and recreational drone users and not a lot of education or information on where you can and can’t use them.”The bills within the package, HBs 5494-98, advance to the House floor for further consideration.PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Roger Hauck, of Union Township, provides testimony in support of House Bill 5495 before the House Committee on Communications and Technology on Feb. 13. Hauck’s legislation is part of a bill package aiming to regulate unmanned aircraft at the state level. Categories: Hauck News,Newslast_img read more

first_imgBelgacom increased its TV subscriber base by 236,000 last year, ending December with a total of 1.2 million.The Belgian telco lost some of the rights it held to broadcast Jupiler League football matches but CEO Didier Bellens said this was not longer affecting churn rates. “In 2011 we had to make some strategic choices, for which we maintained our discipline and opted not to take the easy road but to hold on to our end goal, value creation. As such we were vigilant not to overpay for Belgian football broadcasting rights. This now proves to have been the right choice since football-related churn is back to previous levels, when we had all the rights”Revenue from TV services increased 14.3% year-on-year to €208 million.Belgacom said its bundling strategy was paying off. Last year it added 219,000 multi-play subscribers, ending December with a total of 1.09 million ‘Packs’ customers.The telco reported total revenues of €6.4 billion for 2011, down 3% year-on-year.last_img read more