May 19, 2021 Weekly Wireless Wrap-Up

Welcome back to TLP’s Weekly Wireless Wrap-Up, your weekly update on the wireless telecommunications regulatory landscape, important wireless decisions, and more!  This week, the FCC released its May Open Meeting Agenda and Congress held several hearings on broadband related issues.  Here’s your wrap up:

FCC:

  • Late last Tuesday, the Wireless Communications Bureau (“WCB”) released a Public Notice seeking comment on the impact the global semiconductor shortage has had on the United States’ communications industry. Specifically, WCB seeks comment on the impact of the shortage on the supply chain and current FCC initiatives and priorities, and what steps the FCC can take to ensure a resilient supply chain, among other things.  For more information, check out our post here.
  • On Thursday, the FCC released its May Open Meeting Agenda. The Open Meeting will be held on Thursday, May 20, 2021 (tomorrow) at 10:30 AM.  Of particular note for wireless providers, the Commission will be considering a Report and Order shortening the STIR/SHAKEN exemption for certain small service providers.  For more information on the agenda and how to view the Open Meeting, check out our post here.
  • Also on Thursday, the FCC announced that an additional forty spectrum licenses in the 2.5 GHz band had been granted through the Rural Tribal Priority Window. The licenses were primarily granted to Tribal nations in Alaska.  For more information, and a complete list of licenses granted, see our post here.
  • On Monday, the FCC released an order extending the reply comment deadline for the Public Notice seeking comment on the format and procedures for Auction 108 (the 2.5 GHz Band Auction). Reply comments are now due on or before May 27, 2021.  For more information, see the order extending the reply deadline here.  For more information on the format and procedures proposed in the Public Notice, check out our post here.
  • On Tuesday, the Consumer and Governmental Affairs, Media, and Wireless Telecommunications Bureaus released a Public Notice extending the comment deadlines in the April 7, 2021 Public Notice seeking an update on the FCC’s fulfillment of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (“CVAA”). The deadlines have been extended by ten days.  For more information, see our post here.

Congress

  • On Tuesday, the House Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government held a hearing on “The Need for Universal Broadband: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic.” The discussion was focused on ways to ensure all Americans have the connectivity to fully participate in today’s economy and society.  Witnesses included Joi Chaney of the National Urban League, Matt Dunne of the Center on Rural Innovation, Max Stier on the Partnership for Public Service, and Lang Zimmerman of Yelcot Communications.  For more information and to view the hearing, check out the House Committee on Appropriations’ site here.
  • Also on Tuesday, the Senate Committee on Finance held a hearing on “Funding and Financing Options to Bolster American Infrastructure,” which included discussions on broadband infrastructure and improving the United States’ communications infrastructure in general. Witnesses included Shirley Bloomfield, the Chief Executive Officer of NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association, and Heather Buch, Subcommittee Chair of the transportation Steering Committee of the National Association of Counties.  For more information and to view the hearing, check out the Committee’s website here.
  • Also on Tuesday, the Senate Subcommittee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a hearing on “Protecting Kids Online: Internet Privacy and Manipulative Marketing.” The hearing discussed concerns about children’s online safety, privacy, and wellbeing, especially through their use of apps, such as TikTok, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram, which primarily target younger audiences.  Witnesses included Angela Campbell, Professor Emeritus at Georgetown Law, Serge Egelman, Research Director at Usable Security and Privacy, International Computer Science Institute at UC Berkeley, and Beeban Kidron, founder of 5Rights. For more information and to view the hearing, see the subcommittee’s website here.

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