June 9, 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, NTIA initiated its nearly $1 Billion Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program, offering grants to eligible entities to expand broadband access on Tribal lands, and the FCC and NTIA released a joint Public Notice on coordination procedures following Auction 110.  Here’s your wrap up:

FCC:

  • Last Tuesday, June 1, 2021, the Wireline Competition Bureau (“WCB”) released a Public Notice seeking to refresh the record on the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates’ June 23, 2016 Petition for Reconsideration of the FCC’s April 27, 2016 Third Report and Order in the Lifeline and Link Up Reform and Modernization proceeding. The Notice seeks comment on the Petition, including the FCC’s prior decision to phase down support of voice-only Lifeline services.  For more information, see our post here.
  • Last Wednesday, June 2, 2021, the FCC and NTIA released a joint Public Notice providing updated guidance for coordination procedures between government incumbents and new licensees in the 3.45-3.55 GHz band following Auction 110, anticipated to begin later this year. The Notice gives updated information on the Cooperative Planning Areas and Periodic Use Areas where government incumbents will continue to operate in the band and provides specific guidance for informal and formal coordination procedures between government incumbents and new licensees in those regions.  For more information, check out our post here.
  • Also last Wednesday, Acting Chairwoman Rosenworcel commented on Commissioner Carr’s May 24, 2021 Newsweek Op Ed, stating that she found Commissioner Carr’s proposal to make big tech pay into the USF “intriguing” and that the FCC “should be open to new ideas.” For more information, see Communications Daily’s article here.
  • Last Thursday, June 4, 2021, the FCC announced in the Federal Register that OMB had approved certain rules adopted in the Second Report and Order in the Call Authentication Trust Anchor matter. Sections 64.6303(b) and 64.6305(b) and (c) are now effective.  For additional information, see our post here.
  • Also last Thursday, the FCC announced that it reached settlements with three nationwide wireless carriers regarding their compliance obligations to deploy vertical location technology in the top 25 cellular markets. T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T all entered into consent decrees with the FCC, which require them to provide available z-axis location information on a nationwide basis within 7 days of the order, implement a compliance plan, and pay a $100,000 settlement.  For additional information, see our post here.

NTIA:

  • Last Thursday, June 3, 2021, NTIA released a Notice of Funding Opportunity setting forth the rules and procedures for the $980 Million Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program. The program will award grants to eligible Tribal governments and entities for the purpose of expanding broadband access on Tribal lands and funding programs that promote the use of broadband to access remote learning, telework, or telehealth resources.  For more information, see our post here.

Congress:

  • Yesterday, June 8, 2021, The House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce held a hearing entitled “The Fiscal Year 2022 Department of Commerce Budget.” Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo testified.  Discussions included NTIA’s 2022 budget, which is expected to increase by $44 Million. The increased budget includes $39 million towards advanced communications research to support deployment of broadband and 5G technologies and $10 million to broadband programs, including NTIA’s broadband grant programs.  For more information and to view the hearing, check out the Committee’s webpage.

Of note to some telecommunications providers, the Federal Communications Bar Association will be hosting a series of panels on Online Platform Regulation starting today.  For more information, see our post here.

For more information or assistance on telecommunications matters, please contact us.

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