July 28, 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!  Notably, this week, the FCC provided further guidance on Auction 110’s prohibited communications rules,  announced a webinar on the Broadband DATA Act’s mobile challenge, verification, and crowd sourcing processes, and announced funding for several RDOF winners.  Here’s your wrap-up:

FCC:

  • Last Tuesday, July 20, 2021, the Office of Economics and Analytics and the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau released a Public Notice providing additional guidance on the prohibited communications rule with respect to Auction 110 to help applicants navigate discussions with NTIA and DoD. The quiet period for Auction 110 began on July 21, 2021 at 6:00 PM Eastern Time.  For more information, see our post here.
  • Also last Tuesday, the FCC announced that for the first time ever, the FCC would be entering into partnerships with 11 federal, state, and local agencies to assess the upcoming test of the Wireless Emergency Alert system on August 11. The FCC also sent letters to several nationwide wireless providers asking that they provide the FCC with information on their performance during the upcoming test.  For more information, see the FCC’s News Release here.
  • Last Thursday, July 22, 2021, the FCC released a Public Notice announcing that the Broadband Data Task Force will hold a webinar on Thursday, August 12, 2021 beginning at 2:00 PM to discuss the technical requirements for the mobile challenge, verification, and crowd sourcing process required under the Broadband DATA Act. For more information, including how to register, see our post here. 
  • Last Friday, July 23, 2021, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and Office of Economics and Analytics released a Memorandum Opinion and Order granting T-Mobile and Verizon’s Auction 107 license applications and denying DISH’s Petitions to Deny, which alleged that the winning bidders would exceed the FCC’s spectrum aggregation limits. In Auction 107, T-Mobile won 147 licenses across 72 partial economic areas and Verizon won 3,511 licenses across all 406 PEAs.  WTB/OEA concluded granting of these licenses would not violate the FCC’s spectrum aggregation limits.  For more information, see our post here. 
  • Also on Friday, the FCC released a Public Notice announcing that the Fiscal Year 2021 Interstate Telecommunications Service Providers (“ITSP”) and Commercial Mobile Radio Services (“CMRS”) data is available for viewing on Fee Filer. The Notice encourages providers to log into Fee Filer as soon as possible to ensure the information is correct and submit any necessary updates.  For more information, see our post here.
  • On Monday, July 26, 2021, the FCC released a Public Notice announcing that it was authorizing support to 48 broadband providers for their 1,460 winning bids in the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Auction, which amounts to over $311 million in broadband funding across 36 states. In addition, the FCC sent letters to 197 winning bidders to request that the bidders withdraw their funding requests from areas that already have sufficient service and were inappropriately included in the auction.  For more information, see the FCC’s News Release here and a copy of the Public Notice here.

 Congress:

  • Last Tuesday, July 20, 2021, the House Science Committee held a hearing titled “Spectrum Needs for Observations in Earth and Space Sciences” to address concerns about the availability of spectrum for critical earth and space science observations. Witnesses included Andrew Von Ah, Director of Physical Infrastructure Issues at GAO, David Lubar, Senior Project leader of the Civil Systems Group at the Aerospace Corporation, Jordan Gerth, Honorary Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Maddison’s Space Science and Engineering Center, Bill Mahoney, Associate Director and Director of the Research Applications Laboratory at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and Jennifer Manner, Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at EchoStar/Hughes Network Systems.  Discussions focused on ways to ensure important scientific endeavors have access to spectrum, while also ensuring that providers have sufficient access to spectrum to encourage additional 5G development.  For more information and to view the hearing, see the Committee’s website here.

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

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