Date: Aug 31, 2015
Price Cap Carriers Accept $1.5 Billion in CAF II Support
Last week, the FCC announced that ten price cap carriers accepted state-wide offers totaling $1.5 billion in annual support under the Connect America Fund Phase II (CAF II) program. The CAF II recipients must extend broadband that meets the FCC’s 10 Mbps downstream/ 1 Mbps upstream speed metric to “unserved” rural areas identified by the FCC. CenturyLink accepted over $500 million in support; AT&T and Verizon accepted $427 million and $48 million respectively. Verizon declined almost $100 million in annual support. Price cap carriers accepting CAF II state-wide offers must complete 40% of their rural broadband buildouts by the end of 2017, 60% by the end of 2018, and 100% by the end of 2020. Approximately $175 million in annual support that the price cap carriers declined will be made available under reverse auction procedures to support broadband service to locations in the declined state-wide offers and in certain other rural areas. For more information on CAF II support, please contact Doug Jarrett (Jarrett@khlaw.com; 202.434.4180).
Last week the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau announced its plan to refine the interference complaint intake and case management systems. In an effort to better manage complaints – particularly those that require immediate attention – the Enforcement Bureau proposes to create a web portal to receive both public safety and industry interference complaints, confirm receipt of complaints, track the progress of complaints, and immediately escalate complaints to the proper field office. It is unclear when this web portal will be created. For additional information, please contact Greg Kunkle (email@example.com; 202.434.4178).
Radiofrequency Comment Deadlines Extended
Also last week, the FCC adopted an Order extending the comment and reply comment deadlines for the Radiofrequency (RF) equipment authorization Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) released in July 2015. Under the NPRM, the FCC proposes to make a number of changes, such as combining the two RF equipment approval programs and eliminating the requirement that device importers file Form 740. Comments are due October 9, 2015 and reply comments are due November 9, 2015. For additional information or assistance in preparing comments in this proceeding, please contact Greg Kunkle (firstname.lastname@example.org; 202.434.4178).
Congressional Support for NG911
At the recent APCO Conference in Washington, D.C., FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced that he plans to seek Congressional help in facilitating the deployment of next-generation 911 networks. The Chairman suggested that Congress establish a national map database to ensure that every public-safety answering point (PSAP) has access to the latest and most accurate maps. He also said that Congress could direct the FCC to assist states in developing effective audit tools to ensure 911 funds are collected and distributed in an appropriate manner. The Chairman also recommended Congress authorize additional funding to support the PSAP transition to NG911 technology. For additional information, please contact Wes Wright (email@example.com; 202.434.4239).
FirstNet Industry Day
On August 27, FirstNet held its second Industry Day to provide information to the public safety entities and the general public on the FirstNet Developments and the proposed Request for Proposal for the Nationwide Public Safety Network (NPSBN). A PowerPoint presentation pertaining to the Industry Day is available here. For additional information, please contact Al Catalano (firstname.lastname@example.org; 202.434.4207).
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