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Telecom Alert: $220K EBB Forfeiture; 800 MHz Interstitial Channels; Form 477 Deadline; NEPA Checklist Update [Vol. XIX, Issue 27]

$220K EBB Program Forfeiture

On July 1, the FCC released a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture against Kyle Traxler and Cleo Communications (“Cleo”) for violating the federal wire fraud statute and the Commission’s rules. The FCC found that Cleo made misrepresentations to the FCC to gain authorization to participate in the Emergency Broadband Benefit (“EBB”) Program. It then promised consumers they would receive discounted service and devices through EBB, but never delivered service or devices despite accepting payments from the consumers. The FCC proposed a forfeiture of $220,210, the maximum statutory penalty. For more information, please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239).

800 MHz Interstitial Channels Available

Last month, the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau and Wireless Telecommunications Bureau announced the availability of interstitial channels in the 800 MHz band for licensing (Vol. XIX, Issue 24). The Commission will begin accepting applications for 12.5 kHz bandwidth channels on July 7, 2022 and will dismiss without prejudice any pending applications requesting a waiver for early access to the channels. For more information, please contact Tim Doughty (doughty@khlaw.com; 202.434.4271). 

Form 477 Filing Deadline Set

On July 1, the Office of Economics and Analytics announced that Form 477 filings for Local Telephone and Broadband Reporting data collected as of June 30, 2022 will be due on September 1, 2022 for required entities. Accurate and timely Form 477 data submission is legally mandated and entities that fail to submit data will be subject to enforcement. Form 477 data can be submitted here. Additionally, the Broadband Data Collection requires facilities-based providers of fixed and mobile broadband internet access who have one or more end user connections in service on June 30, 2022 to file broadband availability data by September 1, 2022 as well. For more information, please contact Casey Lide (lide@khlaw.com; 202.434.4186), Sean Stokes (stokes@khlaw.com; 202.434.4193), or Kathleen Slattery Thompson (slattery@khlaw.com; 202.434.4244).  

FCC Updates NEPA Checklist

Last week, the FCC announced that it updated its NEPA checklist, a tool applicants may use to identify when a proposed facility may have a significant environmental impact and require an Environmental Assessment.  The checklist provides guidance on the steps an applicant should take to evaluate the applicability of circumstances in which facilities require an Environmental Assessment. The updated checklist also includes a new EA Checklist, which allows applicants to evaluate the sufficiency of their documents prior to submission.  For more information, please contact Tim Doughty (doughty@khlaw.com; 202.434.4271).