Telecom Alert: 911 Strike Force Appointees; Auction 110 Certification; NTIA Grants to Expand Broadband Access; House Bill Would End USF ETC Requirement; Fines for Misuse of Radiolocation Spectrum [Vol. XVIII, Issue 21]
911 Strike Force Appointees
The FCC issued a Public Notice last week announcing the appointment of 17 members to the Commission’s newly created 911 Strike Force (Vol. XVIII, Issue 8). The Strike Force, which was previously known as the “Ending 9-1-1 Fee Diversion Now Strike Force,” was established pursuant to the Don’t Break Up the T-Band Act of 2020 to study how the federal government can end diversion of 911 fees and charges by states and taxing jurisdictions. The first public meeting will take place on June 3, 2021, and the 911 Strike Force must publish its findings by September 23, 2021. For more information, please contact Wes Wright (email@example.com; 202.434.4239).
3.45-3.55 GHz Band Auction Certification
The FCC released a Public Notice last week adopting a certification that will be required of each applicant to participate in the upcoming auction of flexible-use licenses in the 3.45-2.55 GHz Band (Auction 110) (Vol. XVIII, Issue 12). Specifically, each applicant will be required to certify in its short-form application that it has read the public notice describing the procedures for the auction and that it has familiarized itself both with the auction procedures and with the requirements for obtaining a license and operating facilities in the band. The certification is aimed at promoting successful participation in the auction and minimize the risk of default. For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (firstname.lastname@example.org; 202.434.4178).
NTIA Grants to Expand Broadband Access
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (“NTIA”) announced the availability of $288 million in grant funding for the deployment of broadband infrastructure. Grants will be awarded to partnerships between a state, or political subdivisions of a state, and providers of fixed broadband service. In the priority order as defined by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, NTIA will accept applications for projects that are designed to: (1) provide broadband service to the greatest number of households in an eligible service area; (2) provide broadband service to rural areas; (3) be most cost-effective in providing broadband service; or (4) provide broadband service with a download speed of at least 100 Mbps and an upload speed of at least 20 Mbps. For more information, please contact Jim Baller (email@example.com; 202.434.4175), Casey Lide (firstname.lastname@example.org; 202.434.4186) or Sean Stokes (email@example.com; 202.434.4193).
House Bill Would End USF ETC Requirement
Last week, Rep. G. K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) introduced the Expanding Opportunities for Broadband Deployment Act to the House, which aims at increasing access to and speed the deployment of broadband to households and small businesses without access to such service. The bill would expand potential providers of subsidized broadband service by eliminating the statutory requirement that only eligible telecommunications carriers (“ETCs”) can receive high-cost Universal Service Fund support. For more information, please contact Jim Baller (firstname.lastname@example.org; 202.434.4175) or Doug Jarrett (email@example.com; 202.434.4180).
Companies Fined for Misuse of Radiolocation Spectrum
The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau issued Forfeiture Orders against Air-Tel, LLC (“Air-Tel”) and IOU Acquisitions, Inc. (“IOU”) last week for providing unlicensed wireless broadband-based GPS under the guise of providing radar-based location services and altering equipment to provide these services. Air-Tel and IOU are authorized to provide radiolocation services in the 3300-3650 MHz band, which are generally radar-based. Instead, the companies offered technologically distinct wireless broadband-based GPS services which rely on satellite communications and wireless broadband. Air-Tel and IOU were issued fines of $327,290 and $207,290, respectively. For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (firstname.lastname@example.org; 202.434.4178).