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Telecom Alert: Additional Subsidy for High-Cost Areas; Spectrum Data Usage Data Inquiry; Section 214 Pleading Cycle; Emergency Alert Test [Vol. XX, Issue 32]

Additional Subsidy for High-Cost Areas

Last week, the FCC adopted a Sixth Report and Order that will provide up to $75 a month to eligible households for broadband services.  Under the Affordable Connectivity Program (“ACP”), providers may offer the additional subsidy if they show that the standard $30 monthly benefit would cause them to experience particularized economic hardship such that they would be unable to maintain part or all of their broadband network in a high-cost area.  The Commission hopes to incentivize providers to participate in the ACP or remain in the ACP in rural and insular areas.  For more information, please contact Sean Stokes (; 202.434.4344).  

FCC Launches Spectrum Usage Data Inquiry

The FCC adopted a Notice of Inquiry at its August Open Meeting last week launching a proceeding designed to advance its understanding of non-federal spectrum usage.  Specifically, the NOI will explore how new data sources, methods, and technologies can promote effective spectrum management and identify new opportunities for innovation in a cost-effective and scalable manner.  The Commission seeks comment on best practices, operational considerations, and technical parameters that might correspond to different aspects of spectrum usage across different radio services.  For more information, please contact Wes Wright (; 202.434.4239).  

Section 214 Renewal Pleading Cycle

Last week, the FCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on requiring international Section 214 authorization holders to renew their authorizations every ten years was published in the Federal Register.  Under current rules, there is no framework that requires periodic review of existing Section 214 authorizations or international service providers.  The Commission proposes a ten-year renewal requirement for all international Section 214 holders or, in the alternative, a periodic review process.  Comments and reply comments are due by August 31 and October 2, respectively.  For more information, please contact Tim Doughty (; 202.434.4271).  

Emergency Alert Test Planned for October

The FCC issued a Public Notice last week announcing that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) will conduct nationwide tests of the Emergency Alert System (“EAS”) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (“WEA”) on October 4, 2023.  The test will consist of two portions, testing WEA and EAS capabilities, and begin at approximately 2:20 p.m. EST.  The WEA portion of the test will be directed to all consumer cell phones and the EAS portion of the test will be sent to radios and televisions.  If conditions on that date require rescheduling, the tests will be conducted on October 11, 2023.  For more information, please contact Wes Wright (; 202.434.4239).  

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