Telecom Alert: Broadband Data Collection Deadline Extended; $20 Million CPNI Penalty; Increased Broadband Standards Proposed; ECF Funding [Vol. XX, Issue 31]
Broadband Data Collection Deadline Extended
Last week, the FCC issued a Public Notice extending the deadline for submission of Broadband Data Collection (“BDC”) data as of June 30, 2023 (Vol. XX, Issue 27). A processing error occurred during the production of the June 2023 Fabric that resulted in broadband serviceable locations not being included in the Fabric that was originally sent to license holders. Filers who have already uploaded or submitted availability data will need to reupload or resubmit their data based on the updated Fabric release. All BDC data as of June 30, 2023, are now due by September 15, 2023. For more information, please contact Sean Stokes (email@example.com; 202.434.4193) or Kathleen Slattery Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org; 202.434.4244).
$20 Million Fine Proposed for CPNI Violations
The FCC’s Privacy and Data Protection Task Force issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture against Q Link Wireless LLC (“Q Link”) and Hello Mobile Telecom LLC (“Hello Mobile”) last week for failing to protect the privacy and security of subscribers’ personal data. Under the FCC’s rules, carriers must authenticate customers without the use of readily available biographical or account information, such as social security numbers, before granting them access to customer proprietary network information (“CPNI”). Q Link and Hello Mobile were both found to have relied upon authentication practices that placed customer information at risk of unauthorized access and disclosure. Accordingly, the Enforcement Bureau has proposed a $20,000,000 penalty against both companies (which have common ownership). For more information, please contact Tracy Marshall (email@example.com; 202.434.4234) or Sean Stokes (firstname.lastname@example.org; 202.434.4344).
Increased Broadband Standards Proposed
Last week, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel circulated an updated Notice of Inquiry (“NOI”) to the Commissioners that proposes increasing the agency’s definition of broadband from 25/3 Mbps to 100/20 Mbps. The NOI kicks off the Commission’s required annual evaluation of the state of broadband across the county and proposes considering affordability, adoption, availability, and equitable access when determining whether broadband is being deployed in a reasonable and timely fashion. It also sets a long-term national goal of 1 Gbps/500 Mbps. For more information, please contact Jim Baller (email@example.com; 202.434.4175).
The FCC announced that it is committing nearly $55 million in a new founding round through the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program (the “Program”). The commitment will support applications from the third application window and will support approximately 115,000 students in states including Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Utah. To date, the Program has provided support to roughly 11,050 schools, 1,050 libraries, and 120 consortia. For more information, please contact Casey Lide (firstname.lastname@example.org; 202.434.4186).
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