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Telecom Alert: FCC Adopts Emergency Broadband Benefit Program; Judge Denies Injunction Against CA Net Neutrality Law; 3.45-3.55 GHz R&O; C-Band Winners; Form 477 Fines; KH Webinar [Vol. XVIII, Issue 9]

FCC Adopts Emergency Broadband Benefit Program

Last week, the FCC announced that it adopted a Report and Order establishing the rules to implement the $3.2 Billion Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (Vol. XVIII, Issue 2).  The Program will provide eligible households with discounts of up to $50 a month for broadband service, and up to $75 a month if the household is on Tribal lands.  It also will provide eligible households a one-time discount of up to $100 on a computer or tablet.  Broadband providers must elect to participate and meet one of three eligibility criteria to qualify as EBB Program providers.  The FCC’s decision implements Federal legislation adopted last year to broaden the availability of broadband Internet access service to low-income households as the pandemic has reinforced the importance of residential access to highspeed Internet access service for education and commercial opportunity.  For more information, please contact Doug Jarrett (jarrett@khlaw.com; 202.434.4180).

Judge Denies Preliminary Injunction Against CA Net Neutrality Law

A U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of California denied a motion filed by ISP trade associations last week for preliminary injunction against California’s enforcement of its 2018 net neutrality law.  In denying the motion California may now enforce its 2018 Internet Consumer Protection and Net Neutrality Act, pending a final decision in the case (Vol. XVIII, Issue 7).  The law prohibits ISPs from blocking or throttling internet traffic, as well as from practicing “zero rating.”  For more information, please contact Casey Lide (lide@khlaw.com; 202.434.4186).

3.45-3.55 GHz Band Rules R&O

The FCC released a draft Second Report and Order last week that would make 100 megahertz of spectrum in the 3.45 GHz band available for flexible use wireless services via auction.  The rules that it would adopt are identical or similar to the framework that the Commission adopted for the C-Band auction, including full power and exclusive licensing via partial economic areas (PEAs).  The Order would also require amateur operators to cease operations in the 3.45 GHz band within 90 days of the close of the auction.  For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).

C-Band Winners

The FCC released a Public Notice last week announcing the winning bidders and the final bid totals in the C-Band auction (Auction 107) (Vol. XVIII, Issue 8).  Auction 107, the auction of new flexible-use overlay licenses in the 3.7-3.98 GHz band, raised a total of $81,114,481,921 in net bids and $81,168,677,645 in gross bids, with 21 bidders winning a total of 5,684 licenses.  The three bidders with the largest gross winning bid amounts were Cellco Partnership (Verizon) ($45,454,843,197), AT&T Spectrum Frontiers LLC ($23,406,860,839), and T-Mobile License LLC ($9,336,125,147).  For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (kunkle@khlaw.com; 202.434.4178).

FCC Fines for Untimely Form 477 Filings

Last week, the FCC issued several Notices for Apparent Liability against broadband providers for failing to file FCC Form 477 and for filing it in an untimely manner.  The proposed fines range between $10,000-$20,000.  Facilities-based broadband service providers are required to file the Form 477 twice a year.  These semi-annual filings have been widely criticized for eliciting data on broadband availability that substantially overstates broadband availability in rural areas of the United States.  Form 477, which facilities-based broadband service providers are required to file twice a year, contains important information such as service speed and subscriber information that the Commission uses to assess the state of broadband availability in the U.S.  For more information, please contact Kathleen Slattery-Thompson (slattery@khlaw.com; 202.434.4244).

KH Webinar – Broadband Grant and Subsidy Programs

Join Keller and Heckman Senior Counsel and Partners Doug Jarrett, Casey Lide, and Wes Wright on Thursday March 4, 2021 as they host the second installment of the K&H Telecom Webinar Series: “How to Take Advantage of Recently Enacted Broadband Grant and Subsidy Programs, and What’s on the Horizon.”  The K&H Telecom Series will broadcast live at 2:00 p.m. EST every other Thursday from February 18 to May 13, 2021.  Click here to register.