Skip to main content

Telecom Alert: FCC Raises Broadband Speed Benchmark; New Emergency Alert Code Proposed; Cybersecurity Labeling Program; Supplemental Coverage from Space Model Adopted [Vol. XXI, Issue 12]

FCC Raises Broadband Speed Benchmark

The FCC raised the Commission’s benchmark for high-speed fixed broadband to download speeds of 100 megabits per second and upload speeds of 20 megabits per second (“100/20 Mbps”). The most recent benchmark had been 25/3 Mbps, which was set in 2015. The new benchmark now reflects the standards being used in multiple Universal Service Fund programs and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s Broadband Equity Access and Deployment program. The FCC also set a long-term goal of 1 gigabit per second download speeds and 500 Mbps upload speeds. For more information, please contact Jim Baller (; 202.434.4175), Sean Stokes (; 202.434.4193), or Casey Lide (; 202.434.4186).

New Emergency Alert Code Proposed

Last week, the FCC proposed a new emergency alert code for Missing and Endangered Persons called the Ashanti Alert. Event codes, such as AMBER Alerts, are delivered over television and radio through the Emergency Alert System (“EAS”). The FCC is seeking comment on creating the new code for missing and endangered persons that do not meet the criteria for an AMBER Alert, which is used for child abductions. The Commission also seeks comment on the missing and endangered persons category being implemented into the Wireless Emergency Alert system. For more information, please contact Wes Wright (; 202.434.4239).

Cybersecurity Labeling Program Adopted

Last week, the FCC voted to create a voluntary cybersecurity labeling program for wireless consumer Internet of Things (“IoT”) devices. Products that meet certain cybersecurity standards will be eligible to place a U.S. Cyber Trust Mark label on their devices, which will put consumers on notice that the device has been tested by an accredited lab for compliance with the standards. The Cyber Trust Mark logo will be accompanied by a QR code that consumers can scan for additional information about the cybersecurity features of the product. For more information, please contact Tracy Marshall (; 202.434.4234).

Supplemental Coverage from Space Model Adopted

The FCC modified the United States Table of Frequency Allocations to allow satellite communications on spectrum previously allocated only to terrestrial services. Bi-directional, secondary mobile-satellite service operations are now authorized in certain spectrum bands where one or more terrestrial licensees hold all licenses on a relevant channel throughout a defined geographic area. These terrestrial licensees will be permitted to lease access to their spectrum rights to participating satellite operators. The supplemental coverage from space (“SCS”) model is the first of its kind in the world and is designed to connect consumers that are not currently covered by terrestrial networks. For more information, please contact Tim Doughty (; 202.414.4271).

To sign up for our weekly alert, please send us an email at and provide us with your name and email.