Telecom Alert: House Passes Infrastructure Bill; Text-to-988 Report and Order; MTE Reply Comment Deadline Extended; 70/80/90 GHz Band Pleading Cycle [Vol. XVIII, Issue 45]
House Passes Infrastructure Bill
On Friday, the House passed the bipartisan infrastructure bill that includes $65 billion to support broadband deployment and adoption. The bill includes approximately $42.5 billion for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (“NTIA”) to implement the Broadband Equity, Access, and Development Program (“BEAD”), which would provide grants to States to fund broadband infrastructure, mapping, and adoption projects. It also includes $14.2 billion for the Affordable Connectivity Program, which extends and modifies the existing Emergency Broadband Benefit Program and provides a $30/month broadband subsidy for low-income consumers. President Biden has been urging passage of the bill and is expected to sign it into law. For more information, please follow updates on our blog or contact Casey Lide (firstname.lastname@example.org; 202.434.4186).
Text-to-988 Report and Order
At its Open Meeting on November 11, the FCC will consider a Second Report and Order that would adopt several rules to expand access to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (the “Lifeline”) (Vol. XVIII, Issue 17). In April, the FCC issued a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on rules that would require covered text providers to route text messages sent to 988 to the Lifeline. In the Second Report and Order, the Commission proposes adopting such a requirement and establishing a deadline of July 16, 2022 for providers to implement the service. For more information, please contact Wes Wright (email@example.com; 202.434.4239).
MTE NPRM Reply Comment Deadline Extended
Last week, the Wireline Competition Bureau released an Order extending the deadline for filing reply comments to its Public Notice seeking to refresh the record on a 2019 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on improving broadband access to multiple tenant environments (“MTEs”) (Vol. XVIII, Issue 39). NCTA filed a Request for Extension of Time on October 27, seeking a 30-day extension of the reply comment deadline due to the volume and complexity of the record. The Bureau found good cause for a 15-day extension of the deadline, meaning reply comments are now due by November 19, 2021. For more information, please contact Sean Stokes (firstname.lastname@example.org; 202.434.4193) or Casey Lide (email@example.com; 202.434.4186).
70/80/90 GHz Band NPRM Pleading Cycle
The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau’s Public Notice seeking to supplement the record in the 70/80/90 GHz bands proceeding was published in the Federal Register last week (Vol. XVIII, Issue 41). The Bureau is soliciting additional comments to address the potential for use of the bands to provide broadband Internet access to consumers and communities that may otherwise lack connectivity. Comments and reply comments are due by December 2, 2021, and January 3, 2022, respectively. For more information, please contact Wes Wright (firstname.lastname@example.org; 202.434.4239).