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Telecom Alert: Pole Attachment Pleading Cycle; 988 Hotline Bill Introduced; Combatting Digital Discrimination NOI; USF Contribution Factor [Vol. XIX, Issue 12]

Pole Attachment Rulemaking Pleading Cycle

Last week, the FCC adopted a Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking to establish standards on pole attachment sharing costs (Vol. XIX, Issue 9).  The Commission seeks comment on whether it should adopt guidelines for when and how utilities should be required to pay a proportional share of the total pole replacement costs, and the scope of refund liability to pole owners. Comments and reply comments are due 60 and 90 days after publication in the Federal Register, respectively.  For more information, please contact Tom Magee (; 202.434.4128) or Tim Doughty (; 202.434.4271).

Bill to Support 988 Suicide Hotline

Last week, Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA) introduced a bill supporting the 988 national suicide prevention hotline (Vol. XVIII, Issue 47). The bill would authorize $441 million to fund technology, training, and operations for more than 250 regional and local lifeline call centers, $240 million in federal support for the 988 hotline each of the next five fiscal years, and $100 million for a new pilot program to create or enhance existing mobile crisis response teams in communities.  For more information, please contact Wes Wright (; 202.434.4239).

Combatting Digital Discrimination NOI

The FCC released a Notice of Inquiry last week seeking comment on ways to implement provisions in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act requiring the Commission to combat digital discrimination and promote equal access to broadband.  Specifically, the Commission seeks input on what rules it should adopt to facilitate equal access and what data it should rely on.  It also asks for comment on how to revise its public complaint process to accept complaints related to digital discrimination.  For more information, please contact Casey Lide (; 202.434.4186).

23.8% USF Contribution Factor

The FCC’s Office of Managing Director announced that the proposed universal service contribution factor for the second quarter of 2022 will be 23.8%, absent action from the Commission.  The 23.8% assessment on end-user interstate and international telecom service revenues is projected to meet the 2nd quarter’s revenue requirement of $1.664 billion for the four original universal service programs (E-Rate, rural health care, high-cost, and Lifeline) and the Connected Care Pilot Program.  For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (; 202.434.4178) or Casey Lide (; 202.434.4186).