Telecom Alert: USF Report to Congress; Lumen ToC Approved; $25M to Expand Broadband in Texas; 900 MHz Applications Granted [Vol. XIX, Issue 34]
USF Report to Congress
Last week, the FCC released a report to Congress on the future of the Universal Service Fund and how to improve its effectiveness in light of the broadband provisions in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (“IIJA”) (Vol. XVIII, Issue 51). The Commission makes several recommendations on how to best utilize IIJA funds, including opening a proceeding to consider reorienting the High-Cost Program and considering continuing Lifeline support for voice-only service. It also recommends Congress give the Commission explicit authority to broaden the base of contributors to the Universal Service Fund. For more information, please contact Jim Baller (firstname.lastname@example.org; 202.434.4175) or Tom Magee (email@example.com; 202.434.4128).
FCC Approves Lumen Technologies Transfer of Control
The Wireline Competition, International, and Wireless Telecommunications bureaus issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order and Declaratory Ruling last week approving Lumen Technologies, Inc.’s (“Lumen”) and Connect Holding, LLC’s (“Connect Holding”) applications to transfer control of domestic and international licenses. The applications involve the sale of Lumen’s incumbent local exchange carrier business in twenty states and is subject to several conditions. Lumen and Connect Holding committed to making $2 billion in private investments for fiber deployment over the next five years and participating in affordable broadband programs such as Lifeline and the Affordable Connectivity Program. For more information, please contact Wes Wright (firstname.lastname@example.org; 202.434.4239).
$25 Million to Expand Broadband Access in Texas
Last week, Bexar County approved $25 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (“ARPA”) to expand broadband internet access across in remote areas of the county. Service providers have until October 6 to respond to a request for proposal to provide plans to build infrastructure in these areas either themselves or to partner with the county or the city of San Antonio. An estimated 5,422 households in the target areas lack broadband access due to insufficient infrastructure. For more information, please contact Jim Baller (email@example.com; 202.434.4128) or Casey Lide (firstname.lastname@example.org; 202.434.4186).
900 MHz Applications Granted
The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau issued a Public Notice last week granting nine 900 MHz broadband segment license applications (Vol. XVIII, Issue 32). The FCC realigned the 900 MHz band in May 2020 to make available six megahertz of low-band spectrum for the development of critical wireless broadband technologies and services, while reserving four megahertz of spectrum for continued narrowband operations. The Commission granted nine applications PDV Spectrum Holding Co. LLC for markets in Kansas and Missouri and has received full anti-windfall payments for the licenses. For more information, please contact Greg Kunkle (email@example.com; 202.434.4178) or Wes Wright (firstname.lastname@example.org; 202.434.4239).