On Thursday, November 18, 2021, the FCC will host its November Open Meeting. The headlining item this month addresses the ability to text 988, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 3-digit number. The FCC adopted an item that assigned 988 as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and required certain providers to support calling to that number just last year.
In addition, the FCC will consider rules to enhance competition incentives to make spectrum more readily available to small carriers and Tribal Nations. This item seeks comment on steps the FCC could take to promote diversity of spectrum access and availability of rural service, as outlined in the MOBILE NOW Act. In particular, the proposed Enhanced Competition Incentive Program would modify the Commission’s existing partitioning, disaggregation, and leasing incentives. The program also would motivate stakeholders to engage in qualifying transactions that make spectrum available to qualifying entities and in specified areas.
The FCC also is considering a proposal to verify the directional antenna patterns of FM radio stations using computer modeling rather than real-world testing. Computer modeling is a cheaper alternative to the physical modeling and measurements currently required under FCC rules. This proposal would harmonize FM antenna pattern modeling rules with those of AM radio and TV/DTV stations, which are already permitted to use computer modeling.
The meeting will be available for public viewing via live feed on the FCC’s website.