Archives: Telecommunications

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FCC Open Meeting on April 21st

On April 21, 2022, the FCC will be hosting its monthly open meeting. The docket includes improving receiver performance, wireless emergency alerts, and two restricted adjudicatory matters. The FCC will consider a Notice of Inquiry to promote more efficient use of spectrum through improved receiver interference immunity performance, thereby facilitating the introduction of new and innovative services. … Continue Reading

Update to FCC’s Covered List: The Commission Identifies Three New Companies as National Security Risks

Last Friday, the FCC expanded its list of companies it believes pose a risk to U.S. national security. The new additions include equipment and services from three companies: Russia’s AO Kaspersky Lab, China Telecom (Americas), and China Mobile International USA Inc. Since March of 2021, the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau has maintained a … Continue Reading

FCC Adopts Affordable Connectivity Program

On Friday, January 14, 2022, the FCC voted to adopt a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that provides detailed guidance for a long-term internet discount program: the Affordable Connectivity Program. The new rules take effect upon publication in the Federal Register, or after the appropriate publication period has passed – either … Continue Reading

Political Broadcast Rules on the Agenda for FCC’s January Open Meeting

On January 27, 2022, the FCC will hold its monthly open meeting. The meeting will address increasing the transparency of internet access service providers, amending the definition of a library to clarify that Tribal libraries are eligible for support from the E-Rate program, and resolving issues associated with white space devices and databases. The most … Continue Reading

November Open Meeting

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 … Continue Reading

Upcoming FCC Broadcast and Telecom Deadlines for June – August

Broadcast Deadlines: June 1, 2021 Radio License Renewal Applications Due – Applications for renewal of license for radio stations located in Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming must be filed in Licensing and Management System (LMS). These applications must be accompanied by Schedule 396, the Broadcast Equal Employment Opportunity Program Report (EEO), also … Continue Reading

Broadband Infrastructure Grants: Partnering With Your Local Community

The U.S. Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (“NTIA”) has announced the application requirements for the $288 million Broadband Infrastructure Program. This program will make awards in the range of $5 million to $30 million for fixed broadband infrastructure expansion critical to closing the rural/urban digital divide. While state and local governments will be … Continue Reading

The Emergency Connectivity Fund: Getting Ready for the Application Window

The Universal Service Administrative Co. (“USAC”) will soon establish a deadline to file applications for funding from the $7.171 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund recently established by Congress and the FCC. These funds can be used to provide broadband Internet access services, Wi-Fi hotspots, and equipment to non-profit schools (elementary and secondary) and libraries to enable … Continue Reading

Upcoming FCC Broadcast and Telecom Deadlines for May – July

Broadcast Deadlines: June 1, 2021 Radio License Renewal Applications Due – Applications for renewal of license for radio stations located in Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming must be filed in Licensing and Management System (LMS). These applications must be accompanied by Schedule 396, the Broadcast Equal Employment Opportunity Program Report (EEO), also … Continue Reading

Selected New Developments in Broadband – Through March 30

Capitol Hill President Biden on March 11, 2021 signed a further Coronavirus emergency spending package into law – the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act ($1.9 trillion). A very high-level summary of the major spending components of the legislation can be found here (courtesy of CTC Technology & Energy) – but the notable highlights include a … Continue Reading

Upcoming FCC Broadcast and Telecom Deadlines for April – June

Broadcast Deadlines: April 1, 2021 Radio License Renewal Applications Due – Applications for renewal of license for radio stations located in Texas must be filed in Licensing and Management System (LMS). These applications must be accompanied by Schedule 396, the Broadcast Equal Employment Opportunity Program Report (EEO), also filed in LMS, regardless of the number … Continue Reading

Kansas Corporation Commission Rules on Interconnection and Porting Obligations Applicable to VoIP Services

On March 23, 2021, the Kansas Corporation Commission (“KCC”) issued a long-awaited Order resolving jurisdictional and other issues surrounding interconnection and porting issues between Voice over Internet Protocol (“VoIP”) providers and rural local exchange carriers (“LECs”) in Kansas. VoIP providers and rural LECs in Kansas have had a long‑running and contentious battle regarding number porting … Continue Reading

Upcoming FCC Broadcast and Telecom Deadlines for March – May

Broadcast Deadlines: March 12, 2021 NPRM: Permit FM Booster Stations to Transmit Geo-Targeted Content – Reply Comments are due in response to the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with regard to possible changes to the booster station rules that could enable FM broadcasters to use FM booster stations to … Continue Reading

Upcoming FCC Broadcast and Telecom Deadlines for February – April

Broadcast Deadlines: February 1, 2021 Radio License Renewal Applications Due – Applications for renewal of license for radio stations located in Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma must be filed in the Licensing and Management System (“LMS”). These applications must be accompanied by Schedule 396, the Broadcast Equal Employment Opportunity (“EEO”) Program Report, also filed in LMS, … Continue Reading

Selected New Developments in Broadband – January

Capitol Hill Although President Trump criticized the final $900 billion COVID-relief legislative package (containing both COVID-relief and an omnibus spending bill that averted a government shutdown) for providing too little financial relief to Americans and too much wasteful spending, on December 27 he signed the package into law.… Continue Reading

FCC Takes Step Forward to Establishment of Rip and Replace Program

The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) took a significant step forward this month in concretizing its program for extirpating equipment from the country’s communications networks that poses a threat to national security. The Commission’s Order in large part implements the objectives of the Secure and Trusted Networks Act of 2019 (the “Secure Networks … Continue Reading

Selected New Developments in Broadband – December

Capitol Hill What will happen in broadband under a Biden Administration is at the top of everyone’s agenda. While we expect a large infrastructure/stimulus package (to include broadband) in the first 100 days, precise details are yet to emerge. Turning to the lame duck session, emergency broadband funding as part of COVID relief and/or the … Continue Reading

Upcoming FCC Broadcast and Telecom Deadlines for December – February

December 1, 2020 Radio License Renewal Applications Due – Applications for renewal of license for radio stations located in Colorado, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota must be filed in the Licensing and Management System (LMS). These applications must be accompanied by Schedule 396, the Broadcast Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Program Report, also filed … Continue Reading

FCC Restructures Intelligent Transportation System Rules

On November 19, the FCC issued a Report and Order for which the Wi-Fi community can be justly grateful at their Thanksgiving celebrations. For some years the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) has been concerned that the potential for Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) in the 5.85 – 5.925 band has never panned out.  … Continue Reading

Selected New Developments in Broadband – November

Capitol Hill On November 4, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicated he is willing to resume negotiations on COVID-19 relief legislation before the end of the year (he had previously indicated no legislation is possible before the end of the year). Whether this would be standalone legislation or part of a necessary government funding package … Continue Reading

Upcoming FCC Broadcast and Telecom Deadlines for November – January

Broadcast Deadlines: November 16, 2020  Amending the Schedule of FCC Application Fees – Comments are due in response to the Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC” or the “Commission”) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking requesting comments on proposed changes to its application fee schedule, which the FCC considers to be significant and which include fee amounts, most of … Continue Reading

Now Available: Broadcasting During Times of Emergency

Yesterday, Fletcher Heald attorneys Frank Montero and Davina Sashkin with Pat Roberts of  the Florida Association of Broadcasters (“FAB”), and their special guests Lisa Fowlkes and Christina Clearwater of the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, and Craig Fugate, former FEMA Administrator and founder of Fugate Consulting, presented a webinar in consultation with the … Continue Reading

FCC Adopts STIR/SHAKEN Rules to Combat Illegal Robocalls

The Federal Communications Commission recently released a Report and Order (“Order”) to promote the use of the STIR/SHAKEN framework (which we wrote a useful primer on) in combatting caller ID spoofing. The FCC is giving carriers until June 30, 2021 to implement STIR/SHAKEN. However, if a carrier wants to receive exemption from the Caller ID … Continue Reading

Upcoming FCC Broadcast and Telecom Deadlines for October – December

Broadcast Deadlines: October 1, 2020 Must-Carry/Retransmission Consent Election Deadline – By October 1, all full power and Class A commercial TV stations must upload their must-carry/retransmission consent elections for the 2021-2023 election cycle to their online public inspection files.  Stations are now required to send copies of their elections to MVPDs and to the FCC … Continue Reading
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