Welcome to the Tech & Telecom Weekly, an e-newsletter keeping you apprised of the latest developments in the telecommunications and high-tech industries.

FCC Policy

The FCC has released its final Agenda for the Open Meeting scheduled for January 13, 2021, at 10:30am ET. In addition to the presentations described in the Tentative Agenda, the Commission will consider a Public Notice announcing the first round of telehealth grants under the Connected Care Pilot Program and two requests for comment regarding the 2.5 GHz band and 12 GHz band, respectively. The meeting will be live-streamed here. For more information, please contact Stephanie Joyce.

Compliance Alerts

The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) will hold its monthly Lifeline webinar on January 13, 2021, from 3:00 to 4:00pm ET. Interested participants can register here. The webinar will include updates about compliance deadlines, the Lifeline Program, and the National Verifier and the National Lifeline Accountability Database.

The 2021 Funding Year filing window for the Schools and Libraries Fund, otherwise known as E-rate, opens January 15, 2021, at 12:00pm ET and runs through March 25, 2021, at 11:59pm ET. More information can be found here.

Please contact Katherine Barker Marshall for more information about USAC and its programs.

Broadband News

On January 7, 2021, the FCC issued a total of $47,548,500 in proposed fines to 10 licensees – none of them communications companies – in the 2.5 GHz Band. The licenses are for so-called Educational Broadband Service and required licensees to reserve 5% of capacity, and 20 hours per week, for educational programming. The ten entities addressed in the order had “sub-leased the spectrum to their substantial financial benefit but apparently failed to meet their obligation to support the education of students in their communities.” Commr. Carr issued a strongly worded statement on the licensees’ alleged conduct. For more information, please contact Stephanie Joyce.

The FCC Wireline Competition Bureau is seeking comment on how to administer the new $3.2 billion Emergency Broadband Benefit Program established by Congress under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 to help low-income consumers access the Internet. Telecommunications providers must elect to participate in the Program and either be designated as an “eligible telecommunications carrier” or be approved by the Commission. Eligible households will receive a monthly discount up to $50 per month on Internet access service and associated equipment. On Tribal lands, the monthly discount may be up to $75 per month. Comments are due January 25, 2021, with reply comments due February 16, 2021. For more information, please contact Doug Bonner.

Note: This publication is distributed with the understanding that the author, publisher and distributor of this publication and/or any linked publication are not rendering legal, accounting, or other professional advice or opinions on specific facts or matters and, accordingly, assume no liability whatsoever in connection with its use. Pursuant to applicable rules of professional conduct, portions of this publication may constitute Attorney Advertising.

Media Contact

Marlene Laro

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