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 next FCC Open Meeting, the first under Acting Chair Jessica Rosenworcel, is scheduled for February 17, 2020, at 10:30am ET. No Tentative Agenda has yet been released. For more information, please contact Stephanie Joyce.

Compliance Alerts

Lifeline providers are required to file their Annual Lifeline ETC Certification Form (2020 FCC Form 555) by January 31, 2021, through the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) portal. This form reports the results of a provider’s annual rolling recertification process. National Verifier service providers must complete Form 555. Additional information can be found here or by contacting Katherine Barker Marshall.

Legislative Affairs

Several members of Congress sent a letter to former FCC Chmn. Pai, prior to his departure, urging the agency to vet the winners of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) Auction thoroughly. “We urge the FCC to validate that each provider in fact has the technical, financial, managerial, operational skills, capabilities, and resources to deliver the services that they have pledged for every American they plan to serve regardless of the technology they use.” The members seek to ensure good service for rural communities and “to minimize any opportunities for fraud or abuse.” For more information, please contact Stephanie Joyce.

In the Courts

Companies that engaged in robocalling between 2015 and 2020 might have a free pass for alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) due to a Supreme Court ruling in July 2020 that TCPA was rendered unconstitutional by an exemption for robocalls related to federally backed debts. Grubhub is making that argument in its latest motion to dismiss a putative class action, Donna Marshall v. Grubhub Inc., pending in the Northern District of Illinois. In her complaint, Marshall alleges Grubhub called her cell phone dozens, “possibly even hundreds” of times, effectively preventing her from using her phone. Grubhub argues that it cannot be liable for alleged TCPA violations committed during the period in which TCPA was deemed unconstitutional. For more information, please contact Susan Metcalfe.

Rural Broadband

The FCC has released its Third Report and Order in the Digital Opportunity Data Collection docket in order to enhance the accuracy of broadband mapping data. The order includes requirements for reporting speed and latency for fixed technologies and specifies which fixed and mobile broadband Internet access service providers must report their data. This order also establishes the process for the ongoing collection of Form 477, which is due March 1, 2021. For more information, please contact Katherine Barker Marshall. (FCC 21-20; WC Docket Nos. 19-195 and 11-10)

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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