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

Compliance Alerts

The FCC is seeking comment on its proposed regulatory fee schedules for FY2021. If approved, the Commission will collect a total of $374 million from its licensees, including carriers, interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol providers, broadcasters, satellite providers, and wireless carriers. Comments are due June 3, 2021, with Reply Comments due June 18, 2021. (FCC 21-49) 

The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) will hold its monthly Lifeline webinar on May 12, 2021, at 3:00pm ET. Interested parties can register here. During the one-hour call, USAC will provide updates about the Lifeline Program, the National Verifier, and the National Lifeline Accountability Database, followed by discussion of upcoming compliance deadlines. 

For more information about compliance matters and USAC, please contact Katherine Barker Marshall.

In the Courts

On May 5, 2021, the Northern District of California authorized the IRS to serve a “John Doe” summons on Payward Ventures, Inc. and Subsidiaries d/b/a Kraken that seeks information about U.S. taxpayers who made cryptocurrency transactions of at least the equivalent of $20,000 during the period 2016-2020. There is no allegation that Kraken engaged in any wrongdoing and the summons is not directed to Kraken. Rather, according to the court’s order, the IRS is conducting an “investigation of an ascertainable group or class of persons” who “may have failed to comply with internal revenue laws.” For more information, please contact Stephanie Joyce.

Legislative Affairs

A group of four members of the House Commerce Committee, from both sides of the aisle, wrote a letter to the Appropriations Committee and its Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science seeking “at least $750 million in Fiscal Year 2022 funding for critical network security initiatives.” Chmn. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and his fellow members made the request pursuant to the Utilizing Strategic Allied Telecommunications Act of 2020 (the USA Telecommunications Act), stating that “[a]s the size, scale, and frequency of cyber incidents continue to increase, so too should our commitment to the goal of ensuring American communications networks are as safe and secure as possible.” For more information, please contact Stephanie Joyce.

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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