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 is scheduled for May 20, 2021, at 10:30am ET. The Tentative Agenda contains six items, including an item regarding Inmate Calling Services rates and two NPRMs on Telecommunications Relay Service compensation and the STIR/SHAKEN compliance deadline. For more information, please contact Stephanie Joyce.

The FCC is seeking comment on how to harmonize its outage reporting rules for 911 services. Currently, the Commission has different reporting requirements for carriers providing service to 911 call centers versus carriers providing service that consumers use to contact 911. Comments will be due 30 days after publication in the Federal Register and Reply Comments will be due 60 days after publication. For more information, please contact Katherine Barker Marshall.

Broadband News

Enrollment in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBB) begins May 12, 2021. Participating providers can sign up eligible households via the National Lifeline Eligibility Verifier in order to receive reimbursement from the $3.2 Billion fund established by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) will hold a pre-launch webinar for providers on May 4, 2021, at 3:00pm ET, and will hold virtual EBB Program Office Hours on May 6, 2021, at 3:00pm ET to answer questions about pre-launch preparation. 
For more information, please contact Katherine Barker Marshall.

Compliance Alerts

The Enforcement Bureau is accepting letters of intent from entities that would like to be selected as the registered consortium to lead the effort of tracing suspected robocalls. The FCC is required by the TRACED Act to select a consortium each year. USTelecom is presently serving as the registered consortium after being selected in July 2020. Letters of intent are due May 27, 2021, and the selection will be announced by August 25, 2021. For more information, please contact Katherine Barker Marshall.

Developments in the EU

The European Commission has issued a Statement of Objections to Apple, pursuant to Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, stating its preliminary conclusion that Apple “distorted competition in the music streaming market as it abused its dominant position for the distribution of music streaming apps through its App Store.” The EC’s investigation of Apple commenced in June 2020 on the complaint of Spotify regarding Apple’s license agreements with developers and its App Store Review Guidelines. If the findings are confirmed, the EC is authorized to impose a fine of up to 10% of Apple’s “annual turnover,” which reportedly was over $274 Billion in 2020. For more information, please contact Stephanie Joyce.

Legislative Affairs

The House Communications Subcommittee will hold a hearing titled “Broadband Equity: Addressing Disparities in Access and Affordability” on May 6, 2021, at 11:30am ET. The hearing will be conducted virtually via Cisco Webex. 
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.

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Marlene Laro

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