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

On October 29, 2020, the FCC released the Order on Remand in the Restoring Internet Freedom proceeding. The order, which was adopted by a 3-2 vote, re-affirms the elimination of net neutrality protections and answers the D.C. Circuit’s questions about the effect of this action on public safety, pole attachments, and Universal Service support. Negative consequences for these three sectors will be “limited”, says the order. For more information, please contact Stephanie Joyce.

The FCC has released the Tentative Agenda for the next Open Meeting scheduled for November 18, 2020, at 10:30am ET. Six items are on deck, the star of which is the First Report and Order on the 5.9 GHz band that will repurpose spectrum for unlicensed use and upgrade Intelligent Transportation Systems to cellular “Vehicle-to-Everything” technology. For more information, please contact Stephanie Joyce.

Compliance Alerts

The FCC issued a forfeiture order against Affordable Enterprises of Arizona, LLC in excess of $37.5M for making more than two million spoofed telemarketing calls over a 14-month period. The order can be found here. For more information, please contact Katherine Barker Marshall. (FCC 20-149)

On November 6, 2020, the Universal Service Administrative Company is holding several webinars to assist participants in the E-rate Program for the upcoming funding year. The day begins at 11:00am ET with a program to review the E-rate post-commitment process. At 1:00pm ET, the second program will cover how applicants can set up their profiles in the E-Rate Productivity Center (EPC) for use during the upcoming application filing window. The day concludes at 3:00pm ET with a discussion on which services are eligible for reimbursement. Registration for all three webinars can be found here. For more information about USAC and its support programs, please contact Katherine Barker Marshall.

Legislative Affairs

House Commerce Committee Chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Communications Subcommittee Chair Mike Doyle (D-PA) delivered harsh criticism of FCC Chmn. Pai for “rushing” to release the Restoring Internet Freedom Order on Remand. In a joint statement released October 26, 2020, the congressmen observed that, “At a time when internet connectivity is especially critical for students, parents, first responders, low-income and rural Americans, the FCC should be protecting American families, not undermining them. Time and again, this FCC has put industry interests before those of consumers, and its actions this week are no exception.” For more information, please contact Stephanie Joyce.

Rural Broadband

Round 1 of the FCC Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (“RDOF”) Phase I reverse auction concluded October 29, 2020. RDOF Phase I will award approximately $16B over 10 years for deployment of broadband networks providing 25/3 Mbps service to up to 10.25 million unserved Americans. The auction was opened to all types of service providers, including fiber-based, CATV, fixed wireless, and satellite providers. Phase I resumes with Round 2 on November 2, with Round 3 scheduled for November 3. The FCC press release on the kickoff of the auction is here. 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.

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Marlene Laro

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