Welcome to the Tech & Telecom Weekly, an e-newsletter keeping you apprised of the latest developments in the telecommunications and high-tech industries.
The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) will hold its monthly Lifeline call on October 14, 2020, at 3:00pm ET. Interested participants should register here. The call will include updates about upcoming compliance deadlines, the Lifeline Program, and the National Verifier and the National Lifeline Accountability Database. For more information, please contact Katherine Barker Marshall.
The FCC has adopted new rules and procedures to improve transparency and timeliness of the review of license transactions involving foreign ownership. The new rules establish a 120-day initial review period with a discretionary extension of 90 days if needed. Applicants now will be required to answer questions relating to national security and to make additional certifications to protect those interests. For more information on FCC licensing, please contact Katherine Barker Marshall. (IB Docket No. 16-155)
The FCC has issued a Forfeiture Order against Sandwich Isles Communications of almost $50 million for violations of the Universal Service Fund (USF) program rules. Between 2002 and 2015, Sandwich Isles improperly took more than $27 million in USF support to deploy and maintain communications networks on the Hawaiian Homelands. For more information, please contact Katherine Barker Marshall. (FCC 20-131, File No. EB-IHD-15-00019603)
The Departments of Commerce and Justice and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence have released a white paper setting forth their views on U.S. law governing intelligence surveillance that led the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to invalidate the “Privacy Shield” data transfer mechanism. In so doing, they pointed to provisions of U.S. law that the ECJ did not consider and suggested that U.S. privacy protections in fact compare favorably to those in many EU nations. The agencies urged businesses to take these considerations into account when assessing the lawfulness of data transfers after Schrems II. For more information, please contact William Baker.
The House has passed H.R. 1289, the Preserving Home and Office Numbers in Emergencies (PHONE) Act of 2020. The legislation would place a moratorium on phone companies’ reassigning wireline phone numbers in places federally designated as Disaster Areas. It has gone to the Senate Commerce Committee for review. For more information, please contact Stephanie Joyce.
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