Welcome to the Tech & Telecom Weekly, an e-newsletter keeping you apprised of the latest developments in the telecommunications and high-tech industries.
The next FCC Open Meeting is scheduled for October 27, 2020, at 10:30am ET. The Tentative Agenda lists eight items, including an Order on Remand in the Restoring Internet Freedom docket that would respond to the D.C. Circuit remand and assert that the 2017 order in fact meets the court of appeals’ concerns about public safety, infrastructure deployment, and Lifeline support. The meeting will be live streamed here. For more information, please contact Stephanie Joyce.
Developments in the EU
On October 7, 2020, the EU Directorate General for Competition entered into a consent decree with Broadcom that suspends several types of anticompetitive agreements for the company’s “Systems-on-a-Chip” product, which is used in set-top boxes and computer modems. The decree resolves an investigation launched in June 2019 into whether Broadcom was using anticompetitive sales arrangements to monopolize “residential gateways”. The commitments in the decree will last seven years. For more information, please contact Stephanie Joyce.
The FCC announced that it has entered into settlement agreements with a number of carriers that failed to file 911 Reliability Certifications. Carriers that route calls to 911, or provide administrative lines to 911, are required to certify annually that they have implemented circuit diversity, central office backup power, and network monitoring. The next certification is due October 15, 2020, and can be filed through the FCC’s portal. Please contact Katherine Barker Marshall if you have any questions regarding 911 compliance.
The FCC has released an order on Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Services (IP CTS) that reduced the $1.58 per-minute rate down to $1.42 for the remainder of the current funding year starting December 1, 2020, and adopted a further reduced rate of $1.30 per minute for the 2021-2022 funding year starting on July 1, 2021. In addition, the FCC extended the waivers granted to Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) providers to February 28, 2021. The item includes a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on amending the current IP CTS performance metrics relating to caption delay, transcription speed, and accuracy. For more information, please contact Katherine Barker Marshall. (CG Dockets 13-24, 03-123, and 10-51; FCC 20-132)
In the Courts
More than $9 billion is on the line as Oracle awaits a U.S. Supreme Court decision in Google LLC v. Oracle America, Inc., the copyright infringement action alleging Google copied over 11,000 lines of Oracle’s Java software code to create the Android mobile operating system. After ten tortuous years up and down the federal courts, the Supreme Court heard arguments last week. Key issues are whether the software – which Google argues covers only “basic functions” – can be copyrighted, and whether Google’s use of the code is permissible under the fair use doctrine as a jury had found in 2016. The case has elicited dozens of amicus filings. Google’s brief can be found here, and Oracle’s brief can be found here. For more information, please contact Susan Metcalfe.
The FCC has issued the final list of areas eligible for bidding in the upcoming Auction 904, the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund Phase I reverse auction, which starts October 29, 2020. Up to $16 Billion is available in hopes of extending broadband facilities to 5.3 million unserved homes and businesses. According to Chmn. Pai, as many as 10.25 million consumers could finally have broadband service as a result of Auction 904. For more information, please contact Stephanie Joyce.
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