Welcome to the Tech & Telecom Weekly, an e-newsletter keeping you apprised of the latest developments in the telecommunications and high-tech industries.
The FCC has released an Order and Request for Comment in the Rural Call Completion docket, concluding that the rules adopted in the Second Rural Call Completion Order were effective in reducing rural call competition issues. The agency now seeks comment by October 29, 2020, on whether the intermediate provider service quality standards were likewise effective in reducing call completion failures in rural areas. For more information, please contact Katherine Barker Marshall. (WC Docket No. 13-39, DA 20-1077)
In further response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the FCC announced a second E-Rate funding window to provide schools and libraries access to additional broadband resources supporting remote learning initiatives. It will open upon Federal Register publication of the Order and close on October 16, 2020. For more information, please contact Katherine Barker Marshall. (CC Docket 02-6, DA 20-1091)
On September 18, 2020, the U.S. Department of Commerce instructed all U.S. communications and technology companies to cease transactions with TikTok and WeChat effective September 20, 2020, stating, “The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has demonstrated the means and motives to use these apps to threaten the national security, foreign policy, and the economy of the U.S. Today’s announced prohibitions, when combined, protect users in the U.S. by eliminating access to these applications and significantly reducing their functionality.” The list of prohibited transactions appears here. For more information, please contact Stephanie Joyce.
On September 18, 2020, FCC Commissioner Carr visited several front-line healthcare providers in Florida that received funds from the Emergency COVID-19 Telehealth Program. Sites included Grace Medical Home in Orlando and The Transition House in St. Cloud. The Commissioner ended his Florida trip on Saturday with a visit to an Orlando-area broadcast television tower on which a crew is changing out the antenna as park of the re-packing of TV spectrum for use in 5G wireless broadband service. For more information, please contact Stephanie Joyce.
The Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing titled “Revisiting the Need for Federal Data Privacy Legislation” on September 23, 2020, at 10:00am ET. Four former FTC Commissioners will testify: Julie Brill, Maureen Ohlhausen, Jon Leibowitz, and William Kovacic. The hearing will be live streamed here.
The Senate Communications Subcommittee will hold a hearing titled “An Evaluation of FirstNet’s Progress” on September 24, 2020, at 10:00am ET. Scheduled witnesses include Captain Tony Harrison of the Pennington County (South Dakota) Sheriff’s Office and Edward Parkinson, CEO of FirstNet Authority. The hearing will be live streamed here.
The House Consumer Protection Subcommittee will hold a hearing titled “Mainstreaming Extremism: Social Media’s Role in Radicalizing America” on September 24, 2020, at 11:00am ET. The hearing will be streamed via Webex. As of Friday no witnesses had been announced.
For more information about these hearings, please contact Stephanie Joyce.
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