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 FCC has released the Tentative Agenda for the Open Meeting scheduled for December 14, 2021, at 10:30am ET. It contains three items, including an Order and NPRM on revisions to satellite spectrum sharing and an NPRM proposing new rules to ensure “fair and open competitive bidding” in the E-Rate program. Fact Sheets for these items are provided at the event web page linked here. For more information, please contact Stephanie Joyce.

Broadband News

The FCC has issued guidance to assist service providers and consumers with the transition from the Emergency Broadband Benefit program (EBB) to the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which was created by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 and will supplant the EBB. The EBB will end no later than December 31, 2021, but consumers enrolled in the program will have an automatic 60-day transition to the ACP. The ACP has slightly different eligibility criteria and lowers the benefit to $30 per month per household. Some EBB participants will need to be re-verified to continue participation after the transition. For more information, please contact Katherine Barker Marshall.

FTC Items

The FTC has released the 2021 Do Not Call Registry Data Book – the thirteenth edition of this work – summarizing data about Do Not Call registrations and complaints. It states that 244.3 Million numbers were in the Registry at the end of FY 2021 ending September 30, up from 241.5 Million the year before, and that consumers lodged more than five million Do Not Call complaints. The FTC also received more than 496,000 robocall complaints in FY 2021. For more information, please contact Stephanie Joyce.

Legislative Affairs

As noted last week, the House Communications Subcommittee will convene a hearing on December 1, 2021, at 10:30am ET, titled “Holding Big Tech Accountable: Targeted Reforms to Tech’s Legal Immunity.” Four bills presently are pending in the House, including H.R. 3421, the “SAFE TECH Act” and H.R. 2154, the “Protecting Americans from Dangerous Algorithms Act.” No witnesses have been announced. The hearing will be both in-person and remote. For further information, please contact Stephanie Joyce.

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Marlene Laro

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