Welcome to the Tech & Telecom Weekly, an e-newsletter keeping you apprised of the latest developments in the telecommunications and high-tech industries.

Compliance Alerts

The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) will hold a webinar regarding compliance requirements for latency and speed performance standards that start in 2022. This webinar is geared toward carriers participating in the Alternative Connect America Cost Model II, Connect America Fund Broadband Loop Support, and the Connect America Fund Phase II Auction, all of which are impacted by these changes. The webinar will take place on December 8, 2021, at 2:30 pm ET, and the registration can be found here.

USAC will hold its monthly webinar for Lifeline providers on December 8, 2021, at 3:00 pm ET. This webinar will provide an overview of FCC Form 555, the annual Lifeline recertification form that is due January 31, 2022. The registration for the webinar can be found here.

Effective December 15, 2021, the FCC will decommission its Fee Filer and Red Light Display System in favor of a new payment module contained within the Commission’s Registration System, commonly known as CORES. After December 15, the FCC will accept funds only through the new CORES module.  

For more information on compliance matters, please contact Katherine Barker Marshall.

FTC Items

The FTC has lodged a complaint to block Nvidia, a U.S. graphics processing unit (GPU) designer, from acquiring Arm Ltd., a British chip designer. Though the complaint has not been released, the agency states that it has alleged that the merger would harm competition in the markets for automobile driver-assist systems, products that ensure datacenter security, and units used for cloud computing. The merger, initially announced in September 2020, is already under investigation in the U.K. and at the European Commission. For more information, please contact Stephanie Joyce.

Legislative Affairs

The Senate Consumer Protection Subcommittee will hold a hearing titled “Protecting Kids Online: Instagram and Reforms for Young Users” on December 8, 2021, at 2:30pm ET. “This hearing will address what Instagram knows about its impacts on young users, its commitments to reform, and potential legislative solutions,” the notice states. Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, is scheduled to testify. The hearing will be live-streamed here

The Senate Communications Subcommittee will hold a hearing titled “Disrupting Dangerous Algorithms: Addressing the Harms of Persuasive Technology” on December 9, 2021, at 10:00am ET. Senators will discuss and question witnesses about “the dangers of online platforms’ use of technology to manipulate user experiences.” Scheduled witnesses include Jessica Gonzalez, co-CEO of Free Press, and Dr. Dean Eckles, Associate Professor of Marketing at MIT. 

The House Consumer Protection Subcommittee will hold a hearing titled “Holding Big Tech Accountable: Legislation to Build a Safer Internet” on December 9, 2021, at 10:30am ET. Several bills on the topic are linked in the hearing notice, including H.R. 3611, the “Algorithmic Justice and Online Platform Transparency Act,” and H.R. 5439, the “Kids Internet Design and Safety Act.” The hearing will proceed both in person and remotely. No witnesses have been announced.

For further information, please contact Stephanie Joyce.

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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