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 Enforcement Bureau seeks comment on the choice of the next consortium to run tracebacks on spoofed caller ID as required by the TRACED Act. USTelecom has been the registered consortium since July 2020, but ZipDX, LLC threw its hat in the ring in May 2021 to replace it. Comments are due July 2, 2021. For more information, please contact Stephanie Joyce.

Compliance Alerts

The FCC announced that the application window for the Emergency Connectivity Fund will open June 29, 2021, and will close August 13, 2021. This Fund enables schools and libraries to purchase equipment, including laptops, tablets, Wi-Fi hotspots, and other broadband connections, for off-campus use during the 2021-2022 school year.

The FCC Office of Economics and Analysis is updating the FCC Form 477 database interface to require entities to use individual Commission Registration System (CORES) usernames and passwords to log into the system. Telecommunications carriers, broadband providers, and interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol providers are among those required to file Form 477, which reports broadband and voice connections by census tract and census block. The next filing deadline is September 1, 2021, covering data as of June 30, 2021. 

For more information about compliance matters, please contact Katherine Barker Marshall

In the Courts

On June 18, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld the FCC’s rule prohibiting U.S. carriers from using Universal Service money to purchase equipment or services from any company “posing a national security threat to the integrity of communications networks or the communications supply chain.” Huawei, a Chinese telecom company that was designated a security threat, and its American affiliate challenged both the designation and the rule. The Fifth Circuit dismissed the former challenge on ripeness grounds and upheld the substantive rule principally under Chevron II as a reasonable exercise of the FCC’s charge to protect the public interest and ensure quality of service. For more information, please contact Stephanie Joyce

Legislative Affairs

The Senate Subcommittee on Intellectual Property will hold a hearing titled “Protecting Real Innovations by Improving Patent Quality” tomorrow, June 22, 2021, at 2:30pm ET. Scheduled witnesses include Julio Garceran, Chief IP Counsel for Cree, Inc., and Professor Jorge Contreras of the University of Utah S.J. Quinney School of Law. 

The House Subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing titled “Empowered by Data: Legislation to Advance Equity and Public Health" on June 24, 2021, at 10:30am ET. Apparently 13 bills are pending in this Congress that are related to this topic and will be discussed. The hearing will be both in-person and virtual. 

For more 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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