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Telecom Alert:Broadband Speed Goals NPRM; WEA Pleading Cycle; Offshore Spectrum Use NOI; Location-Based 911 Routing PN; ECF Funding [Vol. XIX, Issue 21]
Monday, May 23, 2022

Broadband Speed Goals NPRM

The FCC approved a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking at its Open Meeting last week that seeks input on a proposal to provide additional universal service support to certain rural carriers in exchange for increasing broadband deployment of 100/20 Mbps service to more locations.  The proposal would raise the speeds required by the Alternative Connect America Model (“A-CAM”) programs to those generally required by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and minimize duplicative support across different federal broadband programs. 

Wireless Emergency Alerts Pleading Cycle

The FCC’s Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking input on how to improve the effectiveness of Wireless Emergency Alerts (“WEA”) (Vol. XIX, Issue 16) was published in the Federal Register last week.  The Commission seeks comment on how participating providers should measure performance of WEA and ways to improve WEA’s reliability and speed.  Comments and reply comments are due by June 21, 2022, and July 19, 2022, respectively.   

Offshore Spectrum Use NOI

Last week, the FCC released a Notice of Inquiry seeking comment on whether changes should be made to the Commission’s rules and policies to facilitate the development of commercial and private wireless networks offshore. The FCC seeks to develop a record about offshore spectrum use and gather information on the demand for such access.  Specifically, the Commission invites comment on potential spectrum rights models and assignment mechanisms for initial licensing of offshore operations, as well as which individual bands could best support these operations. 

Location-Based 911 Routing Public Notice

The FCC released a draft Public Notice last week seeking to update the record in its proceeding on the feasibility of using location-based routing to reduce the number of wireless 911 calls that are routed to an inappropriate PSAP (Vol. XV, Issue 11).  Currently, most wireless 911 calls are routed through the cell tower closest to where the call was received and sent to the associated PSAP.  The Commission seeks input on the latest improvements to location-based routing technologies and the frequency of 911 call misroutes.  It also seeks comment on the feasibility of using these technologies for text-to-911 services. 

Over $50M in ECF Funding Committed

Last week, the FCC announced that it is committing over $50 million in the latest round of the Emergency Connectivity Fund (Vol. XIX, Issue 19).  This round of commitments will support 46 schools, 7 libraries, and two consortia across the country.  The Commission’s third filing window for applications concluded last week, and the FCC will announce the results in the coming days.

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