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Telecom Alert: New FCC Filing Fees; USF Transfer of Control Guidance; Environmental Assessments Update; ECF Funding [Vol. XIX Issue 17]
Monday, April 25, 2022

New FCC Filing Fees in Effect

On April 19, the FCC’s new fee rates for the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau went into effect (Vol. XVIII, Issue 46).  The fees for new site-based and amateur radio licenses are $95 and $35, respectively.  For site-based licenses, the assignment of an initial license is now $50, and each subsequently assigned license is $35.  Renewals for both site-based and amateur radio licenses are $35. 

USF Transfer of Control Guidance

The FCC issued a Public Notice last week providing guidance on the ways domestic applicants can expedite the processing of applications to transfer Universal Service Fund (“USF”) obligations and minimize the need for supplemental filings.  Specifically, the Commission recommends that as part of the initial public interest showing applicants list all USF high cost support received by each entity to be transferred, confirm whether the entities to be transferred are Eligible Telecommunications Carriers, and a list of study area codes for each entity, among other items. 

FCC Environmental Assessment Update

The FCC has updated its requirements on the information to be appended to Environmental Assessments (“EAs”) filed in the Antenna Structure Registration (“ASR”) System and the Universal Licensing System (“ULS”).  The Commission now has access to Forms 620 and 621, which notify Tribes and Native Hawaiian Organizations (“NHOs”) of proposals to build new towers, and all supporting materials so they do not need to be uploaded to the EA.  While the cultural resources of an EA must fully summarize the EA process, the supporting materials appended should be limited to (1) copies of comment or concurrence letters; (2) tables summarizing the results of TCNS notification/Tribal outreach efforts; and (3) a copy of any Memorandum of Agreement, if applicable. 

$37M in Emergency Connectivity Fund Committed

Last week, the FCC announced it is committing $37 million in the latest round of the Emergency Connectivity Fund (Vol. XIX, Issue 9).  This round of commitments will support over 170 schools, 30 libraries, and 4 consortia across the country.  The FCC will open a third application filing window from April 28 to May 13 to purchase equipment and services between July 1, 2022 and December 31, 2023.  

Gregory E. KunkleCasey Lide,  Thomas B. MageeTracy P. MarshallKathleen Slattery ThompsonSean A. Stokes and Wesley K. Wright contributed to this article.

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