Category Archives: Business & Strategic Planning

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A Change of Pace? Pirate Radio Actions Signal A Possible Shift to Accelerated Issuance of Forfeiture Orders

On Thursday, February 23, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a pair of forfeiture orders against pirate radio operators.  Each was subject to a $25,000 fine for allegedly continually operating unlicensed radio stations in violation of Section 301 of the Communications Act. … Continue Reading

3GPP Releases Guidance on 5G Labeling

On February 7, 2017, the Organizational Partners of the 3rd Generation Partnership (3GPP), a leading mobile standards body, released a new logo for use with products based on 5G specifications.  According to 3GPP, the logo will be available throughout various phases of development of 5G up through 2020, when the standard is scheduled for completion. … Continue Reading

Client Advisory: CTIA’s Messaging Principles and Best Practices

On January 19, 2017, CTIA issued a new guidance document developed by industry stakeholders with voluntary best practices for businesses that participate in the wireless messaging ecosystem entitled “Messaging Principles and Best Practices,” (Messaging Best Practices). The Messaging Best Practices present a revised approach to wireless messaging, replacing the previous SMS and MMS Interoperability Guidelines … Continue Reading

Ajit Pai Selected as Next FCC Chairman

On January 20, 2017, Politico Pro reported that President Trump selected Republican Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Ajit Pai to serve as the next permanent FCC Chairman.  According to the report, Commissioner Pai will not need to go through Senate confirmation in order to become Chairman.  Instead, he will simply need the Senate to reappoint … Continue Reading

Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Releases Draft Framework for Analyzing Zero-Rated and Sponsored Data Programs

On January 11, 2017, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB or Bureau) of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) issued an informal report—“Policy Review of Mobile Broadband Operators’ Sponsored Data Offerings for Zero-Rated Content and Services”—that establishes a draft framework for reviewing mobile broadband providers’ sponsored data and zero-rated offerings and analyzes the zero-rated and … Continue Reading

DOT Weighs Whether to Permit Voice Calls on Airlines with Advance Notice to Passengers

Imagine boarding a cross-country flight and finding yourself next to someone who will be talking on his or her cell phone for the next three hours. Would it make a difference if you knew ahead of time that the flight allowed voice calls?  This scenario is exactly what the Department of Transportation (DOT) is proposing.… Continue Reading

OMB Approves Enhanced Transparency Requirements for Open Internet Rules as the Small Provider Exemption Expires; Rules Will Go Into Effect January 17, 2017

According to a Public Notice the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released today, on December 15, 2016, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), has completed its review of the enhanced transparency rule from the 2015 Open Internet Order. In the 2015 Order, the FCC adopted enhancements to the transparency rule, which covers both content and … Continue Reading

Rhode Island Wants to be the First State to Offer 5G; Releases RFI

The state of Rhode Island plans to be the first state to test and launch next generation 5G networks, seeking to make 5G available to all of its communities.  This past week, Governor Gina Raimondo announced a joint effort by the Public Utilities Commission, Division of Public Utilities and Carriers, and the Office of Innovation … Continue Reading

Microsoft and Partners Seek FCC Approval to Use TV White Spaces to Extend E-Rate-Supported Broadband Services to Close the Homework Gap

A potential solution to the so-called “homework gap” – otherwise known as the limited ability of low-income students in rural or underserved areas to access a broadband connection at home – is the subject of a petition submitted to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) by an innovative public-private partnership and is now open … Continue Reading

FCC Regulatory Fees Order for FY 2016 Released; September 27 Payment Deadline Set

iStock_000006131068MediumOn September 6, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission released a Public Notice announcing a payment deadline for annual regulatory fees of no later than 11:59 PM Eastern Daylight Time on September 27, 2016.  Although the regulatory fees will not officially become effective until published in the Federal Register, entities that are required to pay fees … Continue Reading

Client Advisory: D.C. Circuit Upholds FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules

On June 14, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s or Commission’s) 2015 Open Internet Order (2015 Open Internet Order), which classified broadband Internet access service (BIAS) as a “telecommunications service” under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and imposed a … Continue Reading

Housing Department Proposes Rules Requiring Installation of Broadband Infrastructure in HUD-Financed Housing

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is proposing rules requiring the installation of broadband infrastructure during construction of HUD-financed multi-family rentals, or apartments, recognizing the cost-savings when incorporated into the initial planning stages.  Building on its ConnectHome initiative to extend affordable broadband access to families living in HUD-assisted housing in 28 communities nationwide, … Continue Reading

FCC Updates Some Network Outage Reporting Rules; Seeks Comment on Other Issues Including Broadband and Possible Expansion of VoIP Reporting

More than a year after seeking comment on proposed revisions to its communications network outage reporting (NOR) requirements, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) has released an Order.  (The proposed NOR requirements for submarine cable systems was released in November 2015 and that proceeding remains pending.)  Recognizing that communications technology has evolved since the … Continue Reading

$11.7 Million Available Under Department of Agriculture’s Community Connect Grant Program

The Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announced today the availability of $11.7 million under its Community Connect Grant Program (Community Connect), which provides grants for deploying broadband service to unserved, low-income and rural areas.  Grant awards range from $100,000 to $3 million for FY 2016.… Continue Reading

Rural Utilities Services Announces Broadband Loan Program Funding; Applications due July 7, 2016

On April 8, the Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) published a Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA) in the Federal Register for the Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program (the Broadband Program) for Fiscal year 2016.  Loans are available ranging from $100,000 to $10 million.  Applications will be accepted from … Continue Reading

US Ignite Announces up to $10 Million in Funding for Gigabit Applications

On March 18, 2016, the National Science Foundation (NSF) released a solicitation for up to $10 million for US Ignite: Networking Research and Application Prototypes Leading to Smart and Connected Communities, which funds the development of gigabit applications that can leverage existing, advanced network infrastructure.  The current solicitation requests applications within two Focus Areas: 1) … Continue Reading

FirstNet Announces Up to $40 Million Available for the Band 14 Incumbent Spectrum Relocation Grant

It’s a busy time at FirstNet, gearing up for the deployment of the nationwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN).  With yesterday’s release of a Federal Funding Opportunity for up to $40 million for the Band 14 Incumbent Spectrum Relocation Grant Program (Grant Program), FirstNet is making headway in fulfilling its mandate under the Middle Class … Continue Reading

White House Announces ConnectALL Initiative to Spur Broadband Deployment and Adoption

The Administration continues to drive efforts to spur broadband deployment across the country and to ensure that all Americans have access to affordable broadband service.  Yesterday afternoon, President Obama announced ConnectALL, an effort aimed at connecting 20 million more Americans to broadband by 2020. This announcement builds on the successes of ConnectED, the White House … Continue Reading

NTIA’s BroadbandUSA Announces a Community Connectivity Initiative Workshop, one of the Recommendations from the Broadband Opportunity Council

This month marks the one year anniversary of the Presidential Memorandum that created the Broadband Opportunity Council (Council), a federal inter-agency council, tasked with using all available and appropriate authorities to identify and address regulatory barriers to broadband deployment and adoption.  My former BroadbandUSA colleagues at the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications & Information (NTIA) … Continue Reading

New Telecom Carrier Pole Attachment Rates Will Become Effective March 4

The FCC’s modification to the telecommunications carrier pole attachment rate formula have been published in the Federal Register and are set to take effect on March 4, 2016.  As we reported in December, the FCC issued an Order on Reconsideration modifying the cost allocators to bring parity between the telecommunications and cable attacher rates.  The initial Federal … Continue Reading

FirstNet Releases Final RFP for Up to $6.5 Billion

FirstNet released its final Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking a Contractor to build and operate the nationwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN), as authorized by the Middle Class Tax Cut and Job Relief Act of 2012 (Act), and fund FirstNet operations.   The RFP is the result of input to more than 13 Requests for Information, … Continue Reading

New Funding Available for Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program

The Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announced its 2016 application window for the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program, which is designed to provide access to education, training and health care resources for rural Americans.  Grants range from $50,000 to $500,000, and applications are due March 14, 2016.  RUS will publish … Continue Reading

FCC Bureau Extends Open Internet Order’s Small Provider Exemption Until December 2016; Table Set for Full Commission Review in December 2016

On December 15, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB or the Bureau) issued a Report and Order extending the temporary exemption for smaller broadband Internet access service (BIAS) providers from the 2015 Open Internet Order’s enhanced transparency rule.  Smaller BIAS providers were already exempt from the enhanced transparency rule until … Continue Reading

DoT Announces “Smart City” Challenge to Increase Infrastructure Efficiency in Urban Areas

funding_opportunity_v1r1On December 7, 2015, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for “Beyond Traffic: The Smart City Challenge,” the first in a two-part solicitation for a federally funded program aimed at developing “a holistic, integrated approach to improving surface transportation performance within a city and integrating this approach to … Continue Reading
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