Under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (Section 60104(c)), by the middle of August 2022 (270 days after the November 15th date of enactment), the FCC is required to issue a report to the Congress on the Future of the Universal Service Fund. The FCC initiated an inquiry on December 2021 to collect comments from interested parties (WC Docket No. 21-476), which were received in January 2022. Most recently, as the FCC works on finalizing the report, interested parties have been meeting with the FCC Commissioners and staff.
- On June 30, 2022, in Contribution Methodology docket, WC Docket No. 06-122, the WCB issued a Public Notice (DA 22-658) announcing dismissing a request for waiver of the deadline for downward revisions to FCC Form 499-A and review of a decision of the Universal Service Administrator.
- On June 23, 2022, the Commission announced in a Public Notice (DA 22-666) that the next meeting of the Task Force for Reviewing the Connectivity and Technology Needs of Precision Agriculture will be held on July 21, 2022 at 12:00 P.M. EDT.
Lifeline / Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)
- On June 14, 2022, the WCB issued an Order (DA 22-636) addressing petitions for waiver of the ACP's non-usage rules for subscribers who receive free-to-the-end-user service (after application of the ACP benefit), granting the NTCA's request for an extension, through September 15, 2022, for small broadband internet access service providers that serve Tribal ACP customers to track usage on a rolling thirty-day basis for ACP subscribers but denying an indefinite waiver, and granting AT&T a temporary waiver of the non-usage rules through August 13, 2022.
- On June 8, 2022, the Commission issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FCC 22-44)
seeking comments on proposed ACP "broadband transparency
rules," regarding the annual collection of information about
the price and subscription rates of internet service offerings
received by households enrolled in Program. The Commission seeks
comments on the proposed rules, including on the data to be
collected, mechanism for collecting this data, and format for the
data's publication, with comments due on July 25,
2022, and reply comments due on August 8,
High Cost Fund Programs
- On June 28, the WCB issued an Order (DA 22-679) that amends high-cost program rules to align filing requirements with changes to Rural Utility Service (RUS) rules, and waives the requirement so that high-cost recipients may submit the functional equivalent of the Borrowers Report for the calendar year 2021 FCC Form 481 filing.
- On June 17, 2022, the WCB issued a Public Notice announcing the grant of the domestic 214 application and waivers for the transfer of Connect America Fund Phase II auction support obligations From Redwire, Inc. To Atlink Services.
- On June 14, 2022, the WCB, in conjunction with the RBATF and the OEA, issued a Public Notice (DA 22-638) stating they are ready to authorize the Connect America Fund Phase II auction (Auction 903) winning bid for Viasat Carrier Services, Inc.
- On June 14, 2022, the WCB, in conjunction with the Rural
Broadband Auctions Task Force (RBATF) and the Office of Economics
and Analytics (OEA), issued a Public Notice (DA 22-634), authorizing the
Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (Auction 904) winning bids.
Schools and Libraries (E-Rate)/Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF)
- On June 30, 2022, in the School and Libraries docket, CC Docket No. 02-6, and in the ECF docket, WC Docket No. 21-93, the WCB issued a Public Notice (DA 22-658) announcing the grant, dismissal, or denial of various requests (such as requests for review, requests for waivers, and petition for reconsideration) related to actions taken by the Universal Service Administrative Company.
- On June 30, 2022, the FCC announced nearly $159 million in Emergency Connectivity Funding for schools and libraries, with funding intended to support applications from all three of the program's application windows.
- On June 9, 2022, the FCC announced over $244 million in ECF funding for
schools and libraries, with the funding intended to support
applications from the program's third filing window which ran
from April 28, 2022 until May 13, 2022, and will provide support in
the upcoming 2022-2023 school year for 259 schools, 24 libraries,
and 1 consortium.
Rural Health Care (RHC)
- On June 2, 2022, USAC released its RHC Program Newsletter for June 2022.
- The WCB issued a Public Notice (DA 22-560) that summaries upcoming Connected Care Pilot Program deadlines, and waives and extends the end date of the Pilot Program to conduct a full three year Pilot project. The following Connected Care Pilot Program deadlines apply to all projects: August 18, 2022 is the last day to post the initial FCC Form 461 to the USAC website; September 16, 2022 is the deadline to submit initial Form 461 to USAC; and December 31, 2025 is the last date for Pilot Program participants to end their project.
- The OMB and WCB established via Public Notice (DA 22-582) a July 31, 2022 deadline for Round 2 COVID-19 Telehealth Program funding recipients and provide recipients with additional information for the post-program report which is due on January 31, 2024.
FCC Open Meeting Recap: June 8, 2022 (part 1)
- Full Spectrum's FCC Open Meeting Recaps feature a first take and analysis following the FCC's monthly Open Meetings, with an emphasis on the agenda items directly impacting our clients. This month, Partners Tom Cohen, Chip Yorkgitis, and Hank Kelly discuss key actions and topics from the June 8th meeting, including a Notice of Inquiry related to facilitating access to spectrum for offshore uses, a Public Notice aimed at improving wireless 911 call routing, and a previously adopted Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on Affordable Connectivity Program data collection.
NTIA Broadband Funding Opportunities (part 2)
- On May 13th, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) released three Notices of Funding Opportunity to implement major broadband deployment, adoption, and equity programs where approximately $45 billion in Infrastructure Act funding will be awarded. In this episode, Partner Tom Cohen and Special Counsel Mike Dover provide a brief overview of each program and the potential opportunities.
- Click here to listen and subscribe for ongoing coverage of these topics and future meetings.
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