As the new Majority Party in the House of Representatives, Democrats will take the gavels as Chairmen of House Committees and Subcommittees as the 116th Congress convenes in January. The House Energy and Commerce Committee and its Subcommittee on Communications and Technology have jurisdiction over the FCC and telecommunications issues, including broadband. The current
Important Policy Outcomes from the Pending CAF II Reverse Auction
On June 28, the FCC released a Public Notice announcing the 220 applicants that qualified for the CAF II reverse auction. These entities include rural rate of return carriers, electric cooperatives, wireless internet services providers, satellite providers, cable operators, and price cap ILECs (or affiliates thereof). Several consortiums also qualified. In one sense, the auction…
FAA Finalizes Drone Rules
Last week, the FAA finalized its rules for routine commercial use of small unmanned aircraft systems (drones). The new rules govern the operation and certification of small drones weighing less than 55 pounds for non-hobby and non-recreational purposes. The rules will permit UAS operations for applications such as the delivery of consumer goods, inspections of…
The Industrial Internet – Legal Issues and Procurement Implications–A Series; Part 1–Overview
This is the first entry in a series on the “Industrial Internet,” focusing on the basic elements, legal issues and procurement implications, principally from the perspective of the end user. The term is used to distinguish industrial and critical infrastructure applications from consumer “Internet of Things” applications, but similar concepts apply.
The unifying characteristic is…
Another FirstNet Milestone
Another marker passed on the FirstNet roadmap last week as Capability Statements from bidders interested in building, operating and maintaining the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network were submitted March 31, 2016. Final bids are due in less than two months, on or before May 13, 2016.
FirstNet has clarified that submission of a Capability Statement…
Overdue Process Improvements to USF Contribution Reporting
It is all-too-fitting that the annual USF report is due on April 1. For many filers, OMB’s “Estimated Average Burden Hours Per Response” of 13.5 hours for completing the Form 499-A is laughable. The FCC could substantially reduce USF reporting burdens by implementing a number of overdue changes.
Many process improvement proposals offered in comments…
2016 E-Rate Filing Window Closing Soon
Time is running short for schools and libraries to seek funding for eligible products and services in the 2016 E-Rate funding season. E-Rate provides funding for high speed Internet access, dedicated services, and dark fiber to schools and libraries, as well as premises-based WiFi deployments. The filing process is driven largely by schools and libraries…
Verizon Acquires XO: “Another One Bites the Dust”
As widely reported, Verizon has entered into an agreement to acquire the fiber network business and assets of XO Communications from its sole shareholder Carl Icahn for $1.8 Billion, plus an option to purchase XO’s spectrum that expires at the end of 2018. Verizon is also leasing the spectrum from XO, presumably to “test drive” the spectrum until it either exercises or passes on the option.
Continue Reading Verizon Acquires XO: “Another One Bites the Dust”
Musicians and the FCC – Finally Singing from the Same (Accessible) Sheet of Music
Among entertainers, the FCC is seen as the self-righteous censor that levies high profile fines against a broadcaster for a “wardrobe malfunction,” or a radio station for playing a profane song. It’s no wonder Eminem complained that the FCC wouldn’t let him be!
But, the times they are a-changin. Earlier…
Historical Year For America And FirstNet
There could be two significant historical events this November. On November 8, 2016 the American people will elect the 45th President of the United States. One week earlier, on November 1st, the First Responder Network Authority, commonly referred to as FirstNet, hopes to select a winning bidder to construct, maintain and operate a nationwide public safety broadband network (“NPSBN”).
Continue Reading Historical Year For America And FirstNet