Telecom Alert - 13.4 Million in CAF-II Funding Authorized; House Markup of Broadband Mapping, Spectrum, 5G Security Bills; WISP Fined $25,000 for FAA Interference; FCC Strengthens Lifeline Program Against Waste, Fraud, and Abuse - Vol. XVI, Issue 46
$13.4 Million in CAF-II Funding Authorized
The Wireline Competition Bureau announced in a Public Notice last Wednesday the authorization of $13,468,202.20 in CAF-II support for to Hankins Information Technology and Newmax, LLC (d/b/a Intermax Networks). Hankins, which was included in the Third Ready to Authorize Public Notice from May 10, 2019, was granted a waiver of the letter of credit and bankruptcy opinion letter deadline due to special circumstances, remaining eligible for the long-form application review. The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) will disburse the support in 120 monthly payments beginning at the end of this month.
House Markup of Broadband Mapping, Spectrum, 5G Security Bills
The House Communications and Technology subcommittee held a markup session of nine bills last Friday that involved broadband mapping, 5G network and supply chain security, and satellite TV reauthorization. One of the bills marked up was the Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability Act (Vol. XVI, Issue 36), which directs the FCC to require collection of granular broadband availability data.
Wireless Internet Service Provider Fined $25,000 for FAA Interference
The Enforcement Bureau issued an Forfeiture Order imposing a $25,000 fine against WinPR, Inc. for interfering with the FAA’s terminal doppler weather radar station in San Juan, Puerto Rico. WinPR willfully operated two Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure devices with the required Dynamic Frequency Selection feature disabled. This prevented the devices from sensing the radar station and switching to a non-interfering frequency.
FCC Strengthens Lifeline Program Against Waste, Fraud, and Abuse
The FCC released a Fifth Report and Order, Memorandum Opinion and Order and Order on Reconsideration, and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Order and FNPRM) aimed at improving the integrity, effectiveness, and efficiency of the Lifeline program. The Order restores the states’ primary role in designating Eligible Telecommunications Carriers (ETCs), eliminates the Lifeline Broadband Provider ETC category, and implements improvements to the enrollment and recertifications processes. The Commission also clarifies ETC service obligations. The FNPRM seeks comment on increasing broadband adoption for consumers who would not otherwise subscribe to broadband and on making additional program integrity improvements.