Telecom Alert:3.1-3.45 GHz Auction Bill; FCC Expands Covered Services List; Construction Notification Issues; ECF Funding [Vol. XIX, Issue 39note]
3.1 - 3.45 GHz Auction Legislation Introduced
Last week, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced a bill that would require the FCC to auction spectrum in the 3.1-3.45 GHz band If passed, the Commission would have to seven years to auction 350 MHz of spectrum in the band. Proceeds from the auction would cover 110 percent of the relocation costs for federal entities, with the remaining funds being deposited with the Treasury. The House of Representatives passed a similar bill in July (Vol. XIX, Issue 29), however the House bill would allocate the proceeds to fund reimbursements under the Rip-and-Replace program and provide up to $10 billion for Next Generation 911 deployments.
FCC Expands Covered Services List
The FCC released a Public Notice last week announcing that it added equipment and services from two entities to its list of communications equipment and services that have been deemed a threat to national security (Vol. XIX, Issue 15). Pacific Network Corp. and its wholly-owned subsidiary ComNet (USA) LLC and China Unicom (Americas) Operations Limited were all found to be subject to the exploitation, influence, and control of the Chinese government and the national security risks associated. The inclusion of these services on the covered list extends both to subsidiaries and affiliates of the entities.
FCC Construction Notifications Facing Issues
FCC staff informed Keller and Heckman’s licensing team last week that certain licensees are not receiving notifications about upcoming construction deadlines due to technical issues with the agency’s Universal Licensing Service (ULS). The Commission typically notifies licensees 90 days in advance of upcoming deadlines. FCC staff is working to fix this issue but also encourages licensees to exercise additional diligence to ensure critical deadlines are not missed.
Nearly $55 Million in ECF Funding
Last week, the FCC announced that it is committing nearly $55 million in new founding rounds through the Emergency Connectivity Fund. These commitments support applications from all three application windows and will cover approximately 125,000 students across the country. They include nearly $775,000 from the first and second application window and over $54 million from the third window. To date, the Commission has committed over $5.9 billion to schools and libraries across the country.