Telecom Alert – 3.5 GHz Auction Short-Form; FCC Seeks Comment on New Data Fields for Covered 911 Service Providers; CARES Act and GEER Fund; 2.5 GHz Rural Tribal Priority Window; Marriott Consent Decree – Vol. XVII, Issue 18
3.5 GHz Auction Short-Form Deadline Reminder
The Short-Form application filing window for participation in the 3.5 GHz band auction of Priority Access Licenses (PALs) (Auction 105) will close this week on May 7 (Vol. XVII, Issue 13). Bidding in the auction is scheduled to begin on June 25, 2020.
FCC Seeks Comment on New Data Fields for Covered 911 Service Providers
The FCC released a Public Notice last week seeking comment on implementing new data fields for Covered 911 Service Providers when filing Network Outage Reporting System (NORS) information and submitting the annual Reliability Certification. Specifically, the FCC wants Covered 911 Service Providers to supplement NORS outage reports with information from their most recent 911 Reliability Certification to confirm the extent to which any alternative measures they use to ensure circuit diversity are effective. Comments will be due 30 days after the item is published in the Federal Register, which should occur in the next week or two.
CARES Act and GEER Fund
Last week the FCC announced that it will work with governors, states, and local school districts to promote the use of $16 billion in funding from the recently enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Education Stabilization Fund for remote learning (Vol. XVII, Issue 14). The Commission will publicize CARES Act resources and identify service providers that may be able to quickly provide broadband connectivity and devices to support remote learning. In addition, the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund makes approximately $3 billion in emergency block grants available to governors to establish and expand access to remote learning.
2.5 GHz Rural Tribal Priority Window
On Friday, the National Tribal Telecommunications Association (NTTA) filed a motion seeking to extend the Rural Tribal Priority Window for access to 2.5 GHz spectrum by an additional 90 days. Earlier this year, the Commission adopted a 180-day time period during which interested Tribal or Tribally-related entities could file applications for 2.5 GHz spectrum (Vol. XVII, Issue 2). NTTA cited impacts to Tribes by the COVID-19 pandemic and noted that as of April 24 only 24 applications had been filed.
Marriott Consent Decree for 310(d) Violation
The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau released an Order announcing that it entered into a Consent Decree with Marriott Vacations Worldwide. The Order resolved investigations into whether Marriott violated Section 310(d) of the Communications Act by failing to obtain the Commission's prior consent to the Transfer of Control of wireless licenses as part of its acquisition of ILG, Inc. Marriott admitted that it failed to obtain the FCC’s approval and will implement a compliance plan and pay a $70,000 civil penalty. Marriott was required to pay $504,000 to settle an investigation for the same type of violation in 2018.