Telecom Alert: 800 MHz Interstitial Channels Available; Carriers Deploy 911 Vertical Location Technology; USF Contribution Factor; ECF Funding [Vol. XIX, Issue 24]
800 MHz Interstitial Channels Available
Last week, the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau and Wireless Telecommunications Bureau announced the availability of interstitial channels in the 800 MHz band for licensing (Vol. XIX, Issue 13). The Commission will begin accepting applications for 12.5 kHz bandwidth channels on July 7, 2022 and will dismiss without prejudice any pending applications requesting a waiver for early access to the channels.
Carriers Deploy 911 Vertical Location Technology
On June 2, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon certified with the FCC that they successfully tested technologies that could provide 911 callers’ z-axis location information to 911 call centers. In June 2021, the Commission entered into consent decrees with the three carriers requiring them to deploy such technology and pay a $100,000 settlement (Vol. XVIII, Issue 23). The carriers tested Google’s Android Emergency Location Service (“ELS”) and Apple’s Hybridized Emergency Location (“HELO”) together to achieve accuracy within three meters for at least 80% of wireless 911 calls.
33% USF Contribution Factor
The FCC’s Office of Managing Director announced that the proposed universal service contribution factor for the third quarter of 2022 will be 33%, absent action from the Commission. The 33% assessment on end-user interstate and international telecom service revenues is projected to meet the third quarter’s revenue requirement of $2.036 billion for the four original universal service programs (E-Rate, rural health care, high-cost, and Lifeline) and the Connected Care Pilot Program.
Over $244M in ECF Funding Committed
Last week, the FCC announced that it is committing over $244 million in the latest round of the Emergency Connectivity Fund (“ECF” or the “Program”) (Vol. XIX, Issue 22). This round of commitments will support 259 schools, 24 libraries, and 1 consortium across the country. The Commission also announced $18 million in funding from two previous application windows, bringing the total funding committed to date to $5.1 billion.
C. Douglas Jarrett, Gregory E. Kunkle, Casey Lide, Thomas B. Magee, Tracy P. Marshall, Kathleen Slattery Thompson, Sean A. Stokes, and Wesley K. Wright also contributed to this article.