Telecom Alert: 911 Reliability Certification Consent Decrees; CBRS Long-Form Application Granted; $600M in Tribal Broadband Grants; RDOF Support [Vol. XIX, Issue 42]
911 Reliability Certification Consent Decrees
Last week, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau released several Consent Decrees it reached with five communications providers that failed to file their annual 911 reliability certifications for 2021. Under the FCC’s rules, Covered 911 Services Providers must file an annual reliability certification disclosing steps taken to promote reliability of the 911 system. This includes 911 circuit auditing, ensuring adequate central office backup power, and diversely monitoring the 911 network. Virgin Islands Telephone Corp (d/b/a Viya), Mud Lake Telephone Cooperative Association, Inc. and Otelco Telephone LLC all agreed to pay a $6,000 civil penalty and implement a compliance plan while Highland Telephone Cooperative and Consolidated Communications, Inc. agreed to pay a $3,500 penalty and implement a compliance plan.
CBRS Long-Form Application Granted
The FCC released a Public Notice last week announcing the grant of one additional long-form application and issuance of 41 Priority Access Licenses (“PALs”) in the 3.5 GHz band Auction (Auction 105) (Vol. XIX, Issue 31). Auction 105 had the highest number of winning bidders in a spectrum auction to date, with 228 bidders winning a total of 20,625 licenses. This announcement grants Wisenet, LLC PALs throughout Puerto Rico.
Over $600 Million in Tribal Broadband Grants
Last week, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (“NTIA”) announced it awarded 23 grants totaling more than $601.6 million through the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (the “Program”) (Vol. XIX, Issue 36). These new grants are being awarded in fifteen states and will directly connect 42,268 unserved Native American households that previously had no connectivity to high-speed internet. To date, the program has awarded $1.35 billion to 94 Tribal entities.
RDOF Support Authorized
The FCC issued a Public Notice last week authorizing support for 1,865 winning bids through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (“RDOF”) (Vol. XIX, Issue 19). The Commission will post a summary for each winning bidder that will provide the total support amount over 10 years and total number of locations, the total number of locations the recipient must offer the required services, and the eligible census blocks that are being authorized in each state. The support will be disbursed in 120 monthly payments, which will begin at the end of this month.
Casey Lide, Thomas B. Magee, Tracy P. Marshall, Kathleen Slattery Thompson, Sean A. Stokes, and Wesley K. Wright also contributed to this article.