Telecom Alert: 911 Service Provider Reliability Certification Fines; Emergency Connectivity Fund Second Funding Wave; Tribal Library E-Rate Information Session; RDOF Funding Authorization [Vol. XVIII, Issue 42]
911 Service Provider Reliability Certification Fines
Last week, the FCC announced that eight covered 911 service providers must pay penalties for failing to timely file their required 911 service reliability certification in 2020. Companies that provide 911 service to emergency call centers must annually certify that they have taken steps to mitigate the risk of a 911 service failure. The penalties range from $3,500 to $7,500, and the companies must also implement compliance plants to prevent repeat violations. The deadline for submitting the 2021 annual certification was October 15, 2021.
Emergency Connectivity Fund Second Funding Wave
The FCC announced that it is committing more than $1.1 billion for 2,471 schools, 205 libraries, and 26 consortia that applied for support from the Emergency Connectivity Fund (Vol. XVIII, Issue 40). Combined with the second funding wave, the Commission is providing support for over 5.4 million devices and 2.7 million broadband connections to support 5,474 schools, 461 libraries, and 49 consortia. To date, the FCC has committed over $2.3 billion in funding to school and library applicants and responded to nearly 60 percent of all applications within 60 days of the closing of the first filing window. The Commission continues to review applications and will announce future funding commitments in coming weeks.
Tribal Library E-Rate Information Session
The FCC’s Office of Native Affairs and Policy and the Wireline Competition Bureau issued a Public Notice announcing that it will host a listening session for Tribal leaders, staff, and outreach partners to inform participants about the Commission’s efforts to increase Tribal libraries’ participation in the E-Rate program. The interactive one-hour session will discuss a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking the FCC adopted on October 1 (Vol. XVIII, Issue 37), which proposes to update the definition of libraries in its rules to clarify that Tribal libraries are eligible. The listening session will take place at 2:00 p.m. EST on October 27, 2021. Comments and reply comments on the NPRM are due by November 15, 2021, and November 29, 2021, respectively.
RDOF Funding Authorization
The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau issued a Public Notice last week announcing the authorization of support for 469 winning bids in the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (“RDOF”) (Vol. XVIII, Issue 41). The Commission will release a state-level summary that will provide for each application: (1) the total support amount over 10 years and total number of locations each applicant is authorized; (2) the total number of locations the recipient must offer the required services for each performance tier and latency in each state; and (3) the eligible census blocks authorized in each state. All authorized long-form applicants must submit their location information data with USAC by March 1, 2022.
Casey Lide, Thomas B. Magee, Tracy P. Marshall, Kathleen Slattery Thompson, Sean A. Stokes and Wesley K. Wright contributed to this article.