Telecom Alert: $950K Siting Violations Consent Decree; BDC Filing Window Opens; 911 Location-Based Routing Filing Window; ECF Funding [Vol. XX, Issue 1]
Verizon Settles for $950K over Siting Violations
On December 19, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau entered into a Consent Decree with Cellco Partnership (d/b/a Verizon Wireless) for violating the Commission’s environmental and historic preservation rules. Under FCC rules, applicants and licensees must assess whether proposed facilities could significantly impact environmentally significant and historically sensitive sites. Beginning in June 2020, Verizon Wireless commenced construction of small cell antenna sites. The Enforcement Bureau determined that Verizon Wireless commenced and/or completed construction of wireless facilities in Indiana, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania prior to or without completing the required environmental review process that, among other things, requires notification to potentially impacted Indian tribes. As a result, Verizon Wireless must pay a $950,000 penalty and implement a compliance plan.
Broadband Data Collection Filing Window Opens
The FCC announced that the filing window for submitting the next round of broadband availability data will open on January 3, 2023. Facilities-based providers may begin filing data pertaining to where they make mass-market internet access service available as of December 31, 2022. Such data must be submitted no later than March 1, 2023. The Commission encourages filers to submit their availability data as early as possible to give filers an opportunity to correct any problems with their data before the March 1 deadline.
FCC Adopts 911 Location-Based Routing NPRM
The FCC adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking at its Open Meeting on December 21st that would require wireless carriers and covered text providers to implement location-based routing for wireless 911 calls (Vol. XIX, Issue 49). The Commission proposes requiring providers to deploy technology that supports location-based routing on their IP-based networks and to use location-based routing on all 911 voice calls and text originating on their networks. In the absence of the required caller location information, the Commission would require providers to use the best available location information.
Over $65 Million in ECF Funding
On December 19th, the FCC announced that it is committing over $65 million in a new funding round through the Emergency Connectivity Program (the “Program”). The commitment will support applications from the third funding window and will support over 200 schools, 20 libraries, and two consortia. To date, the Program has provided support to approximately 10,000 schools, 1,000 libraries, and 100 consortia.
Casey Lide, Thomas B. Magee, Tracy P. Marshall, Kathleen Slattery Thompson, Sean A. Stokes, and Wesley K. Wright also contributed to this article.