Telecom Alert: Biden Signs EO on Competition; Rip-and-Replace R&O; 5.9 GHz Band Petitions for Recon; NTIA Report on Space-Based Operations [Vol. XVIII, Issue 28]
Biden Signs Executive Order on Competition
Last Friday President Joe Biden signed the Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy, an all-encompassing government order that includes 72 initiatives by more than a dozen federal agencies aimed at promoting competition across the U.S. economy. The Order encourages the FCC to take several steps, including adopting new net neutrality rules, requiring enhanced service provider transparency, and preventing landlords and cable and Internet service providers from inhibiting tenants’ choices among providers, and prohibiting unjust or unreasonable early termination fees for end user communications contracts. It also encourages the FTC to limit manufacturers’ ability to restrict purchasers from using third-party repair services or to repair equipment themselves, an area that has drawn attention with respect to mobile and other consumer tech devices.
Rip-and-Replace Report and Order
The FCC will consider a Third Report and Order at its July Open Meeting on Tuesday that would amend the rules for the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Reimbursement Program (Vol. XVIII, Issue 8) consistent with the modifications adopted in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. In December 2020, the FCC adopted its Rip-and-Replace Report and Order requiring eligible telecommunications carriers to remove and replace any equipment deemed to pose an unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States, and reimbursing carriers for such projects. The Third Report and Order would increase the customer eligibility cap for participation in the Program from providers with two million or fewer customers to those with ten million or fewer. It also would modify the equipment and services eligible for reimbursement to all communications equipment and services produced or provided by Huawei or ZTE. The Order would establish June 30, 2020 as the new date by which communications equipment and services must have been obtained to be eligible for reimbursement. ).
5.9 GHz Band Order Petition Pleading Cycle
In November 2020, the FCC adopted a Report and Order that designated the lower 45 MHz of the 5.9 GHz band for unlicensed use and the upper 30 MHz for enhanced automobile safety using Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything technology (Vol. XVII, Issue 47). Last week the FCC published a Notice in the Federal Register announcing that several Petitions for Reconsideration have been filed in the Commission’s rulemaking proceeding. Oppositions to the petitions are due by July 22, 2021 and replies to the oppositions are due by August 2, 2021. NTIA Report on Space-Based Operations and Spectrum Use
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (“NTIA”) released a report last week that documents current and projected spectrum uses for satellite communications, collectively referred to as space-based systems. The report aims to provide basic information that will help increase public understanding of the scope and value of space-based operations and the importance of their access to spectrum. It notes that a recent Department of Commerce review found the U.S. space economy added $108.9 million in value to the current-dollar GDP. It also cites data indicating that GPS impacts more than $1.4 trillion in the U.S. economy.