August 16, 2022

Volume XII, Number 228

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August 16, 2022

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August 15, 2022

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Telecom Alert: Broadband Data Collection Help Center; $48K Consent Decree; Affordable Connectivity Program NPRM; $16M Lifeline Settlement, [Vol. XIX, Issue 23]

Broadband Data Collection Help Center

Last week, the FCC announced the launch of an online help center to assist internet service providers and other filers of verified broadband availability data prepare their submissions for the Broadband Data Collection (“BDC”) (Vol. XIX, Issue 22).  The help center contains technical information on how to prepare availability and subscription data for filing.  With the filing window opening on June 30, facilities-based providers of fixed and mobile broadband internet access services must submit broadband availability data by September 1, 2022. 

$48K Consent Decree for Outage Report Failure

On June 2, the FCC entered into a Consent Decree with Liberty Mobile USVI, Inc. (“Liberty”), ending its investigation into Liberty’s failure to report a network outage on its network in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.  The network outage occurred when a fiber optic cable was inadvertently cut by a third party during an excavation project. Liberty failed to file required Notifications with the FCC within 120 minutes of discovering the outage and within 72 hours of the outage. The Consent Decree required Liberty to pay a $48,000 civil penalty, implement a compliance plan, and submit annual compliance reports to the Commission over the next three years.

Affordable Connectivity Program NPRM

The Commission will consider a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking at its open meeting on June 8 seeking comment on a statutorily mandated annual data collection relating to the price and subscription rates of internet service offerings received by households enrolled in the Affordable Connectivity Program.  The draft Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was circulated among the Commissioners’ offices last month and was added to the June Open Meeting agenda last week.  

$16M Lifeline Settlement

The FCC entered into a Consent Decree with American Broadband & Telecommunications Company (“American Broadband”) for violating the Commission’s Lifeline Program rules.  Specifically, American Broadband allegedly:  (i) sought support for ineligible and duplicate Lifeline accounts; (ii) sought support for deceased individuals; (iii) filed improper Form 497s; (vi) failed to de-enroll ineligible subscribers; (v) failed to adequately screen, train, or supervise the third-party sales agents used to enroll subscribers; and (vi) failed to maintain proper compliance procedures.  American Broadband agreed to pay a total settlement of $16,618,235.44 and implement enhanced compliance measures.  

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. 

© 2022 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 157
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About this Author

Paralegal

Jaimy “Sindy” Alarcon is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Licensing Specialist.

Sindy works in conjunction with the attorneys in the Telecommunications Practice to prepare FCC applications for clients seeking authority for new services, modifications, administrative updates, license cancellations, Requests for Special Temporary Authority (STA), Requests for Rule Waivers, Assignments of Authorization, Transfers of Control, Renewals, and Notifications of Construction for various radio services including microwave, land mobile, marine...

202-434-4100
Jim Baller Communications Attorney Keller & Heckman Washington, DC
Partner

James (Jim) Baller represents clients across the U.S. in a broad range of communications matters including high-capacity broadband network projects, public-private broadband partnerships, telecommunications, wireless facility siting, right-of-way management, pole and conduit attachments, and barriers to community broadband initiatives.

Jim was the founder and president of the U.S. Broadband Coalition, a diverse group of more than 160 communications service providers, high technology companies, labor unions, public interest and consumer groups, state and local government entities,...

202-434-4175
Law Graduate

Jason Chun is a Law Graduate with our Telecommunications practice (not yet licensed to practice law as he awaits admittance under the D.C. Bar's Emergency Examination Waiver).

202-434-4491
Timothy A. Doughty, Keller Heckman, Telecommunications Licensing Specialist, Lawyer, FCC Matters Attorney
Associate

Timothy Doughty joined Keller and Heckman in 2009 as a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Licensing Specialist.

Mr. Doughty assists clients with the preparation of FCC applications, modifications, special temporary authorities, requests for rule waiver, renewals and spectrum leases in various radio services including Private Land Mobile, Microwave, Coast and Ground and Aircraft. His capabilities also include the preparation of tower registrations with the FCC and Obstruction Evaluations and Aeronautical Studies with the Federal Aviation...

202.434.4271
C. Douglas Jarrett, Keller Heckman, telecommunications lawyer, procurement law
Partner

Douglas Jarrett joined Keller and Heckman in 1979. Mr. Jarrett specializes in telecommunications law, policy and procurement matters.

Mr. Jarrett is a recognized expert in representing enterprises in negotiating telecommunications services agreements with the major wireline and wireless carriers, domestically and globally.  He also advises enterprises on M2M services, cloud computing and IVR technology procurements. 

Mr. Jarrett represents technology companies in securing amendments to the FCC rules to enable the...

202-434-4180
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