Telecom Alert - CAF II Reverse Auction Rules Finalized; Wireless Emergency Alert Update; DHHS to Address Cell Phone Radiation; FCC Creates Office of Economics and Analytics; Webinar: Qualifying and Bidding in the CAF II Reverse - Vol. XV, Issue 6
CAF II Reverse Auction Rules Finalized
The FCC adopted two Connect America Phase II (CAF II) Auction items. The Order on Reconsideration resolves petitions regarding “how to compare bids of different performance levels, standalone voice requirements, and eligible areas, among other matters.” The Public Notice announced the auction’s start date is scheduled for July 24, 2018. The all-important, updated Technical Guidance on bidding procedures is available here.
Wireless Emergency Alert Update
The FCC unanimously adopted a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) Report and Order that will require participating wireless providers to target emergency alerts over precise geographic areas. The Order extends the length of alert messages to 360 characters, and requires that emergency alerts remain available to consumers for 24 hours after an incident. Providers are expected to comply by November 30, 2019 unless technologically incapable. This action follows a report presented last week at the FCC’s monthly meeting outlining the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau’s investigation into Hawaii’s false ballistic missile alert.
DHHS to Address Cell Phone Radiation
On February 2, 2018, the National Toxicology Program (NTP) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released two Draft NTP Technical Reports on Cell Phone Radiofrequency Radiation (RFR). NTP will hold a Peer Review of the Draft Reports, which study effects of radiation on mice and rats, on March 28, 2018 in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Participants can attend in person or by webcast to present oral comments. Public comment submissions will be accepted until March 12, 2018.
FCC Creates Office of Economics and Analytics
The FCC adopted an Order establishing the Office of Economics and Analysis. The Order incorporates the proposals from the Staff Report released mid-January (Vol. XV, Issue 3), and eliminated the existing Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis. The new office is intended to “ensure that economic analysis is deeply and consistently incorporated as part of the agency’s regular operations.” The vote split along party lines, with Commissioners Rosenworcel and Clyburndissenting, claiming that the proposal lacked specificity and will be a “mechanism to justify [the FCC’s] interests, while disregarding any analysis that runs counter to their views.”