Telecom Alert — DC Circuit Net Neutrality Ruling; CA 911 Outage Reporting; CAF Requirements, VoIP, and 800 MHz Re-Banding to be Considered at October Open Meeting; NHTSA Awards $1.7 Million in 911 Grants — Vol. XVI, Issue 40
DC Circuit Net Neutrality Ruling
On October 1, the D.C. Circuit issued its decision on the FCC’s 2017 Restoring Internet Freedom Order (Order) (Vol. XVI, Issue 3), upholding the FCC’s reclassifying broadband Internet access service as an information service and repealing the comprehensive net neutrality rules adopted in the 2015 Open Internet Order. In affirming the FCC’s determination that broadband is an information service, the court vacated a provision of the Order that preempted states from imposing their own open Internet regulations, noting the FCC has no regulatory authority over information services. Applying the same logic, the court remanded the Order’s rulings on pole attachments and the Lifeline program for further Commission review.
California 911 Outage Reporting Bill
Last week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed into law Senate Bill 670 and Senate Bill 560, which regulate communications during 911 outages and public power shut offs (Vol. XVI, Issue 27). SB 670 requires telecommunications service providers that offer access to 911 service to notify the Office of Emergency Services (OES) within 60 minutes of discovering a community isolation outage that limits the provider’s customers’ ability to make 911 calls or receive emergency notifications. It also makes the OES responsible for notifying any applicable county office of emergency service and the sheriff of any county affected by the outage. SB 560 requires that emergency departments, health care facilities, and telecommunication providers receive prior notification of de-energizing events when their facilities will be impacted by a planned power shutdown.
CAF Requirements, VoIP, and 800 MHz Re-Banding to be Considered at October Open Meeting
On Friday, the FCC published a tentative agenda for its next Open Meeting on October 25, 2019. Among other items, the Commission will consider an Order on Reconsideration that would modify the testing procedure requirements for carriers that receive Connect America Fund (CAF) support (Vol. XV, Issue 28). It will also consider a Declaratory Ruling that would clarify the New and Emerging Technologies 911 Improvement Act of 2008 (NET 911 Act) to ensure regulatory parity in 911 fees between VoIP services and traditional telecommunications services. Additionally, the Commission will consider an Order and Sixth Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would streamline rules and procedures to expedite the completion of the 800 MHz re-banding (Vol. XVI, Issue 20).
NHTSA Awards $1.7 Million in 911 Grants
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awarded $1.7 million in funding to the National Association of State 911 Administrators (NASNA) last week to improve the effectiveness of the 911 network. The five-year agreement with NASNA is part of $1.8 million in funding that NHTSA is providing to five non-governmental partner organizations to enhance highway safety.