Telecom Alert: Draft MTE Competition Report and Order; Affordable Connectivity Program Rules Released; FCC Urges Review of Cybersecurity Practices; NASNA Petition for Rulemaking [Vol. XIX, Issue 4]
Draft MTE Competition Report and Order
Last week, the FCC announced that Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel circulated a draft Report and Order and Declaratory ruling with the Commissioners that aims to promote competition and increase choice for broadband services for people living and working in multiple tenant environments (“MTEs”). If adopted, the Order would (1) prohibit providers from entering into graduated revenue sharing agreements or exclusive revenue sharing agreements with a building owner; (2) require providers to disclose to tenants in plain language the existence of exclusive marketing arrangements they have with building owners; and (3) clarify that existing rules prohibit sale-and-leaseback arrangements.
Affordable Connectivity Program Rules Released
Last week, the FCC released the Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking adopting the final rules for the Affordable Connectivity Program (the “Program”) (Vol. XIX, Issue 3). The Program, which builds upon the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (“EBB Program”), offers eligible low-income households discounts off the cost of broadband service and connected devices. To date, roughly 265,000 households have enrolled in the Program and more than nine million EBB Program households have transitioned.
FCC Urges Review of Cybersecurity Practices
The FCC issued a Public Notice last week encouraging communications companies to review a recent cybersecurity advisory warning U.S. critical infrastructure operators of potential cyber threats from Russia. The advisory, which was authored by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (“CISA”), Federal Bureau of Investigation, and National Security Agency, provides an overview of Russian state-sponsored cyber operations and mitigation techniques organizations can implement to protect themselves. The FCC urges all communications companies to notify CISA of cyber threats and share threat information with CISA and other industry stakeholders.
NASNA Petition for Rulemaking
Several 911-related agencies and groups have offered support for the National Association of State 911 Administrators’ (“NASNA”) Petition requesting Commission action to facilitate Next Generation 911 (“NG911”) (Vol. XVIII, Issue 52). NENA, the 9-1-1 Association, filed comments stating that the 911 industry would benefit greatly from the predictability and accountability that would come from FCC oversight of NG911 services and urges the Commission to conduct a rulemaking to determine its jurisdiction. The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials, International (“APCO”) asks the FCC to conduct a Notice of Inquiry to gather information on the extent to which service providers prioritize 911 communications and the feasibility of prioritizing new types of communication. Reply comments are due by February 3, 2022.
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.