July 6, 2022

Volume XII, Number 187

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July 06, 2022

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July 05, 2022

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Telecom Alert: FCC NOI on Future of USF; FCC Settles 911 Rule Compliance Investigations; 911 Fee Distribution Petitions for Reconsideration; USF Contribution Factor [Vol. XVIII, Issue 51]

FCC NOI on Future of USF

The FCC issued a Notice of Inquiry last week seeking comment on issues related to the future of the Universal Service Fund (“USF”) in light of the broadband investments in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (“Infrastructure Act” or the “Act”) (Vol. XVIII, Issue 45), which allocates $65 billion to support various types of broadband initiatives.  The Act directs the FCC to commence a proceeding to evaluate the implications of the Act on how the Commission should achieve its universal service goals for broadband and submit a report to Congress on its findings.  The Notice of Inquiry seeks comment on the effect of the Act and recommended courses of action the FCC and Congress might take to further promote its goals. 

FCC Settles 911 Rule Compliance Investigations

Last week, the FCC announced that it settled investigations into four communications providers compliance with the Commission’s 911 reliability rules during network outages that occurred last year.  AT&T will pay a total of $460,000, CenturyLink will pay $3.8 million, Intrado will pay $1.75 million and Verizon will pay $274,000 in settlement fees to resolve the investigations.  All of the companies are required to implement a compliance plan and submit annual reports to the Commission over the next three years. 

911 Fee Distribution Petitions for Reconsideration

Last week, the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau issued a Public Notice soliciting comment on two petitions for reconsideration filed in response to its 911 fee diversion order (Vol. XVIII, Issue 26).  The city and county of Denver and 15 other 911 authorities ask the Commission to include a safe harbor for states with laws that comply with the FCC’s final rules on the issue.  The Boulder Regional Emergency Telephone Service Authority (“BRETSA”) argues that taxing jurisdictions cannot be held responsible for fee diversion by another taxing jurisdiction and asks the Commission to provide a grace period to comply with the new rules. 

25.2% USF Contribution Factor

The FCC’s Office of Managing Director announced that the proposed universal service contribution factor for the first quarter of 2022 will be 25.2%, absent action from the Commission.  The 25.2% assessment on end-user interstate and international telecom service revenues is projected to meet the 1st quarter’s revenue requirement of $1.840 billion for the four original universal service programs (E-Rate, rural health care, high-cost, and Lifeline) and the Connected Care Pilot Program.

© 2022 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 355
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About this Author

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
Thomas B. Magee, Keller Heckman, transactional counsel, litigation attorney, FCC law, safety violation lawyer
Partner

Thomas Magee joined Keller and Heckman in 2000. Mr. Magee provides regulatory, transactional and litigation counsel to investor-owned electric utilities, electric cooperatives and municipalities regarding pole attachments and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) licensing of private wireless telecommunications services.

Mr. Magee has helped to resolve dozens of pole attachment disputes affecting make-ready costs, safety violations, unauthorized attachments, annual rental rates and other terms and conditions of access. He negotiates,...

202-434-4128
Wesley K. Wright, Keller Heckman, Telecommunications Lawyer, FCC Enforcement Attorney, DC
Partner

Wesley Wright joined Keller and Heckman in 2006 and practices in the areas of telecommunications law.  He assists corporate clients and trade associations with various legal and regulatory matters before the Federal Communications Commission, Federal Aviation Administration, courts and state agencies.

Mr. Wright’s practice includes private wireless licensing, FCC enforcement, and related transactional matters.  He counsels clients on internal operations and governance matters and has drafted and negotiated asset purchase agreements,...

202.434.4239
Gregory E. Kunkle, Keller Heckman, regulatory attorney, FCC lawyer
Partner

Gregory Kunkle joined Keller and Heckman in 2006. Mr. Kunkle practices in the area of telecommunications, with an emphasis on assisting corporate clients and trade associations with various legal and regulatory matters before the Federal Communications Commission.

Mr. Kunkle regularly counsels critical infrastructure companies, such as electric utilities, oil and gas companies, and railroads, public safety agencies, and commercial providers regarding FCC wireless licensing and compliance issues.  He assists clients in identifying and acquiring...

202-434-4178
Casey Lide Communication Attorney Keller & Heckman Washington, DC
Partner

Casey Lide represents clients on a broad range of communications matters including telecommunications, cable television, broadband Internet access service, wireless communications, right-of-way management, pole and conduit attachments, and barriers to community broadband initiatives.

Casey counsels public- and private-sector clients on contract drafting and negotiation matters, including fiber optic IRUs and leases, easements, franchises, attachment agreements, ISP service agreements, interconnection and collocation agreements, strategic MoUs and others.   

He collaborates...

202-434-4186
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