Telecom Alert:Fine for Violating Transactional Rules; NTIA Workforce Planning Guide; Tribal E-Rate Pilot Program; ECF Funding [Vol. XIX, Issue 43]
FCC Fines Licensee for Violating Transactional Rules
Last week, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau released an Order announcing that it entered into a Consent Decree with an industrial company that violated the FCC’s transactional rules. The FCC found the company completed six substantial transfers of control without obtaining prior consent from the FCC. The transactions included a total of 59 licenses. The Consent Decree requires the licensee to pay a $50,000 civil penalty, implement a three-year Compliance Plan, and conduct an inventory of all its FCC licenses during each of the reporting periods.
NTIA Workforce Planning Guide
Last week, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (“NTIA”) released a new Workforce Planning Guide for states and territories to use when planning high-speed Internet deployment projects. Individual states are responsible for awarding funding for rural broadband deployments under the Broadband Equity Access and Development (“BEAD” or the “Program”) program, and the guide offers strategies to assist states in developing workforce requirements under it and other Internet for All programs. The guide addresses meeting the funding requirements and ensuring a skilled, competitive, and diverse workforce.
Tribal E-Rate Pilot Program
The FCC announced the formal launch of a new pilot program last week aimed at making it easier for Tribal libraries to apply for broadband funding through the E-Rate program. The pilot program will initially target 20 Tribal libraries and will provide one-one-one help in all aspects of planning and applying for E-Rate support. Applications to participate in the pilot program are due on November 18.
Nearly $78 Million in ECF Funding
Last week, the FCC announced that it is committing nearly $78 million in new funding rounds through the Emergency Connectivity Fund. These commitments support applications from the first and third application windows and will support over 190 schools, 30 libraries, and one consortium. To date, the Commission has committed nearly $6.1 billion to schools and libraries.