Telecom Alert: GHz Auction Winning Bidders; Affordable Connectivity Program Rules Adopted; T-Band Petition for Rulemaking; Emergency Connectivity Fund Commitments [Vol. XIX, Issue 3]
3.45 GHz Auction Winning Bidders
The FCC issued a Public Notice last week announcing the winning bidders of Auction 110 (Vol. XVIII, Issue 48). Auction 110 raised more than $22 billion in net bids, with 23 bidders winning a total of 4,041 licenses. Thirteen of the twenty-three winning bidders qualified as small businesses or as entities serving rural communities. Each winning bidder must deposit a down payment on its winning bids by 6:00 p.m. EST on January 31, 2022.
Affordable Connectivity Program Rules Adopted
Last week, the FCC announced that it adopted a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking establishing the $14.2 billion Affordable Connectivity Program (the “Program”) (Vol. XIX, Issue 2). The Program will provide eligible households with discounts of up to $30 a month for broadband service, or up to $75 a month on Tribal lands. It will also provide a one-time discount of up to $100 on a computer or tablet.
T-Band Petition for Rulemaking Pleading Cycle
The pleading cycle is set on a Petition for Rulemaking filed by Land Mobile Communications Council (“LMCC”) last year asking the FCC to modernize the rules governing protection of television stations by land mobile systems operating in the 470-512 MHz band (“T-Band”). LMCC argues that since television stations have converted to digital transmission using the Advanced Television Systems Committee DTV format (“ATSC-1”), the Commission’s rules should be updated to reflect appropriate protection criteria. Comments are due by February 10, 2022.
Over $361 Million in Emergency Connectivity Fund Committed
The FCC announced it is committing more than $361 million in the latest round of the Emergency Connectivity Fund. This round of commitments will support 802 schools, 49 libraries, and 8 consortia, which are approved to receive nearly 654,000 connected devices and over 313,000 broadband connections. The Fund has committed nearly $4.2 billion since it was launched.