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Telecom Alert: House Passes Infrastructure Bill; Text-to-988 Report and Order; MTE Reply Comment Deadline Extended; 70/80/90 GHz Band Pleading Cycle [Vol. XVIII, Issue 45]

House Passes Infrastructure Bill

On Friday, the House passed the bipartisan infrastructure bill that includes $65 billion to support broadband deployment and adoption.  The bill includes approximately $42.5 billion for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (“NTIA”) to implement the Broadband Equity, Access, and Development Program (“BEAD”), which would provide grants to States to fund broadband infrastructure, mapping, and adoption projects.  It also includes $14.2 billion for the Affordable Connectivity Program, which extends and modifies the existing Emergency Broadband Benefit Program and provides a $30/month broadband subsidy for low-income consumers.  President Biden has been urging passage of the bill and is expected to sign it into law.  

Text-to-988 Report and Order

At its Open Meeting on November 11, the FCC will consider a Second Report and Order that would adopt several rules to expand access to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (the “Lifeline”) (Vol. XVIII, Issue 17).  In April, the FCC issued a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on rules that would require covered text providers to route text messages sent to 988 to the Lifeline.  In the Second Report and Order, the Commission proposes adopting such a requirement and establishing a deadline of July 16, 2022 for providers to implement the service. 

MTE NPRM Reply Comment Deadline Extended

Last week, the Wireline Competition Bureau released an Order extending the deadline for filing reply comments to its Public Notice seeking to refresh the record on a 2019 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on improving broadband access to multiple tenant environments (“MTEs”) (Vol. XVIII, Issue 39).  NCTA filed a Request for Extension of Time on October 27, seeking a 30-day extension of the reply comment deadline due to the volume and complexity of the record.  The Bureau found good cause for a 15-day extension of the deadline, meaning reply comments are now due by November 19, 2021.  

70/80/90 GHz Band NPRM Pleading Cycle

The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau’s Public Notice seeking to supplement the record in the 70/80/90 GHz bands proceeding was published in the Federal Register last week (Vol. XVIII, Issue 41).  The Bureau is soliciting additional comments to address the potential for use of the bands to provide broadband Internet access to consumers and communities that may otherwise lack connectivity.  Comments and reply comments are due by December 2, 2021, and January 3, 2022, respectively. 

Gregory E. Kunkle, Casey Lide, Thomas B. Magee, Tracy P. Marshall, Kathleen Slattery Thompson, Sean A. Stokes and Wesley K. Wright contributed to this article.

© 2022 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 312
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About this Author

Paralegal

Jaimy “Sindy” Alarcon is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Licensing Specialist.

Sindy works in conjunction with the attorneys in the Telecommunications Practice to prepare FCC applications for clients seeking authority for new services, modifications, administrative updates, license cancellations, Requests for Special Temporary Authority (STA), Requests for Rule Waivers, Assignments of Authorization, Transfers of Control, Renewals, and Notifications of Construction for various radio services including microwave, land mobile, marine...

202-434-4100
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
Law Graduate

Jason Chun is a Law Graduate with our Telecommunications practice (not yet licensed to practice law as he awaits admittance under the D.C. Bar's Emergency Examination Waiver).

202-434-4491
Timothy A. Doughty, Keller Heckman, Telecommunications Licensing Specialist, Lawyer, FCC Matters Attorney
Associate

Timothy Doughty joined Keller and Heckman in 2009 as a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Licensing Specialist.

Mr. Doughty assists clients with the preparation of FCC applications, modifications, special temporary authorities, requests for rule waiver, renewals and spectrum leases in various radio services including Private Land Mobile, Microwave, Coast and Ground and Aircraft. His capabilities also include the preparation of tower registrations with the FCC and Obstruction Evaluations and Aeronautical Studies with the Federal Aviation...

202.434.4271
Michael T. N. Fitch, Keller Heckman, Wireless Communications Attorney
Senior Counsel

Michael Fitch has over 40 years of experience in wireless, international, infrastructure and other telecommunications regulatory areas.  Mr. Fitch advises clients on a wide range of issues in these areas.

Mr. Fitch began his career at the Federal Communications Commission, where he advanced from staff attorney to Bureau Chief and Senior Legal and International Advisor to the Chairman. He also served as a Presidential Exchange Executive from the FCC to the Westinghouse Electric Corporation in Pittsburgh for one year. 

He...

202-434-4264
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