National Spectrum Strategy Announced
The Biden Administration announced its National Spectrum Strategy, which promotes four pillars of spectrum policy to guide the nation’s use and study of spectrum resources in the coming years. The first pillar seeks to study 2,786 MHz of spectrum for repurposing in the 3.1-3.45 GHz, 5.03-5.091 GHz, 7.125-8.4 GHz, 18.1-18.6 GHz, and 37.0-37.6 GHz bands. The second pillar focuses on long-term planning for spectrum allocation and transparency in the decision-making process. The third pillar promotes research and development of spectrum, and specifically implements spectrum testbeds. Finally, the fourth pillar attempts to foster spectrum expertise and awareness nationwide.
FCC Adopts Rules On Digital Discrimination
Last week, the FCC adopted rules to prevent and eliminate digital discrimination of access to broadband service. The rules, which were required by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (“IIJA”), are designed to promote equal access regardless of income level, race, ethnicity, color, religion, or national origin. The rules allow the FCC to scrutinize a company’s practices and policies to determine whether they are causing digital discrimination without adequate justification, regardless of the mindset of the company. The FCC may elect to facilitate mediation or penalize companies for violations of the rules.
AI Robocalls and Robotexts Notice of Inquiry
The FCC released a Notice of Inquiry (“NOI”) to understand the agency’s obligations under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) in combatting Artificial Intelligence (“AI”)-related robocalls and robotexts. The FCC seeks to understand not only the risks of AI generated calls and texts, but also the benefits possibly associated with the technology. The Commissions seeks comment on how to define AI, what AI technology falls under the TCPA, and how to verify the authenticity of AI-generated calls and texts, among other things.
FCC Fines Pirate Radio Operators More Than $6 Million
The FCC sent Notices of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (“NALs”) to three pirate radio operators in New York, alleging violations of the Preventing Illegal Radio Abuse Through Enforcement Act (“PIRATE Act”). The PIRATE Act seeks to prevent the unauthorized transmission of radio signals on frequencies in or adjacent to the AM and FM bands, which can cause interference to public safety emergency alert messages. The FCC proposed a maximum fine of $2,316,034 against two operators, and another fine of $1,780,000 against another for alleged violations of the PIRATE Act.