Telecom Alert: New Wireless Application Fees; 2.5 GHz Band Apps Accepted; ReConnect Funding; ECF Funding [Vol. XX, Issue 8]
New Wireless Application Fees Effective March 2
Last week, the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau issued a Public Notice announcing that the updated application fees adopted by the Commission in December of last year (Vol. XIX, Issue 51) will go into effect on March 2. New site-based license applications and major modifications will cost $105, and new non-auctioned geographic-based licenses will cost $340. The increase in fees apply to all application fees over $50.
2.5 GHz Band Applications Accepted for Filing
Last week, the FCC announced that seven long-form applications for licenses won in the 2.5 GHz band auction (“Auction 108”) were accepted for filing (Vol. XX, Issue 2). Auction 108 made available 8,017 new flexible-use, county-based overlay licenses in the 2.5 GHz band. The applications were filed by Ketchikan Public Utilities, Skyrider Communications LLC, Pathfinder Wireless Corp., Inland Cellular LLC, Inland MT LLC, Evolve Cellular Inc., and Xtreme Enterprises, LLC. Petitions to deny the applications are due by February 23, oppositions to a petition to deny are due by March 3 and replies to oppositions are due by March 10.
$63 Million in ReConnect Funding
Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) announced that it is making available $63 million in round three funding under its ReConnect Program (Vol. XIX, Issue 44). The Program administers loan and grants to broadband service providers to construct, improve, or acquire facilities needed to provide broadband service to rural areas without connectivity. This funding commitment will go to people living and working in Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, and Mississippi. The grants will go to McDonough Telephone Cooperative ($18 million), Alpha Enterprises Limited, Inc. ($19.5 million), Paul Bunyan Rural Telephone Cooperative ($10 million), and Uplink Internet LLC ($15 million).
The FCC announced that it is committing over $24 million in a new funding round through the Emergency Connectivity Program (the “Program”). The Commitment will support applications from the third filing window and will support over 140 schools, 8 libraries, and three consortia. To date, the Program has provided support to approximately 11,000 schools, 1,000 libraries, and 100 consortia.
Casey Lide, Thomas Magee, Tracy Marshall, Kathleen Slattery Thompson, Sean Stokes, and Wesley Wright also contributed to this article.