Telecom Alert: Pole Attachment Rulemaking Pleading Cycle; Spectrum Innovation Act; ECF Third Filing Window; 988 Geolocation Forum [Vol. XIX, Issue 18]
Pole Attachment Rulemaking Pleading Cycle
The FCC’s Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking to establish standards on pole attachment sharing costs was published in the Federal Register. The Commission requests input on whether it should adopt guidelines for when and how utilities should be required to pay a proportional share of the total pole replacement costs, and the scope of refund liability to pole owners. Comments and reply comments are due on June 27, 2022, and July 27, 2022, respectively (Vol. XIX, Issue 12).
Spectrum Innovation Act Introduced
On April 28, Senators Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM) and John Thune, along with Representatives Mike Doyle (D-PA) and Bob Latta (R-OH) introduced the Spectrum Innovation Act of 2022, which would make mid-band spectrum available for wireless broadband use. Specifically, the bill would require at least 200 MHz in the 3.1-3.45 GHz band to be auctioned for non-federal use, shared federal and non-federal use, or a combination of the two. It would also transfer $50 million from the Spectrum Relocation Fund for a federal entity to plan for spectrum use.
Emergency Connectivity Fund Third Filing Window
Last week, the FCC announced that it will be opening a third application filing window in the Emergency Connectivity Fund (“ECF”) to award at least $1 billion to schools and libraries (Vol. XIX, Issue 17). Applicants can submit requests beginning April 28, 2022 until May 13, 2022 for funding to purchase eligible equipment and services. Given past demand, this filing window will likely be the last opportunity to request funding before the ECF is exhausted.
988 Geolocation Forum
Last week, the FCC announced that it will hold a forum in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs on the challenges and opportunities related to geolocation for 988, the three-digit number designated for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Vol. XVII, Issue 47). The forum, which will be held on May 24, 2022, will include panels and discussions with state and local stakeholders, suicide prevention and mental health experts and advocates, communications industry leaders, and technical experts. It is open to the public via a live feed on the FCC’s website.
Gregory Kunkle, Casey Lide, Thomas Magee, Tracy Marshall, Kathleen Slattery Thompson, Sean Stokes, and Wesley Wright also contributed to this article.