Telecom Alert: PSAP Notification R&O; EWA 800 MHz Band Petition for Rulemaking; ReConnect Funding; 900 MHz Applications Granted [Vol. XIX, Issue 44]
PSAP Notification Report and Order
The FCC will consider a Second Report and Order at its next Open Meeting on November 17 that would adopt rules to ensure Public Safety Answering Points (“PSAPs”) receive timely notifications of network outages. If adopted, the Order would require Originating Service Providers (“OSPs”) and covered 911 service providers to obtain and maintain up-to-date contact information for 911 special facilities, harmonize the content and means by which such providers transmit outage notifications, and provide notice to the FCC when they cease operations. It would also retain the current requirement that covered 911 service providers file reliability certifications on an annual basis.
EWA 800 MHz Band Petition for Rulemaking
Last week, the Enterprise Wireless Association (“EWA”) filed a Petition for Rulemaking with the FCC asking the Commission to initiate a rulemaking proceeding to eliminate frequency assignments in the 800 MHz band to specific “pools” of eligible entities. Currently, frequencies in the band are assigned to either the Public Safety Pool, Business/Industrial Land Transportation (B/ILT) Pool, the Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) Category, or the General Category. EWA recommends classifying all frequencies as General Category and making them available to all qualified applicants. EWA also asked the Commission to eliminate the rule reserving Sprint-vacated spectrum for use by certain entities so those frequencies can be made available.
$759 Million in ReConnect Funding
Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) announced that it is making $759 million in round three funding under its ReConnect Program (Vol. XIX, Issue 32). The Program administers loans 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 24 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, and Palau, and includes funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
Last week, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau issued a Public Notice granting six 900 MHz broadband segment license applications (Vol. XIX, Issue 38). The FCC realigned the 900 MHz band in May 2020 to make available six megahertz of low-band spectrum for the development of critical wireless broadband technologies and services, while reserving four megahertz of spectrum for continued narrowband operations. The Commission granted six applications of PDV Spectrum Holding Co. LLC for markets in Kansas and Missouri.
Casey Lide, Thomas Magee, Tracy Marshall, Kathleen Slattery Thompson, Sean Stokes, and Wesley Wright also contributed to this article.