Telecom Alert: Small Provider STIR/SHAKEN Start Date; 6 GHz Band Petition for Rulemaking; Minority Communities Program Funding Requests; FAA Airworthiness Directives [Vol. XVIII, Issue 50]
Small Provider STIR/SHAKEN Start Date Moved Up
The FCC released a Report and Order last week shortening the deadline for some small voice service providers to implement the STIR/SHAKEN framework. In 2020, the FCC provided an extension for small voice service providers with 100,000 or fewer subscribers until June 30, 2023 to implement the STIR/SHAKEN framework. However, the FCC believes some small voice service providers are originating an increasing number of illegal robocalls. Accordingly, the agency is now requiring non-facilities based small voice service providers to implement STIR/SHAKEN by June 30, 2022.
Critical Infrastructure/Public Safety Urge FCC Action on 6 GHz Band Rules
Last week, a dozen trade associations representing critical infrastructure and public safety entities filed a Petition for Rulemaking and a Request for Stay in the FCC’s 6 GHz band proceeding. The Petition for Rulemaking states recent test results demonstrate the FCC’s 6 GHz band rules must be modified to protect incumbents from interference caused by new unlicensed devices. The Petition also urges the FCC to adopt a cost recovery mechanism for incumbents forced to spend resources mitigating against interference from such devices. The Request for Stay asks the FCC to pause certifications of low power unlicensed 6 GHz devices until new rules to adequately address interference are adopted.
NTIA Minority Communities Program Funding Requests
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (“NTIA”) announced it has received more than 200 applications requesting over $833 million in funding for the Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program (the “Program”). The $268 million Program will make grants available to eligible Historically Black Colleges or Universities, Tribal Colleges or Universities, and minority-serving institutions for the purchase of internet service, equipment, and devices. The Program will be complemented by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which provides $48 billion for various broadband deployment and adoption programs to be administered by NTIA.
FAA Airworthiness Directives for 5G Operations
Last week, the FAA issued an airworthiness directive (“AD”) for all helicopters equipped with a radio altimeter using the 4200-4400 MHz band prohibiting certain operations due to potential interference from 5G terrestrial systems in the 3.7-3.98 GHz band (“C-Band”). The AD cited a report that concluded there is a risk that 5G operations in the C-Band will cause harmful interference to radar altimeters on different types of aircraft, and that the likelihood of interference increases for operations at lower altitudes. Accordingly, the FAA proposes limiting certain operations requiring radio altimeter data when C-Band wireless broadband signals are identified in the area. Comments on the FAA’s proposals are due by January 23, 2022.