Telecom Alert: WV Abandoned Pole Rules; Broadband Data Maps Released; 900 MHz Applications Granted; ECF Funding [Vol. XIX, Issue 47]
Broadband Data Maps Released
The FCC announced the release if a pre-production draft of its new National Broadband Map (the “Broadband Map”) last Friday, which shows fixed and mobile broadband availability data (Vol. XIX, Issue 46). The Broadband Map is the most comprehensive and standardized data the Commission has ever made available on broadband availability, will show specific location-level information about broadband services throughout the country. The public will be able to view the maps and search for their address to see information and may file challenges with the FCC if any discrepancies arise.
WV PSC Adopts Abandoned Pole Rules
Last week, the West Virginia Public Service Commission adopted rules to implement legislation aimed at expediting broadband expansion in the state. The bill, HB2002, was approved in 2021 and requires the Commission to promulgate rules to address abandoned cable, conductor, and other related facilities attached to utility poles. Specifically, the rules provide for the pole owner to fully recover the costs for the removal and disposal of abandoned facilities. The new rules also govern the timely transfer of facilities from an old pole to a new pole.
900 MHz Applications Granted
Last week, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau issued a Public Notice granting nine 900 MHz broadband segment license applications (Vol. XIX, Issue 44). The FCC realigned the 900 MHz band in May 202 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 nine applications of PDV Spectrum Holding Company, LLC for markets in Kansas and Missouri.
Nearly $84 Million in ECF Funding
Last week, the FCC announced that it is committing nearly $84 million in a new funding round through the Emergency Connectivity Program (the “Program”). These commitments will support applications from all three applications windows and will support over 180 schools, 20 libraries, and five consortia. To date, the Program has provided support to approximately 10,500 schools, 1,000 libraries, and 100 consortia.