Telecom Proposed NG911 Funding Plan

Cindy F. Cape

Rosenworcel Proposes NG911 Funding Plan

Last week, Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel gave a speech in which she proposed funding a portion of the transition to Next Generation 911 (“NG911”) services through proceeds from future spectrum auctions.  Chairwoman Rosenworcel suggested that the FCC should consider utilizing these funds in a similar manner to how the Commission funded FirstNet, which was established from revenue raised in the 700 MHz band auction in 2012.  Congress must extend the FCC’s authority to auction spectrum by September 30, 2022.  

Pole Attachment Rulemaking

The FCC announced last week it intends to open a rulemaking proceeding to address costs associated with pole replacements in the 28 states where the FCC has jurisdiction over attachments to investor-owned utility and telephone company poles.  The rulemaking will also address refund liability to utility pole owners, as requested by the Edison Electric Institute.  

Georgia Bill Proposes PSC Regulate Broadband, VoIP

The Georgia Senate introduced the Broadband Resiliency, Public Safety, and Quality Act (SB 542) last week, which would provide the state’s Public Service Commission (“PSC”) the authority to regulate broadband and Voice over Internet Protocol (“VoIP”) services in the state.  The bill would direct the PSC to adopt rules to ensure the resiliency and reliability of broadband infrastructure, promote public safety and network adequacy, and require providers to report data on the deployment, availability, and pricing of such services.  

U.S. Cybersecurity Advisory

Last week, the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation issued a joint Cybersecurity Advisory (“CSA”) warning of destructive malware being deployed against organizations in Ukraine that could potentially be deployed against organizations in other countries.  The CSA provides guidance on issues for organizations to address as part of their network architecture, security baseline, continuous monitoring, and incident response practices.  In addition to assessing and enhancing their cyber posture, organizations must remain mindful of their legal obligations when collecting and storing personally identifiable information pertaining to individuals and notification obligations in the event of  a security incident that compromises personal information.  Keller and Heckman has prepared a summary of U.S. data breach notification laws, the latest version of which is available here).  

Over $86 Million in Emergency Connectivity Fund Committed

Last week, the FCC announced it is committing over $86 million in the latest round of the Emergency Connectivity Fund (Vol. XIX, Issue 7).  This round of commitments will support over 240,000 students and provide funding for over 350 schools, 29 libraries, and 8 consortia.  The Wireline Competition Bureau adopted an Order on February 22 extending the date by which beneficiaries must use the funding by one year to June 30, 2023. 

Gregory E. KunkleCasey LideThomas B. MageeTracy P. MarshallKathleen Slattery ThompsonSean A. Stokes and  Wesley K. Wright contributed to this article.

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