On November 3, 2022, Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel announced plans to reorganize the International Bureau into a new Space Bureau and a standalone Office of International Affairs. The changes are intended to help ensure FCC resources are aligned to meet the needs of FCC licensees and regulatees by “elevat[ing] the significance of satellite programs and policy within the agency to a level that reflects the importance of the emerging space economy.”
On June 13, 2022, the FCC provided notice that the State of Florida has become the 24th state (including the District of Columbia) to certify state-level regulatory jurisdiction over rates, terms, and conditions for pole attachments. …
- The FCC recently adopted a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) requiring Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to display consumer-friendly “nutrition labels” allowing consumers to comparison shop for broadband services;
- The FCC proposes that these nutrition labels display information about price, speed, data allowances, and other relevant aspects of the proposed broadband service; and
- Following-up on its first hearing on these potential nutritional labels, the FCC will conduct a second hearing on April 7, 2022.
Ukraine has suffered multiple internet and connectivity outages since the Russian invasion began. Seeking to restore vital connectivity to his citizens in the face of the Russian military threat, Vice Prime Minster Mykhailo Fedorov tweeted at SpaceX CEO Elon Musk asking for help. After receiving what is arguably the first regulatory approval by Tweet, Musk and SpaceX responded by shipping the Starlink user terminals to Ukraine on March 1, 2022. The non-geostationary satellite orbit (“NGSO”) satellite broadband service now serves as a vital tool for connectivity where traditional terrestrial infrastructure fell short. …
Continue Reading Spacing Out for Resiliency – Why Satellite Technology is Vital to Resilient Networks
On December 28, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit affirmed the Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC’s” or “Commission’s”) authority to permit unlicensed wireless devices, such as internet routers, smart phones, and laptops, to operate in the 6 GHz band.
Continue Reading D.C. Circuit Allows FCC To Open 6 GHz Band For Unlicensed Use
On Monday, January 10, 2022, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (“NTIA”) commenced a public comment period for interested parties to submit comments on the development and implementation of three forthcoming broadband grant programs established by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021(“IIJA”): (1) the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (“BEAD”) program, (2) the Middle-Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program, and (3) the Digital Equity Planning Grant Program.
Continue Reading ALERT: NTIA Seeks Public Comment on Implementation of Upcoming Broadband Grant Programs
As wireless airwaves fill-up to meet a surge in demand, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is actively considering new technologies and changes to its rules to promote the most productive use of spectrum resources.
Continue Reading Look Up In The Sky! It’s Not A Bird. It’s Not A Plane. It’s A Haps!
On October 13, 2021, William Shatner (aka, Captain Kirk from Star Trek) flew where few have gone before, taking a ten minute jaunt to the edge of outer space. The successful flight comes on the heels of other highly-publicized, successful commercial space flights, including the September 15, 2021, SpaceX mission dubbed “Inspiration4” that made history as the first orbital spaceflight with no professional astronauts onboard. As the era of commercial spaceflight draws ever closer, the space industry is building toward expanded commercial opportunities in space, including private space stations, space hotels, and colonies on the moon and Mars. So now, as we stand on the precipice of the commercial space revolution, it is important to reflect on the regulatory “learning period” that enabled U.S. commercial space flight to reach this juncture and consider the timing and substance of the regulatory framework necessary to spur our next great leap forward.
Continue Reading Captain’s Blog: Fly Me To The Moon
On September 21, 2021, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued the latest single in its anthology of decisions regulating the relationship between incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) and electric utilities, ensuring ILECS are charged rates comparable to similarly situated communications attachers.
Continue Reading The FCC’s Latest Pole Attachment Ruling: “Just Another Brick In The Wall” for Electric Utilities, or “Satisfaction” for ILECS?
On May 26, 2021, a Sixth Circuit panel rejected challenges by numerous municipalities to a 2019 order by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that most “in kind” (non-cash) contributions required by cable franchisees qualify as franchise fees subject to the federal Cable Act’s 5% cap.
Continue Reading Sixth Circuit Affirms FCC Rule That Most In Kind Contributions Are Franchise Fees
Plan Provides Subsidies for Device Purchases and Internet Service Subscriptions
On May 12, 2021, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) began enrolling eligible households in its Emergency Broadband Benefit (“EBB”) program. The EBB program provides eligible households with up to a $50 monthly discount on their internet plans (and up to $75 a month discounted for households located on Tribal lands). The EBB also includes funding for a one-time discount of up to $100 for a tablet, computer, or other specified device for qualifying households.…
Continue Reading FCC Launches Consumer Broadband Device and Service Program