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Drew Svor is a partner in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office and a member of the firm’s TelecomTeam.

As the battle for the future of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) continues on Capitol Hill, and the FCC prepares for the looming shutdown of the program, providers should be aware that the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau (“Enforcement Bureau”) continues to investigate—and issue forfeitures—related to noncompliance with program rules, particularly around subscriber onboarding and usage of the ACP benefit by consumers.Continue Reading Enforcement Advisory: The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau Continues to Closely Review Provider Compliance with Affordable Connective Program Rules

On November 20, 2023, the Federal Communications Commission (“Commission”) released a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“Order”) adopting final rules to facilitate equal access to broadband and address digital discrimination.[1] This decision will be of particular importance to entities that provide, facilitate, or affect consumer access to broadband, including both terrestrial and satellite broadband providers irrespective of the technology used to deliver the broadband service. A Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“FNPRM”) accompanies the Order, seeking additional comment on matters pertaining to the implementation of section 60506 of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.[2] The final rules and FNPRM are summarized below:Continue Reading ALERT: FCC Seeks to Eliminate Digital Discrimination

On November 13, 2023, the Biden-Harris Administration issued a National Spectrum Strategy (the Strategy) and Presidential Memorandum on the modernization of U.S. spectrum policy. The Strategy, developed by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) in close coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and other Executive Branch agencies, seeks to “guide decisions about how to allocate limited spectrum resources and ensure these decisions are made through a rigorous, transparent process.” The Strategy represents the Administration’s attempt to chart a “whole-of-Nation” approach to achieve national spectrum policy objectives.Continue Reading The Biden-Harris Administration Releases National Spectrum Strategy

On November 16, 2023, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) released a Report & Order (“Order”) and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“FNPRM”), adopting measures to address two techniques bad actors frequently use to access victims’ cell phone accounts: (1) SIM swapping and (2) port-out fraud.Continue Reading Shutting Down the Cell Phone Scammers: The FCC Adopts Rules to Crack Down on Fraudulent Practices against Wireless Phone Users

Consistent with the White House’s Executive Order this week laying out a national policy on AI, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) released a draft Notice of Inquiry (“NOI”) that would look into the implications of emerging Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) technologies on the Commission’s efforts to prevent unwanted and illegal calls and texts under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”).Continue Reading FCC Launches Inquiry into the Risks of AI on Unwanted Robocalls and Texts

Recently, the FCC reminded telecom providers that the cost of failing to protect their customers’ privacy is steep. In a July 28, 2023 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, the Federal Communications Commission fined Q Link Wireless LLC and Hello Mobile Telecom LLC, an affiliate of Q Link, $20 million for impermissibly relying upon readily available biographical information and account information to authenticate online customers.[1]Continue Reading ALERT: The FCC Fines Companies $20 Million for Failing to Safeguard Customer Proprietary Network Information

UPDATE: Following recent approval from the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”), the Commission has announced that January 22, 2024 will be the filing deadline of the one-time collection of foreign ownership information.

The FCC recently adopted two items that underscore the Commission’s growing role in a quickly evolving national security regulatory framework: an Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking overhauling the regulatory framework for Section 214 authorization holders and applicants, as well as an “Enforcement Advisory” reminding operators of the risks of not disclosing certain transactions to the Commission.Continue Reading Don’t Look Twice, It’s Alright — The FCC Pulls Back the Curtain on Section 214 Authorizations

Last week, the FCC adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing a new regulatory framework to address the growing convergence of satellite and terrestrial-based networks, titled the “Single Network Future: Supplementary Coverage from Space” proceeding.Continue Reading FCC Takes the Lead on Satellite/Mobile Convergence in the Single Network Future Proceeding

On January 4, 2023, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) setting forth proposed rules for the operation of unmanned aircraft systems in the 5030-5091 MHz band. At present, unmanned aircraft systems primarily operate under the FCC’s rules for unlicensed and low-power communications or according to experimental licenses. Neither of these spectrum resources provide the user with the right to protection from harmful interference, meaning that communications using such resources can be unreliable. The FCC’s proposed rules attempt to address this issue by granting unmanned aircraft systems access to licensed spectrum with the resilience to support more advanced and secure communications.Continue Reading ALERT: FCC Opens Rulemaking on Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems in Licensed Spectrum

On November 30, 2022, the Federal Communications Commission (“Commission”) released a draft Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“Draft NPRM”) that, if adopted, will seek comment on comprehensive changes to the Part 25 satellite and earth station licensing rules for the first time since 2015.[1] The Draft NPRM represents a significant step in the Commission’s efforts to facilitate innovation in the satellite industry, proposing changes that would facilitate greater expediency, flexibility, and curability in the licensing process. Continue Reading ALERT: Space Innovation Comes to Part 25 as the FCC Proposes New Reforms for its Satellite and Earth Station Licensing Rules

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.” Continue Reading ALERT: FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel Announces Plans to Create a Space Bureau