Vol. 17, No. 15
April 19, 2021
FCC Announces April 22 Open Meeting Agenda
The FCC finalized the agenda for its April 22 open meeting, where it will consider:
  • Text-to-988 – An FNPRM to increase the effectiveness of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by proposing to require covered text providers to support text messaging to 988.
  • Commercial Space Launch Operations – A Report and Order and FNPRM that would adopt a new spectrum allocation for commercial space launch operations and seek comment on additional allocations and service rules.
  • Wireless Microphones – An NPRM that proposes to revise the technical rules for Part 74 low-power auxiliary station (LPAS) devices to permit a recently developed, and more efficient, type of wireless microphone system.
  • Improving 911 Reliability – A Third NPRM to promote public safety by ensuring that 911 call centers and consumers receive timely and useful notifications of disruptions to 911 service.
  • Concluding the 800 MHz Band Reconfiguration – An Order to conclude its 800 MHz rebanding program due to the successful fulfillment of this public safety mandate.
  • Enhancing Transparency of Foreign Government-Sponsored Programming – A Report and Order to require clear disclosures for broadcast programming that is sponsored, paid for, or furnished by a foreign government or its representative.
  • Imposing Application Cap in Upcoming NCE FM Filing Window – A Public Notice to impose a limit of ten applications filed by any party in the upcoming 2021 filing window for new noncommercial educational FM stations.
FCC Chairwoman Announces Latest Robocall Mitigation Efforts
Acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel announced the FCC's latest efforts to protect consumers from unwanted and scam robocalls and spoofed calls on April 13, 2021:

  • Enforcement Bureau Directs Providers to Cease Robocall Traffic: The Enforcement Bureau sent letters to R Squared Telecom and Tellza on April 13, asserting they are transmitting illegal robocall traffic on behalf of one or more of their clients. The bureau directed each provider to investigate and, if necessary, cease transmitting such traffic immediately and take steps to prevent their networks from continuing to be a source of apparent illegal robocalls.

  • Comments for Second Staff Report on Call Blocking Due April 30: The Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau issued a Public Notice seeking input for its second staff report on call blocking. The bureau seeks information on the availability and effectiveness of call blocking tools; impact of FCC actions; impact on 911 services and public safety; and any other relevant information. Comments are due April 30. The FCC also sent letters to major phone companies and third-party developers of call blocking tools seeking updated information about their efforts to enable customers to block unwanted calls.

  • New Webpage: The commission has launched a webpage to track the FCC’s actions to implement the TRACED Act.
EBB Benefit Webinar on April 27 for Consumers, Outreach Partners
Tomorrow - April 27 starting at 3 p.m. EDT - the FCC will host a public webinar to provide information on the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB). The webinar will provide consumers and outreach partners with an overview of the EBB program, eligibility information, and enrollment procedures. During the event, the FCC will provide an overview of the outreach tool kit materials that have been developed for partners and the public to use to create awareness about the temporary program.

The webinar can be viewed live on the FCC website. Registration is not required for the webinar.
Sens. Daines, Kelly Introduce Broadband Infrastructure Bill
Sens. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) introduced a bill on April 14 to increase access to existing infrastructure that will allow easier and faster installation of broadband services. They said the bill would:
  • Make it easier for broadband companies to receive federal right-of-way licenses allowing them to install broadband alongside existing infrastructure like federal highways
  • Ensure costs of federal right-of-way licenses are fair market prices
  • Increase transparency into the federal right-of-way license awarding process
Amicus Briefs Filed in California Net Neutrality Law Appeal
Amicus briefs in support of the plaintiffs were filed on April 13 with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in an appeal filed by ACA Connects, et al. of a California district court order that denied a motion for preliminary injunction to prohibit enforcement of California’s net neutrality law. Briefs were filed by: TechFreedom; U.S. Chamber of Commerce, et al.; International Center for Law and Economics; and Christopher S. Yoo.