Vol. 18, No. 14
April 4, 2022
FCC, NTIA Hold Inaugural Monthly Meeting
Under Spectrum Coordination Initiative
FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel and NTIA Assistant Secretary of Commerce Alan Davidson met on last Tuesday to discuss spectrum policy efforts, the first monthly FCC/NTIA coordination meeting since they launched their Spectrum Coordination Initiative. During the meeting they began discussing the details of a new Memorandum of Understanding between the agencies. Under the agencies’ new Spectrum Coordination Initiative, the FCC and NTIA are committed to updating the existing MOU for the first time in nearly twenty years to address gaps in government coordination and to better reflect today’s spectrum opportunities and challenges.
Monthly meetings between the Chairwoman and Assistant Secretary will help them coordinated their agencies’ work and conduct joint spectrum planning. Among the topics discussed in last week's meeting were the national spectrum strategy, mid-band and millimeter wave spectrum to support next-generation commercial networks, and the FCC’s upcoming receiver standards Notice of Inquiry.
Wireline Bureau Extends Waiver of Lifeline Rules
The Wireline Competition Bureau issued an order on March 25, extending its prior waivers of the Lifeline Program rules governing documentation requirements for subscribers residing in rural areas on tribal lands, re-verification, recertification, general de-enrollment and income documentation through June 30, 2022, due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic.
House Members Express Concern with Reconnect Program
Reps. Kat Cammack (R-Fla.), Jim Costa (D-Calif.) and 26 others sent a letter to USDA Secretary Thomas Vilsack on March 29, expressing concerns with the ReConnect Program. They expressed concern with the ReConnect’s Round 3 guidelines that could allow a new broadband provider to obtain funding to build a network to serve the same area awarded to another provider receiving funding from other programs. They are also concerned about reducing the unserved threshold from 90% to 50% for funding as required by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and said the application is unduly difficult to complete. They said the ReConnect Program should work in a complementary – not duplicative – manner with the FCC’s RDOF Program, as well as the NTIA, Treasury and state broadband programs.
NTIA to Host Pre-NOFO Technical Assistance Webinars
NTIA will host a pre-Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) technical assistance webinar series through May in connection with the five new broadband grant programs authorized and funded by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA): The Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program; the Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program; and the Digital Equity Act Programs, which include the State Digital Equity Planning Grant Program, State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program, and Digital Equity Competitive Grant Program.

These pre-NOFO technical assistance webinars are designed to help prospective applicants understand NTIA’s IIJA broadband grant programs and to assist applicants to prepare high quality grant applications.

NTIA Webinar Schedule
  • Webinar #3: Wednesday, April 6, 2022, from 2:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m. ET
  • Webinar #4: Wednesday, April 27, 2022, from 2:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m. ET
  • Webinar #5: Wednesday, May 11, 2022, from 2:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m. ET

These webinars will be hosted via NTIA’s virtual platform and conducted as live webinars. NTIA will post the registration information on its BroadbandUSA website as soon as the virtual platform is finalized.