Vol. 17, No. 3
January 19, 2021
Unanimous FCC Vote for 12 GHz NPRM Opens
Competitive Conversation for 5G Future
Last week, the FCC reached a unanimous vote in favor of moving forward on the 12 GHz Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM). INCOMPAS has been a leading advocate for an open and neutral NPRM, which will start an important conversation on better utilizing the 12 GHz band for expanding competition and 5G.

“We are pleased to see the FCC has united in support for the 12 GHz NPRM, launching an important conversation about expanding broadband competition and unleashing a better 5G future in the United States," said INCOMPAS CEO Chip Pickering. “The bipartisan, unanimous FCC vote will benefit our nation, encouraging innovators to bring new ideas forward and give consumers more choice as additional providers seek to compete in the 5G arena. We want to thank Chairman Ajit Pai and the entire FCC for their openness and support for a public conversation on 12 GHz. We look forward to working with the FCC on this important endeavor.”
Charter Withdrawal of Data Caps Petition is a Win for Open Internet
Cable giant Charter Communications on Friday officially withdrew its petition seeking to eliminate merger conditions imposed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) when Charter merged with Time Warner Cable. INCOMPAS opposed the petition and led the effort to prevent the large cable giant from instituting data caps and leveraging interconnection fees that raise prices on consumers.

“The withdrawal of the Charter data caps petition is good news for consumers and open internet advocates," said INCOMPAS CEO Chip Pickering. "Pressure from Congress, consumer groups and small business leaders helped walk back the cable giant, but it’s a clear sign for why we need strong interconnection and open internet policy on the books to prevent these attempts to raise prices and inflate consumers’ bills.” 
Rep. Eshoo Urges Biden Administration to Prioritize Net Neutrality
Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) and a group of California Democratic House members, sent a letter to Merrick Garland, the Biden administration’s pick for attorney general, calling for him to withdraw the federal government’s lawsuit against California over its net neutrality law. “With the new administration, we have an opportunity to restore the damage the Trump FCC has done to the free and open internet in the last four years,” the lawmakers wrote.

The case was filed in 2018 but was suspended while the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit — where Mr. Garland has been a judge — ruled on challenges to the FCC’s 2017 restoring Internet freedom (RIF) order, with which the federal government said the California law conflicted.
House Energy & Commerce Leaders Seek ISP Response
on Prices and Data Caps During the Pandemic
On January 11, Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-N.J.), and others sent letters to nine ISPs - Altice, AT&T, CenturyLink/Lumen, Charter, Comcast, Cox, Frontier, T-Mobile and Verizon - seeking answers to questions on pricing and data caps during the pandemic. The members of Congress asserted with the expiration of the FCC’s Keep Americans Connected pledge and the passage of time, some companies have started to abandon the policies they adopted in the early days of the pandemic, even though COVID-19 continues to surge throughout the nation and millions of Americans remain unemployed or underemployed.
FCC's Pai Responds to Congress on Pole Attachments
FCC Chairman Pai sent letters to Reps. G.K Butterfield (D-N.C.), Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.),
Anthony Gonzalez (R-Ohio), Darin LaHood (R-Ill.), Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) and Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), in response to their letters on the Commission's efforts to remove barriers to broadband deployment as it relates to pole attachment rules and processes.

Chairman Pai said adoption of a one-touch make-ready pole attachment regime in 2018 will promote broadband deployment and competition by speeding up the process and reducing the costs of attaching new network facilities to utility poles. He also said Wireline Competition Bureau staff is reviewing the record on NCTA’s petition on pole attachments.
Supply Chain Report and Order Effective March 15
The report and order requiring ETCs to remove equipment and services that pose an unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States will be effective March 15, 2021, with the exception of select amendments, for which effective dates will be published later in the Federal Register. The FCC also established a reimbursement program and procedures and criteria for publishing a list of covered communications equipment and services that must be removed.