Vol. 17, No. 27
July 12, 2021
Sens. King and Bennet Discuss The BRIDGE ACT 
INCOMPAS released two video interviews highlighting the bipartisan BRIDGE ACT – introduced by Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Angus King (I-ME) and Rob Portman (R-OH) – which calls for building faster speed, future-proof networks to both unserved and underserved communities to address the digital divide.

As part of the new BroadLand USA campaign led by former FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn and INCOMPAS CEO Chip Pickering, the interviews feature Sens. King and Bennet detailing why the BRIDGE Act is critical to helping farmers, students and communities of color who have been held back by slower speeds and higher prices for too long.

Core elements of the BRIDGE ACT include building future proof 100/100 symmetrical speed networks to compete with China, the U.K. and the E.U., which have set gigabit goals. The BRIDGE Act looks to partner with state and local government to speed the deployment of resources to help both unserved families and underserved communities where old infrastructure is holding back investment and job growth.
In his video, Sen. King said, “The standard should be 100/100. That is what we mean by future proof. I don’t want to rebuild this system 5 or 10 years from now. In the long term the way to deal with affordability is competition. If we simply subsidize people’s cost, eventually the costs are going to go up and the subsidies are not going to be much help. So we need to work structurally, and that is why the BRIDGE Act is important.”
In his video, Sen. Bennet said, “I would like to stop subsidizing big telecom companies, who have basically spent $50 billion of the taxpayer’s money, not successfully building out broadband to the American people. Some proposals out there completely miss this next tier of underserved areas, which is a huge mistake because they often have broadband that no expert would consider adequate for what people need in the year 2021.
INCOMPAS, CCIA Urge FCC to Follow the Record, Technical Analysis Revealing Significant Economic, Public Interest
Benefits of Maximizing 12 GHz Spectrum Band for 5G
INCOMPAS and the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) filed joint public reply comments urging the FCC to follow the robust record supporting expanding the 12 GHz spectrum band for new or expanded terrestrial mobile use. As the data clearly shows, the Commission’s action to open up this key mid-band spectrum would accelerate mobile market competition, bolster the economy, and strengthen America’s 5G edge. Importantly, the evidence reveals that this action would in no way undermine the utilization of the 12 GHz spectrum band for satellite services and would protect incumbents from interference.

“The record before the Commission not only provides assurances that the 12 GHz band can be expanded for 5G without causing interference to incumbents, but it also illustrates the imperative need to take this action for the benefit of our nation and consumers,” INCOMPAS CEO Chip Pickering said. “By bringing these outdated rules in line with today’s realities, the FCC can achieve the win-win we need now and put this critical spectrum to its best and highest use. We can and we must do better than the status quo. We urge the Commission to follow the facts and substantial technical analyses in the record and act without delay.”

As noted in the joint comments, a recent engineering study submitted by RS Access and an updated study on Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) by DISH were the only technical analyses entered into the record during the comment period. Together these studies show that the FCC can expand the use of the 12 GHz band while promoting coexistence among the three services allocated to the band on a co-primary basis – DBS, Fixed Satellite Service limited to non-geostationary orbit systems (NGSO FSS) and Multi-Channel Video and Data Distribution Services MVDDS. As the most prominent user of the band, DISH’s support for modernizing these rules clearly demonstrates that any concerns of interference with DBS services are not valid. Users can rest assured that their services will not be impacted by this much-needed action to open up the 12 GHz band.

INCOMPAS Comments on FCC Proposal to Curtail
STIR/SHAKEN Extension for Small Voice Providers
In comments filed last week, INCOMPAS urged the FCC to preserve the general extension for providers against which there is no evidence or suggestion that they are originating
illegal robocall campaigns. "Small voice service providers are responding to these necessary and important regulatory changes on call authentication with fewer resources and little influence over the process. The timeline established by the Commission in the Second Caller ID Authentication Report and Order affords these providers the time they need to adjust their business plans to make these critical changes to their networks," the association said.

INCOMPAS added that "there are certain circumstances in which INCOMPAS believes it would be warranted for the Commission to curtail the compliance extension for small voice service
providers by one year, specifically in the case of small voice service providers that are proven bad actors and providers that originate a significant number of calls per day for any single line on average." The association recommended that the FCC require these voice service providers to implement STIR/SHAKEN on their networks within 90 days from the date of the enforcement action.
Reps. Luria and Katko Introduce Lifeline Enrollment Bill
Reps. Elaine Luria (D-Va.) and John Katko (R-N.Y.) introduced a bill that would encourage participation in the FCC’s Lifeline program, and lower the cost of phone and internet access for households that benefit from the USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The bill would also require the FCC and USDA to survey SNAP recipients to learn if they are enrolled in Lifeline, and if not would encourage their participation.