Vol. 18, No. 23
June 6, 2022
FCC Announces Tentative Agenda for June 8 Meeting
The FCC issued a Sunshine Notice with the agenda for its June 8, 2022 open meeting where it will consider:
  • Facilitating Access to Spectrum for Offshore Uses and Operations – An NOI seeking comment on whether changes in the Commission’s rules and policies are needed to facilitate the development of commercial and private wireless networks offshore.
  • Improving Wireless 911 Call Routing - A Public Notice to examine recent technological improvements to and deployments of location-based routing for wireless 911 calls, as well as steps the Commission could take to help reduce misrouted 911 calls.
  • Preserving Local Radio Programming – An NPRM regarding a proposal to allow certain channel 6 low power television stations to continue to provide FM radio service as ancillary or supplementary service under specified conditions.
  • Affordable Connectivity Program Transparency Data Collection - An NPRM seeking comment on a statutorily mandated annual data collection relating to the price and subscription rates of internet service offerings received by households enrolled in the ACP from participating providers.
Senate Hearing on NTIA Oversight Scheduled for June 9
Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Chair of the Subcommittee on Communications, Media and Broadband, will convene a subcommittee hearing titled “Oversight of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration” this Thursday, June 9 at 10 a.m. ET. This hearing will examine the activities of the NTIA, including the implementation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and its role in federal spectrum management. NTIA Administrator Alan Davidson will testify. You can watch the hearing here.
FCC Launches Tutorial, Help Center for Data Collection
In preparation for the inaugural Broadband Data Collection (BDC) filing window opening on June 30, the FCC announced the launch of an online help center and other new resources to help internet service providers and other filers of verified broadband availability data prepare their submissions when the filing window opens. The tutorials and other help center tools are featured among other resources on the BDC webpage.
“These new filer resources help pave the way for the FCC to begin accepting more precise and accurate availability data through the Broadband Data Collection,” said Jean Kiddoo, Chair of the FCC’s Broadband Data Task Force. “Our new help center and support materials will help service providers and other filers of broadband availability data navigate the new filing requirements ahead of the opening of the filing window and will ensure that filers can hit the ground running on June 30th.”
The video tutorials explain the information and supporting data that filers of biannual fixed and mobile broadband availability data must submit in the new BDC system. The help center also includes technical information on how to prepare availability data and subscription data for filing in the BDC, and an option for requesting additional support.
GAO Report on Federal Efforts to Reduce Digital Divide
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on broadband that provides recommendations on a national strategy for guiding federal efforts to help reduce the digital divide. GAO was asked to review federal broadband efforts, and the report examines:
  • fragmentation and overlap among federal broadband programs and potential limitations to improved alignment
  • the extent to which interagency coordination efforts are guided by a strategy, among other objectives.

GAO inventoried and analyzed broadband programs and interviewed 50 stakeholders, including broadband providers and local officials. It also compared interagency coordination efforts to characteristics of a national strategy and reviewed relevant statutes, regulations and agency documents. In addition, the GAO interviewed federal officials from agencies with broadband programs about their programs and coordination efforts. You can view the full report here.
Key Findings:
  • In its efforts to expand broadband access, the federal government has subsidized investment in rural areas that haven't attracted private investment. GAO identified over 100 federal programs—administered by 15 agencies—that could be used to expand access.
  • The number of programs has led to a fragmented, overlapping patchwork of funding.
  • The GAO recommended synchronizing federal efforts with a national broadband strategy, and more.