Vol. 17, No. 8
March 2, 2021
INCOMPAS DISH Partner Program
INCOMPAS is partnering with DISH to enable association members to offer DISH as a video solution to their customer base nationwide.

Through this Partner Program, DISH will enable service providers to have a complementary video solution that fits their business needs.
View the video to learn more, or contact:



INCOMPAS Supports E-Rate Support to Close Remote Learning Gap
INCOMPAS last week submitted reply comments supporting 11 petitions for emergency relief asking the FCC to address the widening homework gap by permitting use of E-rate program funds for remote learning and virtual studies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
FCC Unanimously Adopts Emergency Broadband Benefit Order
The FCC voted unanimously last week to adopt the Report and Order to establish the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program. The EBB Program will provide eligible households with discounts of up to $50 a month for broadband service, and up to $75 a month if the household is on Tribal lands. It also will provide a one-time discount of up to $100 on a computer or tablet for eligible households.

“Broadband remains the key ingredient to staying strong, and staying connected as COVID-19’s economic toll continues to impact families, students and small businesses. In adopting the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, the FCC took a smart and important step to extend the program to smaller, community-based competitive ISPs who can help connect families and schools to benefits at a faster rate," said INCOMPAS CEO Chip Pickering. "INCOMPAS advocated for this key change to make the EBB a level playing field with equal opportunity for smaller companies to be part of the COVID recovery solutions.”

Under the law, the EBB Program will be open to households that participate in an existing low-income or pandemic relief program offered by a broadband provider; Lifeline subscribers, including those that are on Medicaid or accept SNAP benefits; households with kids receiving free and reduced-price lunch or school breakfast; Pell grant recipients; and those who have lost jobs and seen their income reduced in the last year.

Now adopted, the program will be available within 60 days with an ongoing process to sign up providers that are interested. We will continue to keep you posted on any other further updates on the program’s rules once they’re made available to the public.

For providers that are interested in participating, USAC will host an introductory webinar on Tuesday, March 2 at 3 p.m. ET to provide an overview of Lifeline and the EBB Program. The webinar will include a review of USAC Lifeline systems used to check eligibility, enroll consumers, and claim reimbursement, as USAC prepares to make those systems available for the new program.
FCC Announces Tentative Agenda for March Open Meeting
The FCC announced its tentative agenda for the March Open Commission Meeting, which is scheduled for Wednesday, March 17:
  • Promoting Public Safety Through Information Sharing – The FCC will consider a Second Report and Order that would provide state and federal agencies with direct, read-only access to communications outage data for public safety purposes while also preserving the confidentiality of that data.
  • Improving the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts – The FCC will consider an NPRM and NOI to implement section 9201 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, which is intended to improve the way the public receives emergency alerts on their mobile phones, televisions and radios.
  • Facilitating Shared Use in the 3.45 GHz Band – The FCC will consider a Second Report and Order that would establish rules to create a new 3.45 GHz Service operating between 3.45-3.55 GHz, making 100 megahertz of mid-band spectrum available for flexible use throughout the contiguous United States.
  • Auction of Flexible-Use Service Licenses in the 3.45-3.55 GHz Band – The FCC will consider a Public Notice that would establish application and bidding procedures for Auction 110, the auction of flexible use licenses in the 3.45-3.55 GHz band.
  • Promoting the Deployment of 5G Open Radio Access Networks – The FCC will consider an NOI seeking comment on the current status of Open Radio Access Networks (Open RAN) and virtualized network environments, including potential obstacles to their development and deployment, and whether and how deployment of Open RAN-compliant networks could further the FCC's policy goals and statutory obligations.

The FCC publicly releases the draft text of each item expected to be considered at the next
Open Meeting. One-page cover sheets are included in the public drafts to help summarize each item. All these materials will be available online at www.fcc.gov/openmeeting.
Telecom- and Tech-related Bills Introduced in Senate
Last week, several telecom- and tech-related bills were introduced in the Senate:

  • PROMISE Act - Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.) reintroduced this Act, which would direct the Federal Trade Commission to hold tech companies accountable if they violate their own information moderation policies.
  • Network Security Trade Act - Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) reintroduced this Act, which seeks to amend the 2015 Trade Promotion Authority to ensure communications infrastructure security is included as a negotiating objective.
  • Data Analytics Robocall Technology Act - Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) reintroduced this Act, which will establish a pilot program to expand the FCC's ongoing attempts to combat unwanted computerized calls by blocking calls that fail authentication technology and procedures used to prevent caller ID spoofing, while allowing emergency service alert calls to remain uninterrupted and not expanding the capabilities of voice service providers to collect or share data.
  • American Broadband Buildout Act - Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) introduced this Act, which Sen. Collins said would provide up to $15 billion in matching grants to assist states and state-approved entities build last-mile infrastructure to bring high-speed broadband directly to homes and businesses in areas that lack it. She also said projects must be located in unserved areas where broadband is unavailable at speeds that meet the FCC’s standard, and the federal funding authorized in this bill would be matched through public-private partnerships between the broadband service provider and the home state.