Vol. 17, No. 39
October 4, 2021
GAO Issues Report on FCC Broadband Mapping
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report on the FCC’s broadband mapping efforts. The GAO said that the FCC will have to grapple with incomplete or conflicting data sources as it maps out all of the locations in the U.S. that could be served by broadband. The government’s efforts to bridge the digital divide rely on data the FCC collects from broadband providers, which GAO has previously said overstates broadband service.

Additionally, the GAO said stakeholders it interviewed identified challenges the FCC faces with developing a location fabric, including incomplete or conflicting data sources, but said such challenges can be overcome by using multiple sources of data. According to stakeholders, the GAO noted that there is no one source of location data sufficient for FCC and its contract data company to develop a precise location fabric, and it is therefore necessary to integrate four types of data to have a complete location fabric. The GAO said these data can be sourced from federal, state, local and commercial sources.
Supply Chain Reimbursement Program
Application Window Opens October 29
The Wireline Competition Bureau issued a public notice announcing that the application filing window for the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Reimbursement Program will open on October 29, 2021, and close on January 14, 2022. To participate in the program, eligible providers must file an FCC Form 5640 application request for funding allocation on the bureau’s dedicated online application filing portal, which will be available on the reimbursement program webpage. The FCC also published FAQs and a program infographic.
Democrats Introduce Wireless Expansion Bill
Reps. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) and Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) introduced the Spectrum Innovation Act (H.R. 5378), a bill to reallocate new airwaves for wireless broadband. The legislation would auction up to 200 megahertz of spectrum for mobile broadband.
House Energy & Commerce Committee to Hold Oct. 6 Hearing
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-N.J.) and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) announced that the subcommittee will hold a legislative hearing Wednesday, October 6, at Noon ET on 12 communications bills. The hearing is entitled, “Strengthening Our Communications Networks to Meet the Needs of Consumers.” No witnesses have been announced yet.
Bill Introduced to Strengthen U.S.-EU Cooperation
Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Rob Portman (R-Oh.) introduced the Transatlantic Telecommunication Security Act (TTSA), which would strengthen European telecommunications infrastructure by helping key allies in the region build 5G networks. The bill would incentivize investments in non-Huawei 5G equipment and help federal agencies – like the State Department and U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) – improve the security of telecommunications systems against emerging threats, including those posed by China and Russia.