Public Notice

Incentive Auction Stage 2 Clearing Target, Schedule Announced

By this Public Notice, the Incentive Auction Task Force and the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau announce the 114 megahertz spectrum clearing target that has been set by the Auction System’s optimization procedure for the second stage (Stage 2) of the incentive auction. This Public Notice also describes the band plan associated with the 114 megahertz spectrum clearing target, and the number of Category 1 and Category 2 generic license blocks in each Partial Economic Area (PEA) that will be offered during the forward auction in Stage 2. In addition, we provide details and specific dates regarding bidding and the availability of educational materials for Stage 2 of the incentive auction. We also remind reverse and forward auction applicants of their continuing obligations. Stage 2 bidding in the reverse auction will start on September 13, 2016.

FCC Announces Further Details for Roll-Out Schedule for New Network Outage Reporting System

On July 22, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau announced the roll-out schedule for the new version of the Network Outage Reporting System (NORS) platform. We also stated in the July 28 Public Notice that user profile information was moved to the new platform on August 1, 2016, and that August 31, 2016 would be the planned cutover date for filing NORS outage reports using the new platform. We have since concluded, based on discussions with communications providers that NORS users should migrate to the new platform during a cutover window in two steps.

In the first step beginning August 31, 2016, CenturyLink, Verizon, and T-Mobile will be moved to the new production system. When a company is moved to the new production system, the company’s NORS users will be required to file all outage reports using the new platform and will not be permitted to use the current platform. Before a company is moved to the new platform, NORS users from that company should continue to make all required filings under Part 4 in the current version of the NORS system. In the second step, the remaining companies will be migrated. The second step will be completed as soon as possible, but no later than September 30, 2016. The current NORS platform will not be available for filing of formal NORS reports after the completion of the second step.

FCC Review of State Opt-Out Requests from FirstNet, et al.

This Report and Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking addresses the 758-769/788-799 MHz band, which the Federal Communications Commission licensed to the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) on a nationwide basis pursuant to the provisions of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. The Report and Order adopts rules intended to resolve the remaining questions posed in the 2013 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in these dockets. The FCC provides a mechanism to facilitate the relocation of the public safety narrowband incumbents currently operating on FirstNet’s spectrum. The FCC also affirmatively declines at this time to impose specific build-out requirements on FirstNet as a condition of renewal of its license. Rather, the FCC finds that the build-out obligations and specifications of the Act, coupled with the specifications of FirstNet’s recently released Request for Proposal (Final RFP), provide adequate milestones to ensure rural coverage while also providing both FirstNet and the states flexibility in terms of planning for optimal network coverage. The FCC will continue to monitor FirstNet’s buildout progress against these milestones, and expect that existing reporting obligations will be sufficient to allow the FCC to carry out its license renewal responsibilities.

In the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the FCC opens a new proceeding to seek comment on proposed procedures for administering the state opt-out process as provided under the Public Safety Spectrum Act, as well as on its implementation of the specific statutory standards by which the FCC is obligated to evaluate state opt-out applications.

FCC Releases 2014 Quadrennial Review of the Commission's Broadcast Ownership Rules

The Federal Communications Commission adopted on August 10 and released on Aug 25 its Second Report and Order, bringing to a close the 2010 and 2014 Quadrennial Review proceedings. The FCC maintains strong media ownership rules, takes steps to help promote small business participation in the broadcast industry, and adopts rules that will help to promote transparency in local television markets. The FCC found that the public interest is best served by retaining its existing rules, with some minor modifications.

FCC Seeks Comment for 18th Video Competition Report

The Federal Communications Commission is seeking data, information, and comment on the state of competition in the delivery of video programming for the Commission’s Eighteenth Report (18th Report). The FCC seeks to update the information and metrics provided in the Seventeenth Report (17th Report) in order to report on the state of competition in the video marketplace in 2015. Using the information collected pursuant to this Notice, the FCC seeks to enhance our analysis of competitive conditions, better understand the implications for the American consumer, and provide a solid foundation for FCC policy making with respect to the delivery of video programming to consumers. The 18th Report also will satisfy the Commission’s statutory requirement to “annually report to Congress on the status of competition in the market for the delivery of video programming.”
Comments are due September 21; reply comments are due October 24.

Twelfth Broadband Progress Notice of Inquiry

On August 2, the Federal Communications launched a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) aimed at determining whether advanced telecommunications capability is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion.

The FCC is seeking on the current state of advanced telecommunications capability deployment and availability. In particular, the FCC seeks comment on the appropriate criteria and benchmarks by which to measure whether fixed and mobile broadband services provide access to advanced telecommunications capability.

  • As part of this inquiry, the FCC seeks comment on whether to update our existing 25 Mbps download/3 Mbps upload speed benchmark for fixed advanced telecommunications capability, as well as on whether the Commission should establish a speed benchmark for mobile broadband services and, if so, what that speed benchmark should be.
  • The FCC also seeks comment on the relationship of non-speed performance metrics, including service consistency and latency, to advanced telecommunications capability, and on whether and how to adopt benchmarks for these metrics.
  • Next, the FCC seeks comment on criteria and benchmarks by which to measure advanced telecommunications capability deployment to schools and classrooms, as well as on additional factors that may affect the deployment and/or availability of advanced telecommunications capability.
  • Finally, the FCC seeks comment on the various data sources used by the Commission for the purposes of our annual Broadband Progress Report, and whether additional or alternative sources of data are available to inform the analysis under.

Interested parties have until September 6 to file comments in the proceeding – and until September 21 to reply to those comments.

FCC To Launch Broadband Health Mapping Tool

On August 2, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission’s Connect2Health Task Force (C2H) will unveil a new mapping tool in support of its efforts to further chart the broadband future of healthcare. The Mapping Broadband Health in America tool enables more efficient, data-driven decision making at the intersection of broadband and health and promotes stakeholder collaboration. By allowing users to ask and answer questions about broadband and health at the county and census block levels, the tool provides valuable data and insights to drive broadband health policies and connected health solutions for this critical space. Recognizing that technology innovations in clinical practice and care delivery are fundamentally changing the face of health care, C2H has been exploring and analyzing the intersection of broadband, advanced technology, and health.

This mapping tool builds on the group’s work and reflects the overarching vision of the Task Force for leveraging broadband in health: “Everyone connected to the people, services, and information they need to get well and stay healthy.”

Commissioner Clyburn Announces October 19th #ConnectingCommunities Policy Reform

This Public Notice is to announce that Commissioner Mignon Clyburn of the Federal Communications Commission will conclude her #ConnectingCommunities tour on October 19, 2016, with a Policy Forum in the Washington (DC) area. Policy Forum Topics include:
Bridging the Affordability Gap
What is 5G?
Combating Inequality in the Communications Sector
Health Care: An Unfinished Chapter of the National Broadband Plan
The Future of Viewpoint Diversity

NTIA Provides Guidance to States Seeking Authority to Enter Into a Spectrum Lease with FirstNet, Receive Grant Funds

The US Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) issued a Public Notice outlining the alternative path states could take to connect to the First Responder Network Authority’s (FirstNet) nationwide public safety broadband network. The notice provides preliminary guidance on the rigorous process NTIA is developing to review applications for its State Alternative Plan Program (SAPP) from states seeking to deploy their own radio access networks (RAN), which are the facilities needed to connect first responders to the core of FirstNet’s broadband network.

The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 established FirstNet as an independent authority within NTIA and directed it to develop and deploy a nationwide public safety broadband network. The Act requires FirstNet to offer to build the RAN in each state, but it also gives states the option to assume the cost and responsibility of RANs on their own. The notice lays out NTIA’s initial views on the comprehensive, multi-step process outlined in the Act for a state seeking authorization to deploy a proposed alternative RAN. In order to operate its own RAN, a state will need to negotiate a spectrum capacity lease with FirstNet. In addition, the state may also apply to NTIA for grant funds for the construction of its RAN. The notice provides the preliminary criteria NTIA will use to evaluate such requests. The public is invited to submit comments on this notice by August 18, 2016.

FCC Releases Forward Auction Info

The Federal Communications Commission’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and the Incentive Auction Task Force identify 62 applicants found to be qualified to bid in the upcoming forward auction (Auction 1002), and announce that bidding in the clock phase of the forward auction in the initial stage will begin on August 16, 2016.

This Public Notice provides details, instructions, and specific dates regarding the availability of educational materials, the opportunity for each qualified bidder to participate in the clock phase practice and mock auctions, and the start of clock phase bidding in the forward auction. This Public Notice also addresses the continuing obligations and auction procedures for all Auction 1002 applicants, including those that have been deemed not qualified to bid.