Rep Harris Asks NTIA to Reconsider Letter of Credit Requirements for Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Broadband Programs
Rep Andy Harris (R-MD) recently sent a letter to US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo regarding the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's (NTIA) requirements for its Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) broadband programs. Specifically, the September 14, 2022 letter expresses concerns about the Letter of Credit (L/C) requirement included in the NTIA's Notices of Funding Opportunity (NOFOs) for the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) Program and the Enabling Middle Mile (MM) Broadband Infrastructure Program.
On September 15, 2022, the National Tribal Telecommunications Association (NTTA) sent letters to Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, Commissioners Carr, Starks and Simington, and Chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau Trent Harkrader attaching a white paper on examining the need for ongoing broadband support on Tribal lands. According to NTTA, the paper examines the need for ongoing support to assist in eliminating the digital divide that currently exists between broadband availability on Tribal lands and the rest of the United States.
FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel Responds to Lawmakers' Concerns About the Future of the Universal Service Fund
On September 8, 2022, Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel penned responses to two groups of lawmakers who had written to Rosenworcel about the future of the Universal Service Fund.
FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel Responds to Senators Regarding Broadband Serviceable Location Fabric in Alaska
Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel recently responded to a letter from Sens Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK) regarding the FCC's Broadband Serviceable Location Fabric mapping progress in Alaska. In their letter, the senators expressed concerns over CostQuest's methodology and the availability of foundational data in the state. The lawmakers requested that the FCC accept supplemental data, work with state stakeholders to procure more accurate data, and ameliorate "deficiencies" in the FCC production maps released in June 2022.
Republican Senators Push NTIA to Implement Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act as Congress Intended
Sixteen Republican senators sent a letter Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, calling on the department to follow congressional intent in implementing the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program that was created through the bipartisan infrastructure law. The Senators are seeking changes to the following areas:
FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel Responds to Rep Pence Regarding the Broadband Interagency Coordination Act
Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel responded to a June 29 letter from Rep Greg Pence (R-IN) regarding the Broadband Interagency Coordination Act and the need for coordination of federal funding for broadband deployment. In her response, Rosenworcel detailed how the FCC has worked with other federal agencies to share information on existing and planned broadband projects and to coordinate and harmonize their efforts, as required by the Act.
A group of organizations and individuals committed to digital equity wrote a letter to US Bank Regulatory Agencies urging them to modernize the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).
Reps Anna G Eshoo (D-CA) and Doris Matsui (D-CA) led a letter to Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Secretary Jennifer Granholm, and Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information at the National Telecommunications and Information (NTIA) Alan Davidson, urging them to use funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) to build out broadband and electric vehicle charging infrastructure simultaneously.
SpaceX filed a letter to the Federal Communications Commission on July 29 in response to Viasat's previous claims that the company is unable to fulfill the requirements of its Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) award. According to SpaceX, Viasat is trying to protect its legacy technology through influence the FCC to limit competition. The company also said that recent data from Ookla shows Starlink is able to provide the speeds necessary for RDOF funding, which exceed Viasat's performance.
On July 13, Viasat wrote to the Federal Communications Commission regarding SpaceX's Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) commitments. "Viasat writes to update the record with respect to the continued inability of the authorized Starlink system to satisfy SpaceX’s RDOF commitments," said the letter.