Press Release

House Passes Appropriations Minibus

The House passed, on a 217 to 197 vote, a package of fiscal year 2021 appropriations bills. The package consists of six bills that fund federal departments including Defense, Commerce, Justice, Energy, Treasury Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development from October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021. The $1.3 trillion package, H.R.

T-Mobile Launches World’s First Nationwide Standalone 5G Network

T-Mobile is the first operator in the world to launch a commercial nationwide standalone 5G network, and with this move, the carrier is expanding 5G coverage by 30 percent, now covering nearly 250 million people in more than 7,500 cities and towns across 1.3 million square miles. Standalone architecture is the future of wireless connectivity, bringing 5G closer to reaching its true potential with faster speeds, lower latency and massive connectivity.

Starry's "Fresh Start" Forgives COVID-era Debt

Starry announced its “Fresh Start” debt forgiveness program for broadband subscribers who were unable to pay their broadband subscription fee due to the impacts of the COVID-19 health crisis. The Fresh Start program will wipe away any debt owed to Starry through July 31, 2020 and enable subscribers to start with a zero dollar balance beginning August 1.

Statement of Chairman Pai on Seeking Public Comment on NTIA's Sec. 230 Petition

The Federal Communications Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau will invite public input on the Petition for Rulemaking recently filed by the Department of Commerce regarding Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996. Longstanding rules require the agency to put such petitions out for public comment ‘promptly,’ and we will follow that requirement here. I strongly disagree with those who demand that we ignore the law and deny the public and all stakeholders the opportunity to weigh in on this important issue. We should welcome vigorous debate—not foreclose it.

FCC Announces New Version Of FCC Speed Test App And Release Of Updated Mobile Raw Data

The Federal Communications Commission released an updated version of its FCC Speed Test app to evaluate how well customers' mobile broadband connections are performing. This app, available from the Apple App Store and Google Play, has been updated to work the with latest versions of the iOS and Android operating systems. Like its predecessor, the updated app allows users to test their cellular and Wi-Fi network performance for download and upload speed, latency, jitter, and packet loss.

Washington State Broadband Office Seeks Help for Broadband Mapping

The Washington State Broadband Office and state Public Works Board have launched a mapping initiative to identify gaps in high-speed internet service and areas of broadband infrastructure needs in order to advance the state’s goal to have universal broadband access in Washington by 2024. Those with no internet access at their homes are encouraged to visit a local library or drive-in hotspot in their community, or use their mobile device to take the survey and check the “no available service” button to record their physical address.

Joint Statement Of Representative Yvette Clarke And Commissioner Geoffrey Starks On Tracking Americans To Protests And Places Of Worship

For communities of color, Internet access has been a crucial tool for amplifying our narratives and mobilizing Americans for change. And smartphones have allowed us to shine a spotlight on tragedies like the killing of George Floyd. Because we believe so strongly in the power of connectivity, we must speak up when bad actors use those tools to threaten Americans’ privacy and First Amendment rights.

First-Ever Pre-Auction Spectrum Opportunity for Rural Tribes Is Extended for 30 Days Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

The Federal Communications Commission extended the Rural Tribal Priority Window for 2.5 GHz spectrum applications by 30 days in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. This window opened on Feb 3, 2020, and to date, over 200 Tribal entities have submitted applications. As a result of July 31’s action, other eligible Tribal entities can continue to apply for licenses for currently unassigned 2.5 GHz spectrum over their rural Tribal lands until 6:00 pm EDT on Sept 2, 2020.

Chairman Pai Proposes Lifeline Minimum Service Standard Order

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai circulated an order to his colleagues that would improve the way the FCC calculates annual updates to the minimum service standard for mobile broadband service provided through the Lifeline program. The draft order would revise the FCC's existing methodology to ensure predictable, reasonable yearly updates to the standard so that Lifeline subscribers can receive robust yet affordable mobile broadband service.

Verizon expands home Internet options to customers in rural areas

Verizon's new LTE Home Internet initial launch includes Savannah (GA), Springfield (MO), and Tri-Cities (TN/VA/KY). Beginning July 30, Verizon will expand home Internet access to customers outside the Fios and 5G Home footprints, expanding home connectivity options to rural areas. With LTE Home Internet, customers will get unlimited data, and experience download speeds of 25 Mbps with peak Internet speeds of 50 Mbps.

Verizon joins both T-Mobile and AT&T with a fixed wireless offering targeting more rural markets.