Federal Communications Commission

FCC Announces Tentative Agenda for January 2021 Open Meeting

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced the tentative agenda for the January Open Commission Meeting scheduled for Wednesday, January 13, 2021. Bureau, Office, and Task Force leaders will summarize the work their teams have done over the last four years in a series of presentations:

Panel One – The Commission will hear presentations from the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, International Bureau, Office of Engineering and Technology, and Office of Economics and Analytics.

Lifeline Program Data Collection

The Federal Communications Commission is directing a group of mobile service providers to respond to a questionnaire about customer usage and costs. The responses of this group, encompassing a significant portion of the Lifeline marketplace by subscribership, will aid the development of the State of the Lifeline Marketplace Report. The FCC also expects this data to inform the policy choices before the FCC regarding the mobile broadband minimum service standards—standards established in 2016 and annually updated.

Database of Urban and Rural Rates for the Telecommunications Program

The Federal Communications Commission's Wireline Competition Bureau directed the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) to add to the Database of Urban and Rural Rates for the Telecommunications Program (Telecom Program Rates Database) rates for all funding requests committed since its launch.

FCC Settles with IBM in NYC and El Paso E-Rate Program Investigations

The Federal Communications Commission announced a settlement with IBM for alleged violations of the FCC’s E-Rate program rules in connection with the New York City and El Paso school districts. IBM agreed to return $24.25 million to the Universal Service Fund. In past years, IBM provided communications services to the New York City Department of Education and the El Paso Independent School District in Texas using E-Rate subsidies.

FCC Clarifies Connect America Fund Performance Measures

In 2018, the Federal Communications Commission's Wireline Competition Bureau, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, and the Office of Engineering and Technology (collectively, the Bureaus) adopted performance requirements establishing a uniform framework for measuring speed and latency performance for recipients of high-cost support to serve fixed locations. Later, the Bureaus addressed certain issues regarding testing to be conducted by high-latency bidders in the Connect America Fund (CAF) Phase II auction.

FCC Denies Permanent Waiver for WWOR/New York Post Combination, Instead Grants Temporary Waiver

The Federal Communications Commission's Media Bureau denied a permanent waiver request of the newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership rule sought by Fox Corp regarding the continued common ownership of WWOR-TV, Secaucus, New Jersey, and the New York Post. Instead, the Bureau granted a temporary waiver to preserve the status quo while the fate of the newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership rule is resolved. Absent a waiver, the current rule prohibits common ownership of a daily newspaper and a broadcast station serving the same geographic market, in this case, New York (NY).