Federal Communications Commission
The Federal Communications Commission has adopted a new seal. The redesigned seal is the product of an agency-wide contest that solicited proposals from FCC employees and contractors. The winning design was submitted by Umasankar Arumugam and selected by a vote of the agency’s employees and contractors. The revised design incorporates the following elements:
The Federal Communications Commission concluded that it will serve the public interest and improve its operations to streamline the organization of the Media Bureau. Specifically, the FCC eliminated the Engineering Division and folded the work and staff of the Engineering Division into the Media Bureau’s Industry Analysis Division (IAD). The FCC said it is taking this action to account for changes in the Engineering Division’s duties and in the organizational structure of the FCC.
The Federal Communications Commission made it easier for individuals who have lost their employment during the coronavirus pandemic and who qualify for Lifeline benefits to enroll in the Lifeline program. Specifically, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau temporarily waived the requirement that consumers seeking to qualify for the program based on their income must provide at least three consecutive months of income documentation.
The Federal Communications Commission approved an additional 13 funding applications for the COVID-19 Telehealth Program. Health care providers in both urban and rural areas of the country will use this $4.2 million in funding to provide telehealth services during the coronavirus pandemic. To date, the FCC’s COVID-19 Telehealth Program has funded 30 health care providers in 16 states for a total of $13.7 million in funding.
Remarks Of FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks, Advisory Committee On Diversity And Digital Empowerment, Via Teleconference
I’m proud to announce that I will be hosting a virtual conversation with HBCU Presidents on May 4th to discuss how the transition to online learning has impacted their students’ ability to continue learning, innovating, and connecting. During this discussion, I look forward to hearing how these universities rose to the occasion to connect students without broadband access and get devices in the hands of those without laptops and tablets so they could complete their assignments online. But the need for connectivity does not end with our students.
Lifeline is the only federal program with the sole mission of bringing affordable communications to low-income Americans, and it is a critical aspect of our social safety net during the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, we know that the number of Americans enrolling in the Lifeline program has remained relatively flat during this crisis, especially in comparison to the surging SNAP applications. Unfortunately, many eligible subscribers who could benefit from the Lifeline program are unaware that it exists. Only 7 million subscribers are enrolled in Lifeline and approximately 38 million are eligible.
The Federal Communications Commission refers certain applications to Executive Branch agencies when there is reportable foreign ownership in the applicant. On June 24, 2016, the FCC adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to improve the timeliness and transparency of the process involving referral of certain applications with reportable foreign ownership to Executive Branch agencies, including the Team Telecom agencies, for feedback on any national security, law enforcement, foreign policy, or trade policy concerns.
The Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Education announced efforts to promote the use of $16 billion in funding from the recently enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act’s Education Stabilization Fund for remote learning. The agencies will work with governors, states, and local school districts as they leverage funding to best help students learning from home during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.