FCC Reform

Congress is investigating Federal Communications Commission regulatory procedures to determine if they are being conducted in a fair, open, efficient, and transparent manner. Follow the debate here.

Lifeline Needs A Lifeline

In less than three months, nearly 800,000 low-income people who receive telephone subsidies through the Universal Service Fund's Lifeline program will be negatively impacted by changes scheduled to go into effect at the Federal Communications Commission on December 1, 2021. The FCC needs to change course and help more Americans keep connected to communications services that are essential to navigate the ongoing public health and economic crisis. Most importantly, the FCC should act swiftly and hit the pause button on the 2016 plan to zero-out support for voice-only services.

FCC Modernizes and Improves Its Priority Services Rules

The Federal Communications Commission modernized and streamlined its rules for programs that help first responders and other emergency personnel communicate during disasters. The updated rules will help ensure that these programs meet the needs of emergency personnel now and in the future, as technology advances. In a Report and Order adopted May 19, the FCCupdated its priority services rules to reflect today’s marketplace and governance framework and to authorize explicitly the prioritization of next-generation technology. Specifically, the FCC:

FCC Carr Proposes New Wireless Resiliency Rules

Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr called for the FCC to adopt new rules that will promote consumer access to robust, resilient wireless networks during disasters. Specifically, Carr proposed adopting new FCC rules to:

  • Require wireless providers to participate in the wireless resiliency framework;
  • Expand the types of events that would trigger activation of the framework;
  • Mandate roaming during disaster arrangements; and
  • Ensure an effective roaming during a disaster regime.

Here's what's changed for internet service providers under new FCC rules for apartments

With a 4-0 vote, the Federal Communications Commission adopted new rules banning revenue-sharing agreements for internet service providers (ISPs) and multi-tenant environments (MTEs), requiring disclosure of exclusive marketing arrangements and closing loopholes around indoor cable wiring regulations. The FCC has banned revenue-sharing agreements that it says inhibit competition.

FCC Acts to Increase Broadband Competition in Apartment Buildings

The Federal Communications Commission has adopted rules to unlock broadband competition for those living and working in apartments, public housing, office buildings, and other multi-tenant buildings (MTEs). To ensure competitive choice of communications services for those living and working in MTEs, and to address practices that undermine longstanding rules promoting competition in MTEs, the FCC takes three specific actions. First, the agency adopts new rules prohibiting providers from entering into certain types of revenue sharing agreements that are used to evade existing rules.

Industry Groups Submit Letter to the FCC on the Future of Universal Service

The Ad Hoc Telecom Users Committee, INCOMPAS, NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association, Public Knowledge, the Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition, and the Voice on the Net Coalition, as well 332 entities representing a broad and diverse group of stakeholders submitted this letter to the Federal Communications Commission to take immediate action to reform and stabilize the funding mechanism that supports the Universal Service Fund (USF).

House Lawmakers Draft Legislation to Modernize FCC Regulations on Satellite Communications

House lawmakers have teamed on two bipartisan bills that would "promote competition, innovation, national security, the interests of consumers, and American leadership in the thriving commercial satellite communications industry." The discussion drafts of the bills work toward modernizing the Federal Communications Commission’s satellite licensing rules and authorities under the Communications Act, with the goal of promoting responsible space management, incentivizing investment and innovation, an

What Comes Next? A Community-Centered Approach to Legacy Network Retirement

On February 10th, Next Century Cities released "What Comes Next? A Community-Centered Approach to Legacy Network Retirement," a paper that advocates for the Federal Communications Commission to revisit consumer-protection safeguards to guide legacy telecommunications network retirement.

FCC Fixes E-Rate Rules to Facilitate Participation Of Tribal Libraries

The Federal Communications Commission adopted an order updating rules in the E-Rate program to clarify that Tribal libraries can access funding to provide affordable internet access in their communities. The Order updates the definition of “library” in the E-Rate program rules to make clear that it includes Tribal libraries, resolving a longstanding issue that limited their access to affordable broadband connectivity through the program.

FCC Proposes Updates to Standards Used in Equipment Authorization

The rapid and widespread deployment of radiofrequency (RF) devices has enabled the communications sector to drive innovation, promote economic growth, and become integral to nearly all aspects of modern life. The Federal Communications Commission’s equipment authorization program is one of the principal ways the agency ensures that the communications equipment people rely on every day, such as their cellphones and Wi-Fi devices, operate effectively without causing harmful interference and otherwise comply with the Commission’s rules.