Telecommunication

Communication at a distance, especially the electronic transmission of signals via the telephone

Chairman Pai Letter to NARUC on State Inmate Calling Rates

Given the alarming evidence of egregiously high intrastate inmate calling rates and the Federal Communications Commission’s lack of jurisdiction here, I am calling on states to exercise their authority and, at long last, address this pressing problem. Specifically, I implore the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and state regulatory commissions to take action on intrastate inmate calling services rates to enable more affordable communications for the incarcerated and their families. 

FCC Announces Tentative Agenda for August 2020 Open Meeting

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced that the items below are tentatively on the agenda for the August Open Commission Meeting scheduled for Thursday, August 6, 2020:

C-band Auction Procedures – The FCC will consider a Public Notice that would adopt procedures for the auction of new flexible-use overlay licenses in the 3.7–3.98 GHz band (Auction 107) for 5G, the Internet of Things, and other advanced wireless services. (AU Docket No. 20-25)

The Need For Speed

When it comes our August meeting’s main attraction, repurposing C-band spectrum for 5G, we feel the need — the need for speed. I circulated final draft procedures for a C-band auction to be held on Dec 8, 2020, and we will vote on them at our August meeting. They spell out the many details of the auction — competitive bidding procedures, application requirements, and deadlines governing participation in Auction 107. To spur the deployment of ultra-fast, world-leading 5G networks, we need to make C-band spectrum (among other spectrum bands) available as quickly as possible.

Secretary of State Pompeo imposes visa restrictions on Huawei, other Chinese tech companies, citing human rights abuses

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US will impose visa restrictions on Chinese technology firms, the latest move expected to strain relations between Washington and Beijing. “State Department will impose visa restrictions on certain employees of Chinese tech companies like Huawei, that provide material support to regimes engaging in human rights violations and abuses globally,” Sec Pompeo said.

Minnesota Attorney General's office settles with Frontier Communications Over Deceptive Practices

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said his office has settled an investigation into possible deceptive practices in Frontier Communications' billing and sale of internet services. Under the settlement, Frontier agreed to fully disclose its prices for internet service to new customers before they take service. Many current customers will be allowed to cancel their service without penalty.

Britain to bar Huawei from its 5G wireless networks, part of a growing shift away from the Chinese tech giant

Apparently, Britain will bar new deployments of Huawei equipment in its fledgling high-speed 5G network, in what is a major blow to the Chinese technology giant and a significant win for the Trump administration, which has been pressing allies to shun the firm. The British decision, expected to be announced July 14, is part of a growing shift away from China in the global 5G competition, especially among advanced democracies increasingly concerned that the firm’s ties to the Communist government create an unacceptable security risk.

FCC, Huawei Square Off in Court Briefs

The respective parties have filed their opening briefs in Chinese telecom Huawei's challenge to the Federal Communications Commission's initial determination that its technology is a national security risk and must be excluded from broadband subsidies — and likely ripped and replaced from existing networks. The FCC voted unanimously on June 30 to affirm its initial designation that Huawei (and ZTE) are suspect, which means no carrier can use tech from either company to build out broadband and be eligible for any of the government's billions of dollars in Universal Service Fund subsidies for

FCC to Hold Open Commission Meeting July 16, 2020

The Federal Communications Commission will hold an Open Meeting on Thursday, July 16, 2020. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and related agency telework and headquarters access policies, this meeting will be in a wholly electronic format and will be open to the public on the Internet via live feed from the FCC’s web page and on the FCC’s YouTube channel.

Commissioner Starks on Barring Huawei and ZTE from USF

Network security is national security. Today’s actions will help secure our networks against new threats from Huawei and ZTE equipment. We must not, however, lose sight of the untrustworthy equipment already in place. The Commission has taken important steps toward identifying the problematic equipment in our systems, but there is much more to do. We must prioritize our review of our recent information collection and establish an expedited plan for the removal and replacement of untrustworthy equipment.

Court Approves Windstream Restructuring Plan, Eyes August Bankruptcy Exit

The US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York approved a Windstream bankruptcy exit reorganization plan. With the restructuring plan approved, the company expects to complete its financial restructuring process and emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as a privately held company in late August. The restructured company will cut its debt by about two thirds, a total of $4 billion, and will have access to approximately $2 billion in new capital to expand 1 Gig Internet service in rural America.