The Regulatory Mix, TMI’s daily blog of regulatory activities, is a snapshot of PUC, FCC, legislative, and occasionally court issues that our regulatory monitoring team uncovers each day. Depending on their significance, some items may be the subject of a TMI Briefing.
The FCC announced the tentative agenda for its January 28, 2016, Open Meeting. The following items tentatively on the agenda:
Expansion of Online Public File: A Report and Order, which modernizes the public inspection file rules by requiring cable and satellite TV operators and broadcast and satellite radio companies to post public inspection files on the FCC’s online database.
Improving the Nation’s Public Alert and Warning Systems: A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to strengthen the Emergency Alert System by promoting participation on the state and local levels, supporting greater testing and awareness of EAS, leveraging technological advances, and bolstering EAS security.
Broadband Progress Report: The 2016 Broadband Progress Report examining whether advanced telecommunications capability is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion, pursuant to Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. (See below)
Broadband Progress Report
FCC Chairman Wheeler released a Fact Sheet on his draft of the 2016 Broadband Progress Report. The draft is being circulated to the other commissioners for their consideration at the January 28 Open Meeting. The draft concludes that, while the U.S. is continuing to make progress in broadband deployment, “advanced telecommunications capability is not being deployed in a reasonable and timely fashion to all Americans.” Factors leading to this conclusion include:
- Approximately 34 million Americans still lack access to fixed broadband at the FCC’s benchmark speed of 25 Mbps for downloads, 3 Mbps for uploads.
- A persistent urban-rural digital divide has left 39 percent of the rural population without access to fixed broadband.
- 41 percent of schools have not met the Commission’s short-term goal of 100 Mbps per 1,000 students/staff.
Other findings include:
- Advanced telecommunications capability requires access to both fixed and mobile broadband;
- Fixed and mobile service offer distinct functions meeting both complementary and distinct needs;
- The increasingly dynamic nature of residential and business communications requires both fixed and mobile broadband access. A standard reflecting access to both fixed and mobile broadband reflects current consumer needs, usage, and preference.
Because the FCC has not yet set a mobile speed benchmark, deployment of mobile broadband is not reflected in the assessment.
The draft also presents the following table showing percentage of Americans lacking access to fixed broadband at 25/3: