3G Devices Becoming Obsolete, FCC’s December Open Meeting, North Dakota Earmarks $45 Million for Internet Deployment

3G Devices Becoming Obsolete 

As radio frequencies are being reallocated to newer technology like 4G and 5G, older cell phones and other devices that use only 3G will stop working in February 2022. Medical alert devices, tablets, smart watches, and home security systems that rely strictly on 3G will become obsolete. The Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and the National Association of State 911 Administrators (NASNA) announced the upcoming decommissioning of the 3G network nationwide on Tuesday. “It is vitally important that the public be aware that national 3G networks will no longer work sometime early next year. These networks support older phones and devices that won’t work after the 3G network goes away” said Harriet Rennie-Brown, Executive Director of NASNA. 

FCC’s December Open Meeting 

The FCC announced the tentative agenda for the December 14, 2021, Open Commission Meeting: 

  • Improving Accessibility and Clarity of Emergency Alerts – The Commission will consider a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and a Notice of Inquiry to improve clarity and accessibility of Emergency Alert System (EAS) visual messages to the public, including for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, and others who are unable to access the audio message. (PS Docket No. 15-94) 
  • Facilitating Satellite Broadband Competition – The Commission will consider an Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would propose revisions to the Commission’s rules for spectrum sharing among low-earth orbit satellite systems. The goal of the proposed revisions is to facilitate the deployment of the new generation of non-geostationary satellite orbit, fixed satellite service (NGSO FSS) systems, including new competitors. (IB Docket No. 21-456; RM-11855) 
  • Promoting Fair and Open Competitive Bidding in the E-Rate Program – The Commission will consider a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that proposes to implement a central document repository (i.e, bidding portal) through which service providers would be required to submit their bids to the E-Rate Program Administrator and seeks comment on other changes to the ERate competitive bidding rules. (WC Docket 21-455) 



North Dakota Earmarks $45 Million for Internet Deployment 

Governor Doug Burgum signed the final bills of the Legislature’s special session.  Among the investment of federal dollars into the state’s infrastructure from the federal American Rescue Plan Act, $45 million has been committed to broadband infrastructure grants to ensure all North Dakotans have high-speed data access that supports education, telehealth, government services and businesses. 

The Regulatory Mix, Inteserra’s blog of telecom related 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 an Inteserra Briefing.