Today’s Regulatory Mix: FCC List of Broadband Providers Electing to Participate in EBB Program Updated, FCC Seeks Comment on RDOF ETC Applications, Once Vetoed Broadband Bill Becomes Law in New York, USAC Urges EBB Program Election Notices
FCC List of Broadband Providers Electing to Participate in EBB Program Updated
In two weeks, the list of broadband providers that have been elected to participate in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBBP) has almost doubled from 319 providers at the beginning of the month to 513 providers as of today. The EBBP is a $3.2 billion program designed to lower the cost of high-speed internet service for those struggling to afford broadband during the ongoing pandemic. The provider list, by state, is here.
FCC Seeks Comment on RDOF ETC Applications
The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau seeks comment on a hand full of petitions submitted for designation as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (ETC). Each petitioner is a winning bidder, or those assigned support through the division of winning bids, under the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund auction. The petitioners, and the states in which ETC status is sought, include Starlink (Florida and North Carolina), Mediacom Wireless (North Carolina), Castle Cable TV (New York), Altice (West Virginia), Gigabeam Networks (West Virginia), and Roanoke Connect (North Carolina). Comments are due by May 13 and reply comments by May 28, 2021.
Once Vetoed Broadband Bill Becomes Law in New York
The Comprehensive Broadband Connectivity Act, originally vetoed by Governor Cuomo in 2020, was enacted when New York approved the 2021-2022 state budget. Under the act, the New York Public Service Commission is tasked with studying the availability, reliability, and cost of high-speed Internet and broadband services. The act also provides for the creation of an internet access map to show demonstrate where broadband is available and where there is insufficient access.
USAC Urges EBB Program Election Notices
The Universal Service Administrative Co. (USAC) released a statement on its website today urging those providers interested in participating in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (Program) to submit their election notices to USAC as soon as possible. “The FCC has not announced the program launch date yet, but we expect an announcement from the FCC soon.” The election process has no end date. According to USAC, though, the full election process can take over a week. Instructions for completing and submitting the election form can be found here.
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.