Today’s Regulatory Mix: Alaska Commission Seeks Reply Comments in Review of State USF, NTIA Releases 5G Listening Report
Alaska Commission Seeks Reply Comments in Review of State USF
In a previous order, Regulatory Commission of Alaska (RCA) called for comments in advance of the June 30, 2023, sunset date of the Alaska Universal Service Fund (AUSF). Comments are due September 1. The RCA now sets an October 15 deadline for reply comments as the RCA searches for ways to stabilize the continued decline of contributions to the AUSF. According to the RCA, “As we have previously observed, a surcharge necessary to support the AUSF program may be an impediment to the affordability mandate in AS 42.05.840. At present, the surcharge would have to be set at nearly 30% to fully fund current outlays and retire current shortfalls. Second, the AUSF program heavily benefits carriers on the road system and may lack sufficient focus on the areas that need the most support. Third, the Legislature has recently undertaken steps to modernize our enabling statutes regarding telecommunications, and the commission’s role in any sort of universal service fund program is uncertain.”
NTIA Releases 5G Listening Sessions Report
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) reported both consensus and varying degrees of disagreement on several topics the government will have to resolve as it continues to develop incentives and initiatives as part of the National Strategy to Secure 5G. The report is based on two industry “listening sessions” where stakeholders were asked to identify incentives and policy options to ensure that the United States has adequate sources of secure, effective, and reliable fifth and future generation wireless communications systems and infrastructure. The first listening session was on held on January 28 and the second on February 25, 2021. More specifically, there is widespread agreement in the industry that the government should provide more funding for research and development, testing, infrastructure build-out, and workforce development. In addition, stakeholders said there should be more information sharing between government and industry on supply chain risks.
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.