Today’s Regulatory Mix: FCC Adopts Rules to Combat Use of Contraband Wireless Devices in Correctional Facilities, Senator Wicker Concerned About NTIA’s Broadband Data Collection


FCC Adopts Rules to Combat Use of Contraband Wireless Devices in Correctional Facilities 

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted additional rules to combat contraband wireless devices in correctional facilities. The rules require disabling contraband wireless devices detected in correctional facilities upon satisfaction of certain criteria. The amendments to part 20 of the Commission’s rules will be effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

In addition, the FCC seeks further comment on the relative effectiveness, viability, and cost of additional technological solutions to combat contraband phones used in correctional facilities previously identified in the record. Inteserra Briefing Service subscribers see Briefing dated 7/22/21. 


Senator Wicker Concerned About NTIA’s Broadband Data Collection 

In a July 8, 2021, letter to NTIA Acting Assistant Secretary Remaley, U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee ranking member Roger Wicker (R., Miss.) urged the NTIA to reassess its data collection processes and sources used to update broadband maps. In the letter, Senator Wicker wrote “Over the past year, Congress has provided NTIA without $1.5 billion to expand broadband access to minority communities, Tribal lands, and unserved areas.  But NTIA’s lack of accurate data threatens the effectiveness of these programs, as well as other broadband programs Congress is currently contemplating as part of the infrastructure bill.  This is not the first time NTIA has faced this threat.  The same problem plagued NTIA’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, which faced criticism of the way it provided grants – often subsidizing overbuilds of existing network infrastructure.  Indeed, the Government Accountability Office report examining that program found that NTIA ‘lack[ed] detailed data on the availability of broadband service throughout the country, making it difficult to determine whether a proposed service areas is unserved or underserved.  We cannot afford to make this same mistake again.” 


Earlier this week, Senator Wicker offered an amendment to the infrastructure legislation that would have subjected the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) regulatory actions to the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). NTIA would have been required to conduct a rulemaking proceeding before allocating funding for broadband projects included in the infrastructure measure. As written, the broadband section waives the APA. “This is a way to make sure we spend the money correctly, to make sure we do it right,” Senator Wicker asserted in his amendment, which was rejected.   






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.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.