Today’s Regulatory Mix: FCC Seeks Comments about 911 Fee Diversion Rules, Senators Collins and Rosen Introduce Broadband Legislation
FCC Seeks Comments About 911 Fee Diversion Rules
The Don’t Break Up the T-Band Act of 2020 (the Act) was enacted in December of this past year. Section 902 of the Act directs the FCC to adopt rules to discourage states and jurisdictions from redirecting 911 fees. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) now seeks comments on a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR) addressing the practice of some states and jurisdictions to use 911 fees for non-911 purposes. In addition to proposed definitions meant to promote consistency and regulatory parity, the NPR is looking for feedback on rules that would:
- define the types of 911 fee expenditures by states and jurisdictions that are acceptable under the criteria set forth in the Act;
- allow states and jurisdictions to petition the FCC for a determination that a 911 fee expenditure not previously designated as acceptable by the FCC could be treated as acceptable;
- prohibit any state or jurisdiction identified by the FCC as a fee diverter from serving on any advisory committee established by the FCC; and
- require any state or jurisdiction that receives a federal 911 grant to provide the FCC with the information required to prepare its annual 911 fee report to Congress.
Senators Collins, Rosen Introduce Legislation to Increase Access to Broadband Services to Rural Americans
U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jacky Rosen (D-NV) introduced the American Broadband Buildout Act (ABBA), a bipartisan bill to ensure that rural Americans have access to broadband services at speeds they need to fully participate in the modern society and economy.
The legislation would help close the “digital divide” between urban and rural America by providing up to $15 billion in matching grants to assist states and state-approved entities build the “last-mile” infrastructure to bring high-speed broadband directly to homes and businesses in areas that lack it. The current pandemic has brought these connectivity challenges into stark relief as many Americans have had to move their studies, health care services, and workplaces online.
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.