Today’s Regulatory Mix: First Claims Deadline for EBB Program Waived, NCTA Applauds Approval of The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Utah Lifeline Rules Unchanged
First Claims Deadline for EBB Program Waived
The Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) granted Atlantic Broadband Finance, LLC (Atlantic Broadband) a limited waiver of the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBB Program). The reimbursement rules require providers submit certified reimbursement claims for June 2021 service by July 15, 2021. This limited waiver extends to similarly situated participating providers. The waiver permits all participating providers that uploaded their reimbursement claims for discounted service provided in May and/or June 2021 by July 15, 2021, but were unable to complete the certification of those claims by the July 15, 2021 deadline, to certify such claims by August 16, 2021. The Bureau reasoned “We find that a limited waiver is appropriate because the July 15, 2021 deadline was the first EBB Program reimbursement claims deadline, and some providers, especially those that are new to the USAC systems, may have had trouble navigating the claims process and certifying their uploaded reimbursement claims. It is in the public interest to allow these providers the opportunity to certify their submitted reimbursement claims for the first claims deadline given the newness of the EBB Program.”
NCTA Applauds Approval of The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act
In his statement, Michael Powell President and CEO of the Internet & Television Association (NCTA) applauded the U. S. Senate’s approval of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill saying, “the bipartisan infrastructure legislation demonstrates that policymakers can find common ground on issues that are important for America’s future, including the need to get all Americans connected to robust and reliable broadband service. Most importantly, the broadband provisions directly address the two critical challenges we face in reaching our national goal of universal connectivity for all Americans – first, a focused effort to prioritize and build internet infrastructure in areas without service, and second, a stronger government program to help low-income Americans subscribe to and use this critical service.”
Utah Lifeline Rules Unchanged
On April 30, 2021, the Utah Public Service Commission (PSC) sought comments on the potential impact that changes made to the Federal Lifeline rules might have on Utah’s Lifeline service rules. Specifically, the FCC determined that, beginning December 1, 2021, standalone voice service, or voice service not bundled with broadband, will not be eligible for Lifeline support. The PSC concluded that the FCC’s changes to the Federal Lifeline program do not require modification to the Utah program rules. The PSC further determined that sufficient funds exist to continue implementing Utah’s Lifeline program as it currently exists without reliance on the Federal Lifeline program.
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.