Today’s Regulatory Mix: Ernst & Young Named Fund Administrator, New York Outlines Exemptions from the Requirement to Offer Low Income Broadband Product, Wisconsin Governor Vetoes Broadband Expansion Bill
Ernst & Young Named Fund Administrator
The FCC announced today that Ernst & Young LLP will be the Fund Administrator for the $1.9 billion Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Reimbursement Program (Reimbursement Program). Among other duties, Ernst & Young will manage the Reimbursement Program, reviewing requests for reimbursement by participants while providing funding recommendations. The Reimbursement Program will facilitate the removal, replacement, and disposal of communications equipment and services posing a national security risk from the networks of providers of advanced communications service.
New York Outlines Exemptions from the Requirement to Offer Low-Income Broadband Product
On April 16, 2021, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the Affordable Broadband Act, requiring internet service providers (ISPs) to offer a $15 broadband plan to qualifying New Yorkers. The legislation requires ISPs make the affordable broadband plan available to the public within 60 days of enactment, or June 16, 2021. The Act allows for exemptions for ISPs with less than 20,000 subscribers if the Public Service Commission (Commission) determines that compliance with the requirement would result in unreasonable or unsustainable financial impact on the provider. The Commission has developed a guide to aid ISPs in filing for an exemption. The guide includes a list of minimum requirements for any exemption, which must be filed with the Commission by May 14, 2021.
Wisconsin Governor Vetoes Broadband Expansion Bill
Wisconsin Governor, Tony Evers, has vetoed a bill that would have required $500,000,000 received from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) to be used to provide broadband expansion grants. Evers explained, “it limits the ability to use federal funds with the flexibility necessary to confront the variety of challenges posed by recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic…” According to Evers, there are already plans in place to allocate funds from the ARPA to provide for broadband expansion.
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.