Today’s Regulatory Mix: FCC EBB Program Exceeds 4 Million Households, Broadband Bills Take Effect in Washington State FCC EBB Program Exceeds 4 Million Households Over four million households have enrolled in the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, according to the FCC, served by approximately 1100 broadband providers. The $3.2 billion subsidy program provides a temporary $50 to $75 discount on eligible households’ internet bills during the duration of the pandemic.“We knew from the beginning that the success of the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program would largely depend on mobilizing trusted on-the-ground advocates and community leaders. With more than four million enrolled households in less than three months, I say we’re on the right track,” said Jessica Rosenworcel, FCC Acting Chairwoman. “We’ve made terrific progress, but the FCC remains committed to building on this initial momentum so we can connect as many families as possible and help those struggling to get online.” Broadband Bills Take Effect in Washington State Two new laws promoting broadband build-out in Washington State went into effect July 25, 2021. The legislation enables public entities, including not-for-profit, community-owned public utility districts (PUDs), to provide retail broadband service to end-users. Since 2000, PUDs have had the authority to offer wholesale telecommunications services. Since then, PUDs have invested over $509 million in broadband infrastructure. With wholesale telecommunications authority, PUDs were able to build the pipeline to help connect communities, with customers relying on private providers for end-use service. The legislation creates another public option. “Washington State will finally allow PUDs to provide broadband directly to the public—just like electricity or water,” said Rep. Drew Hansen (D-Bainbridge Island), the sponsor of the Public Broadband Act (HB1336). “The PUDs were critical to enacting my Public Broadband Act, and I look forward to working with PUDs across the state to bring public broadband to more people.” ____________________________ 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.