FCC Reacts to Selection of SHAKEN/STIR Policy Administrator
FCC Chairman Pai issued the following statement in response to the announcement by the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) that it has selected iconectiv as policy administrator of the SHAKEN/STIR call authentication framework.
“Unwanted robocalls are American consumers’ number one complaint to the FCC. Many of these robocalls are made by scammers who mask their identity, harass consumers, and seek to defraud vulnerable communities. ‘Call authentication’ is critical for protecting consumers against these calls. It will ensure that voice providers are exchanging accurate information about the source of calls traveling across their networks. Moreover, I have proposed that the FCC create a safe harbor for carriers that block calls because they are not authenticated under the SHAKEN/STIR framework. I appreciate ATIS’s work on this issue and look forward to seeing deployment of SHAKEN/STIR by major carriers this year. Consumers are sick and tired of robocalls and they want and deserve relief as soon as possible.”
The Regulatory Mix Today: FCC Reacts to Selection of SHAKEN/STIR Policy Administrator, FCC Broadband Deployment Report, FCC High-Band 5G Airwaves Auction, FCC Finalizes Agenda for June Open Meeting
FCC Broadband Deployment Report
The FCC released its 2019 Broadband deployment report which, according to the FCC, shows that “the nation’s digital divide is narrowing as more Americans than ever have access to high-speed broadband.” The report finds for a second consecutive year that advanced telecommunications capability is being deployed on a reasonable and timely basis.
Among other things, the report shows:
- The number of Americans lacking access to a terrestrial fixed broadband connection meeting the FCC’s benchmark of at least 25 Mbps/3 Mbps has dropped from 26.1 million Americans at the end of 2016 to 21.3 million Americans at the end of 2017, a decrease of more than 18%. The majority of those gaining access to such connections, approximately 4.3 million, are in rural America.
- Higher-speed services are being deployed at a rapid rate as well: The number of Americans with access to at least 250 Mbps/25 Mbps broadband grew in 2017 by more than 36%, to 191.5 million. The number of rural Americans with access to such broadband increased by 85.1% in 2017.
- Broadband providers large and small deployed fiber networks to 5.9 million new homes in 2018, the largest number ever recorded.
- Capital expenditures by broadband providers increased in 2017, reversing the declines of both 2015 and 2016.
FCC High-Band 5G Airwaves Auction
The FCC announced the successful conclusion of bidding in Auction 102. Auction 102 is the FCC’s second auction of millimeter wave spectrum suitable for 5G, which is providing licenses in the 24 GHz band. With the closing of bidding in this auction along with the closing of bidding in Auction 101 for 28 GHz band licenses, the FCC has now completed its first set of high-band airwaves auctions to make spectrum available for 5G wireless, Internet of Things, and other advanced spectrum-based services. Together, the Spectrum Frontiers auctions of the 24 GHz and 28 GHz bands raised more than $2.7 billion in gross bids. Combined, 55 applicants were qualified to bid, and the winning bidders won 5,869 licenses.
In a future public notice, the FCC will provide detailed auction results, winning bidders of deadlines for payments and the filing of long-form applications and other post-auction procedures needed for the prompt issuance of licenses. A separate public notice will announce the detailed results of the auction of 28 GHz Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service licenses (Auction 101), which have remained non-public pending the conclusion of Auction 102.
In response to the completion of the auction, FCC Chairman Pai said: “American leadership in 5G means deploying more airwaves for the next generation of wireless connectivity. The successful conclusion of our nation’s first two high-band flexible, mobile-use spectrum auctions is a critical step. By making more spectrum available, we’ll ensure that American consumers reap the substantial benefits that 5G innovation will bring and we’ll extend U.S. leadership in 5G.”
FCC Finalizes Agenda for June Open Meeting
The FCC announced the final agenda for its June 6, 2019 Open Meeting. The following three items are on the agenda:
- Advanced Methods to Target and Eliminate Unlawful Robocalls and Call Authentication Trust Anchor: A Declaratory Ruling and Third Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking clarifying that voice service providers may block illegal and unwanted calls as the default before they reach consumers’ phones, and propose a safe harbor for providers that block calls that fail call authentication while ensuring that emergency and other critical calls reach consumers.
- Leased Commercial Access: A Report and Order and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would vacate its 2008 Leased Access Order, modernize the existing leased access rules to reflect changes in the video programming market, and propose to simplify the leased access rate formula.
- Amendment of the Commission’s Rules to Promote Aviation Safety: A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would propose to modernize the Commission’s rules to improve aviation safety, support the deployment of more advanced avionics technology, and increase the efficient use of limited spectrum resources.
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.