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Posted by Amy Gross on 4/4/19 4:41 PM

Rural Broadband w tablet imageFCC Announces Authorization for CAF II Winning Bidders

The FCC announced it is ready to authorize Connect America Fund Phase II auction (Auction 903) support for the Auction 903 winning bids identified in Attachment A.  To be authorized to receive the total 10-year support amounts the bidders must submit acceptable irrevocable standby letter(s) of credit and Bankruptcy Code opinion letter(s) from their legal counsel for each state where they have winning bids that are ready to be authorized prior to 6:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, April 17, 2019.  The Public Notice provides instructions for submitting the required documentation and letters.

Several winning bidders have notified us the FCC that they do not intend to pursue some or all of their winning bids.  Attachment B lists these bidders and their relevant winning bids. Auction 903 support will not be authorized for their relevant winning bids. These bidders are in default and subject to forfeiture.  To this end, they will be referred to the FCC’s Enforcement Division.

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 The Regulatory Mix Today:  FCC Announces Authorization for CAF II Winning Bidders, FCC Commissioner Rosenworcel Testifies Re Dedicated Robocall Unit, US Senate Hearing on Broadband Mapping: Challenges and Solutions, US Senate Hearing on Robocalls

 

rosenworcel-bio-page-09122018FCC Commissioner Rosenworcel Testifies that FCC Needs Dedicated Robocall Unit

FCC Commissioner Rosenworcel testified before the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government Committee on Appropriations at the U.S. House Of Representatives.  Specifically, Commissioner Rosenworcel stated that the FCC should add a unit to specifically attack robocalls.  Commissioner Rosenworcel stated that:

“At the start of this Administration, American consumers received roughly 2 billion robocalls a month. That number now exceeds 5 billion a month. That is about two thousand robocalls a second every day. So, if you think the problem has gotten worse, you’re right. Consumers are complaining to this FCC that we’re doing too little to stop this problem and they’re right, too.

While I have supported the FCC’s efforts to take on a handful of bad actors with enforcement fines, the Wall Street Journal reported last week that the agency has collected no more than a grand total of $6,790. That’s insane. It is clear the agency’s current approach is not working. It’s like trying to empty the ocean with a teaspoon.

We don’t have time for that. So, let me propose three things. First, it’s time for the agency to require in its rules call authentication technology, known as STIR/SHAKEN that will help return trust to our communications networks. Second, I’ve written the major carriers calling for them to make free tools to avoid robocalls available to every consumer. It’s time for my colleagues to join me in this quest. Third, it’s time for the agency to create a new division in its Enforcement Bureau to focus strictly on robocalls. Robocalls are the largest single source of consumer complaints at this agency. It’s time for the FCC to organize its work to reflect that.”

 

jnuts_00_us-capitol-dome-at-sunset_yesmydccoolUS Senate Hearing on Robocalls

U.S. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, announced he will convene a hearing titled, “Illegal Robocalls: Calling All To Stop The Scourge,” at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, April 11, 2019. The hearing will examine the Federal Communications Commission’s first ever report on robocalls and review the steps Congress is currently taking to provide consumers relief from illegal robocalls.  The initial witness list is as follows:

  • The Honorable Doug Peterson, Attorney General, State of Nebraska
  • Mr. Kevin Rupy, Partner, Wiley Rein, Representing US Telecom – The Broadband Association
  • Ms. Margot Saunders, Counsel, National Consumer Law Centerlca

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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.

 

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Topics: CAF II Auction, FCC Commissioner Rosenworcel, Auction 903, STIR/SHAKEN, US Senate Robocall Hearings

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