US Senate Suicide Hotline Bill Introduced
U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI),Cory Gardner (R-CO), Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Jack Reed (D-RI) announced they introduced the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act (S2661) that directs the FCC to designate 9-8-8 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. This line would include the Veterans Crisis Line for veteran-specific mental health support. Additionally, the legislation will authorize the ability of states to collect fees to ensure local call centers are able to support increased volume. The current National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Veterans Crisis line are 10-digits, which is a barrier to Americans in crisis seeking support. Congressman Chris Stewart (R-UT) and Seth Moulton (D-MA) are leading companion legislation in the House of Representatives.
“In America, we lose about 45,000 people every year to suicide, including more than 6,100 veterans, making it one of the leading causes of death in this country,” said Senator Baldwin. “We need to do everything we can to prevent suicide and that means improving the tools we have to help people who are suffering from depression or other mental health issues. I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation to make it as quick and easy as possible for Americans in crisis to get the help and support they need through the National Suicide Hotline.”
“We must do more to destigmatize access to mental health resources and prevent suicides in our country. Approximately every seven hours, a Coloradan dies by suicide. As the father of three young Coloradans, it breaks my heart to know that youth suicide rates have increased by 58 percent in the last three years,” said Senator Gardner. “If this bipartisan idea becomes law, Americans could dial a three-digit phone number in times of any crisis: 9-1-1 for an emergency, and 9-8-8 for a mental health emergency. This legislation is more than smart policy that will help save lives, it’s a statement that our government recognizes the crisis and is working across party lines to address it.”
“The state of Kansas and the entire country stand to benefit from increased access to critical suicide prevention and mental health services that a dedicated nationwide hotline would offer,” said Senator Moran. “I commend the work of my fellow Kansan Chairman Ajit Pai and the entire FCC on this important issue, and I look forward to continuing to work in partnership with the commission and my Senate colleagues to make certain this is an effective tool for those who need it.”
“This is about saving lives. A nationwide, three-digit number for suicide prevention and mental health crises will connect people with the specialized help they need, when they need it. Mental health care works, and this bill will help get people into care, but it’s just a first step that will require the federal government to put up real resources,” said Senator Reed.
The Regulatory Mix Today: US Senate Suicide Hotline Bill Introduced, FCC Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee Meeting, FCC Issues Fifteenth Broadband Deployment Report Notice of Inquiry
FCC Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee Meeting
The FCC announced that the next meeting of its Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC) will be held on December 3, 2019, beginning at 9:30 a.m. At this meeting, the BDAC will receive status reports and updates from its three working groups: Disaster Response and Recovery, Increasing Broadband Investment in Low-Income Communities, and Broadband Infrastructure Deployment Job Skills and Training Opportunities. The BDAC meeting is open to the public and audio and/or video coverage of the meeting will be available from the FCC’s web page at www.fcc.gov/live.
FCC Issues Fifteenth Broadband Deployment Report Notice of Inquiry
The FCC is seeking comment and information to assist it with its annual review of whether advanced services are being deployed in a timely manner (referred to as the Section 706 Report). Consistent with past reports, the FCC proposes to take a holistic view of progress in the deployment of advanced telecommunications capability and whether that progress is occurring in a reasonable and timely fashion. The Notice proposes an evaluative framework for the next Report and seek comment on the proposed methodology. Among other things, the FCC proposes to use the same evaluative framework used in 2019, maintain a 25/3Mpbs benchmark for fixed service, and continue to use 4G LTE as the best proxy for what is “advanced” in the mobile services market. Comments are due November 22, 2019; reply comments are due December 9, 2019.
The information gathered in this proceeding will help ensure that the FCC’s broadband policies are well-informed and backed by sound data analysis as it strives to close the digital divide and encourage the deployment of advanced telecommunications capability to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion. In its 2019 Report, the FCC found that its efforts to remove barriers to broadband investment and promote competition in the telecommunications marketplace are enabling service providers to extend the reach of broadband networks to previously unserved areas in all corners of the nation.
THE REGULATORY MIX WILL BE ON FALL BREAK FROM OCTOBER 28, 2019 THROUGH NOVEMBER 4, 2019. WE WILL BE BACK ON
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.