FCC Rural Broadband Funding
The FCC announced that a total of 186 companies participating in the FCC’s Alternative Connect America Cost Model (A-CAM) program have accepted $65.7 million in additional annual support over the next decade. In return, these carriers have committed to deploying 25/3 Mbps service to 106,365 homes and small businesses in 43 states that would have otherwise only received slower 10/1 Mbps service. This represents a 31.8% increase in the number of locations that will have faster service available through the A-CAM program. Carriers must deploy 25/3 Mbps service to 40% of locations by the end of 2022 and increase deployment by 10% annually until buildout is complete at the end of 2028. A chart detailing the impact of the additional funding is available here. A listing by carrier is available here.
In response to the announcement, FCC Chairman Pai said: “Today’s announcement means that many more rural Americans will have access to high-speed broadband service that will enable them to fully participate in the digital economy—entrepreneurship, telemedicine, precision agriculture, online education, and more. This is yet another example of how the FCC is working hard to close the digital divide.”
The Regulatory Mix Today: FCC Rural Broadband Funding, FCC Advisory on Wireless Alerts, FCC Workshop on Multilingual
FCC Advisory on Wireless Alerts
The FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau released a Public Notice advising Commercial Mobile Service providers participating in Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) of their obligation to support the following WEA improvements by May 1, 2019:
- Longer WEA messages (from 90 to 360 characters) for 4G LTE and future networks;
- A new class of alerts (“Public Safety Messages”) to convey recommended actions for saving lives or property (e.g., emergency shelter locations after a disaster);
- Spanish-language alert messages;
- Presentation of WEA messages on the mobile device as soon as they are received; and
- State/Local WEA Tests, with the ability for consumers to opt in to receive such tests.
The Notice also includes guidance for state and local alert originators on state and local WEA testing.
FCC Workshop on Multilingual Alerting Announced
Separately, the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau announced it will host a public workshop on June 28, 2019, to promote the use of multilingual emergency alerting to meet community needs. The workshop will include presentations covering, among other topics, the multilingual capabilities of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA), alternative methods for delivering emergency information to the non-English speaking public, and real-world examples demonstrating the successful use of these tools during disasters. Audio/video coverage of the meeting will be broadcast live on the FCC’s website. A detailed agenda will be announced by a subsequent public notice and posted on the web page.
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.