Today's Regulatory Mix: California Defends Net Neutrality Law, FCC's Rosenworcel Circulates Emergency Broadband Benefit Program Report and Order. INCOMPAS, NTCA and WIA Call for Affordable Universal Access
California Defends Net Neutrality Law
The Department of Justice withdrew its lawsuit earlier this month to a California net neutrality law earlier that was initiated under the Trump Administration. However, the litigation continues as a number of internet service providers continue to challenge the legislation. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra issued a statement proclaiming, “This health crisis reminds us that a fair and open internet is essential. Net neutrality must be protected and defended.”
FCC’s Rosenworcel Circulates Emergency Broadband Benefit Program Report and Order
Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel circulated a Report and Order that, if adopted, would establish the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, a $3.2 billion federal initiative to provide qualifying households discounts on their internet service bills and an opportunity to receive a discount on a computer or tablet.
The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program was created by Congress in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. Through the program, eligible households may receive a discount off the cost of broadband service (up to $50.00 per month and, on Tribal lands, the monthly discount may be up to $75.00 per month) and certain connected devices during an emergency period relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. Participating providers can be reimbursed for such discounts.
INCOMPAS, NTCA and WIA Call for Affordable Universal Access
The heads of three leading broadband trade associations sent a letter to the White House urging stronger action on universal broadband access.
Chip Pickering from INCOMPAS, who represents competitive fiber and fixed wireless builders, Shirley Bloomfield of NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association representing rural providers and Jonathan Adelstein from WIA who counts wireless infrastructure companies' members signed the letter calling on the Biden Administration to make “Broadband for All” central to its COVID-19 recovery efforts as infrastructure investment will stimulate education, telemedicine and small business growth.
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.