Nevada Telecommunications Association Monthly Newsletter
January 2017, Volume 171 Serving the Industry for over 59 Years Editor: Mike Eifert
Happy New Year!
The NTA wishes each and everyone of you a Happy New Year with the hope that you will have many blessings in the year to come.
This month's NTA Associate of the Month is Fiber Optic Supply!
Learn more about Fiber Optic Supply and what they do by clicking the NTA Associate of the Month photo, top right of any NTA website page.
Broadband providers preparing for Lifeline rollout
Earlier this spring, the Federal Communications Commission adopted an order that modified the Lifeline program by allowing low-income Americans to have subsidized broadband service, while also implementing various administrative reforms. USTelecom President Walter McCormick praised the move modernizing the Lifeline program, saying that it would "help to bring the transformative benefits of the internet to millions of low-income Americans." Many of the FCC's reforms are set to go into effect on Dec. 2, and eligible consumers can receive Lifeline benefits for broadband from providers who participate in the program. Learn more. [Source: USTelecom dailyLead, 12/02/2016]
NTCA, WTA Call for RLEC Waivers of Lifeline Requirement for Standalone Broadband
NTCA and WTA filed a letter on November 29, 2016, to highlight an incongruity between implementation of the RoR Reform Order and one particular provision of the Lifeline Modernization Order that requires high-cost support recipients to offer a standalone broadband service to Lifeline-eligible consumers. They said it will still be more costly for rural consumers in many cases to purchase standalone broadband internet access service than a bundle of voice and broadband service due to the structure of high-cost support mechanisms and budgetary constraints that limit support. They suggested a temporary waiver of this Lifeline requirement is thus warranted and, at the very least, the Commission should grant a waiver to RLECs that certify the price of the standalone broadband offering would be equal to or in excess of that of a bundled voice and broadband offering from the same RLEC. [Source: Washington Watch, 12/02/2016]
First Quarter 2017 Proposed USF Contribution Factor is 16.7 Percent
The FCC Managing Director issued a Public Notice on December 9, 2016, announcing the proposed universal service contribution factor for the first quarter of 2017 will be 16.7 percent, down from 17.4 percent from the previous quarter. Looks good on the surface, however, the factor is lower in 1Q17, than it was in 4Q16, due in large part to prior period adjustment. The contribution base continues to shrink. No reason to believe that trend won't continue. Also, they are still using past E-Rate non-obligated funds to "pay for" about $1 Billion of E-Rate support. When that well runs dry, sadly, we could see a contribution factor near/at/above 20%. Projections suggest that could happen as early as 4Q17.
Broadband Privacy Order Effective January 3
The FCC published in the Federal Register on December 2, 2016, the Report and Order containing rules requiring broadband ISPs to protect the privacy of their customers. The rules separate the use and sharing of information into three categories: opt-in, opt-out and exceptions to consent requirements. The Order is effective January 3, 2017, except for sections 64.2003 (Notice Requirements for Telecommunications Carriers), 64.2004 (Customer Approval), 64.2006 (Data Breach Notification) and 64.2011(b) (BIAS Offers Conditioned on Waiver of Privacy Rights), which contain information collection requirements that have not yet been approved by the OMB. Section 64.2005 (Data Security) is effective March 2, 2017. [Source: Washington Watch, 12/02/2016]
FCC backs off IoT cybersecurity plans
The Federal Communications Commission is postponing efforts to impose cybersecurity regulations on connected devices as the anti-regulation administration of President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take office. The agency confirmed it is putting its "risk reduction program" on hold, but Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., has urged Trump's transition team to continue with cybersecurity reforms. Read more... [Source: USTelecom dailyLead, 12/07/2016]
Wheeler Announces Departure From FCC
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler announced he will resign from his post as of Jan. 20, when President-elect Donald Trump takes office. The departure of Wheeler, a Democrat, will leave the FCC with two Republicans and one Democrat, and the commission could try to overturn Wheeler's open internet rules. Read more... [Source: USTelecom dailyLead, 12/15/2016]
FCC Adopts Order Addressing Oversubscription for A-CAM Support
The Commission released a Report and Order on December 20, 2016, adopting measures to allocate an additional $50 million annually to the budget for A-CAM support and proposing in the attached FNPRM to expand the A-CAM budget further, with an associated increase in broadband deployment obligations. For those carriers for whom the offer of model-based support was less than the legacy support they received in 2015, the support amounts and associated obligations were not revised, and the Bureau is directed immediately to authorize these carriers to receive A-CAM support pursuant to their existing elections. The Commission adopted a methodology to make revised offers to the remaining electing carriers, and carriers receiving a second offer will have up to 30 days from the release of this Order to notify the Bureau whether they elect that revised offer. The Commission conditioned the second offer of A-CAM support on a requirement that carriers electing that second offer agree to meet the terms of the original offer if additional high-cost support becomes available in 2017 to fund the original offers. [Source: Washington Watch, 12/21/2016]
Congress seen as eager to take up telecom act
Congressional aides on both sides of the aisle say lawmakers will make amending the Telecommunications Act of 1996 a high priority in their next session, and they expressed hopes of a compromise on altering the Federal Communications Commission's open internet rules. Meanwhile, Republican FCC members are defending so-called "zero-rating" plans for mobile data that opponents say violate those rules. Bloomberg BNA, Ars Technica [Source: USTelecom dailyLead, 12/06/2016]
FCC may face deadlock after failed nomination
The Senate's failure last week to confirm incumbent Federal Communications Commission member Jessica Rosenworcel may spur a 2-2 stalemate on the agency under incoming President Donald Trump. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's term runs until 2018, and the deadlock could delay consideration of several important communications issues. Read More [Source: USTelecom dailyLead, 12/12/2016]
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