Nevada Telecommunications Association Monthly Newsletter
September 2017, Volume 179 Serving the Industry for over 59 Years Editor: Mike Eifert
Thank you to everyone that attended this year's NTA Convention! I had a great time and hope all of you did, too!
Thanks to your participation, generosity and enthusiasm we collected $5,347.00 toward the John and Mary
Louise Christian Memorial Scholarship fund. With your help the NTA continues to support student higher education in Nevada.
USAC Submits Updated National Verifier Plan
USAC filed an updated version of the Lifeline National Verifier Plan, which was created in response to the Lifeline Modernization Order on January 19, 2017. USAC said the Plan contains a section detailing each of ten key components, as well as an introduction and a glossary of key terms. It also contains a section responding to public comments received on the Draft NV Plan, and has been approved by the Wireline Competition Bureau and the Office of the Managing Director at the FCC. This updated version reflects progress of the system build and its related processes. [Source: Washington Watch, 08/02/2017]
Broadband: Replacing America's love for televisions?
Broadband influences American lives every day. For example, television reigned supreme for decades as the go-to device for media entertainment, with more than 44% of households boasting three or more televisions in 2009. By 2015, that percentage had dropped to 39%. Broadband has given Americans the freedom to stream video on their smartphones, tablets and laptops. A new generation of young adults ages 18 to 24 are spending on average 18 hours a week on their smartphones compared to watching traditional television for only 14 hours. Learn more. [Source: USTelecom dailyLead, 08/16/2017]
Verizon will offer FirstNet alternative
Verizon announced it will compete with FirstNet by building a separate network core for first responders. The network will operate even in states that have opted into FirstNet. Here are two articles that highlight the announcement: StateScoop, Broadcasting & Cable. [Source: UStelecom dailyLead, 08/17/2017]
NTCA Discusses Solutions for High-Cost USF Budget Shortfall
NTCA met with Chairman Pai's Advisor on August 11, 2017, to discuss the need to address the shortfall in high-cost USF support and potential solutions for this budget shortfall. NTCA recommended the Commission direct USAC to continue to collect, at a minimum, the current overall high-cost USF budget of $4.5 billion pending completion of the review contemplated by the Commission's representation to the Tenth Circuit in defending the budgets set in 2011. It also suggested as an alternative and/or as a complement to this approach, the Commission could use high-cost USF reserves to fill the budget shortfall, again pending completion of the review contemplated by the Commission's defense of its budget before the Tenth Circuit. [Source: Washington Watch, 08/16/2017]
Net neutrality and more investment are a winning combo
The Federal Communications Commission's latest effort at net neutrality rules -- Restoring Internet Freedom Notice of Proposed Rulemaking -- is the most commented upon proceeding in the agency's history, with more than 21.8 million comments submitted. In reply comments filed this week, USTelecom too noted its support for net neutrality protections for consumers, yet differed on the Title II status quo, and instead urged the FCC to classify broadband internet access service as an information service. Rolling back to Title I would permit light-touch regulation, and in turn, generate investment for broadband infrastructure and network upgrades, ignite innovation and maintain a thriving, open internet for all Americans. Learn more. [Source: USTelecom dailyLead, 08/31/2017]
Legislation Introduced to End Cell Phone Subsidies Under Lifeline Program
Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.) introduced legislation on July 28, 2017, that would end the Lifeline program's taxpayer subsidization of cell phones, while allowing subsidies for landline service to continue for eligible households. Scott said the End Taxpayer Funded Cell Phones Act (H.R. 3546) will reform the Lifeline program and restore it to its original purpose of providing landline services and prohibit Universal Service support for mobile services. [Source: Washington Watch, 08/02/2017]
Senate Passes 6 Telecom Bills
The Senate on Thursday confirmed Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel and Republican Brendan Carr for seats on the Federal Communications Commission but is likely to wait until the fall to confirm Republican Chairman Ajit Pai to another term. It also passed six technology and telecommunications bills, including Sen. John Thune's MOBILE NOW Act, which would free government spectrum for commercial use; Sen. Amy Klobuchar's Improving Rural Call Quality and Reliability Act and the Kari's Law Act, which would require multi-line telephone systems to let users directly call 911 without any code or prefix. Also approved were Sen. Dean Heller's FCC Consolidated Reporting Act; Sen. Bill Nelson's Spoofing Prevention Act; and the DIGIT Act from Sens. Deb Fischer and Cory Booker, which would encourage government investment and development in the internet of things. [Source: Washington Watch, 08/04/2017]
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