Nevada Telecommunications Association Newsletter



April 2020, Volume 210     Serving the Industry for over 62 Years

Team Fishel Team Fishel Serving the telecommunications industry since 1936, Team Fishel is the Best Choice for Utility Engineering, Construction, Installation and Maintenance.

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           Cooper Cooper Provides comprehensive legal representation on matters of importance to telecommunications providers, their business partners and their principals since 1896.

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           Rocky Mountain West Telecom Fugal Niels Fugal We are a professional consulting and engineering firm, investing in people, processes, systems and technologies to deliver value in terms of performance and speed.

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           Niels Fugal Niels Fugal Niels Fugal Sons Company has been serving the utility construction industry since the late 1920's and is recognized today as a well-known leader in the telecommunications and natural gas construction industry. It has been a leader, not a follower. Technology has improved, and the company has been and will continue to be on the cutting edge of those changes.

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Dear Members,

     I hope all of you are following guidelines, exercising caution and staying safe. I have found keeping in contact with friends and family, telephonically of course, helps dispel the worry and boredom. So if you just want to kill some time drop me a line or give me a call. The office is open.

     Thought I should give a conference update, although, at this time everything is in flux. As you know, the NTA annual conference is scheduled for September 8-9. As of today, I have no plan to reschedule/cancel the conference. However, with what I have read from the scientific community concerning pandemic cycles, it is not unreasonable to expect that large gatherings will still not be allowed in September. It is anticipated that once casinos, restaurants and bars re-open there will be a spike in infections. Even after that spike there remains concern of a second wave of infections if/when concerts, conferences and other large gatherings are allowed. Right now this is just too far down the pandemic timeline for states to consider. Hopefully we have more direction at the end of April.

Thank you and stay safe.
Mike Eifert


Trump Signs CARES Act, Includes Funds for Broadband Deployment, Telehealth

     President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act on March 27, 2020, which among other things includes: $25 million for RUSís telemedicine and distance learning program; $100 million for the USDAís ReConnect program for rural broadband deployment; and $200 million for the FCC to support telehealth and telemedicine services. [Source: NECA Washington Watch, 03/30/2020]

Pai Proposes $200 Million for COVID-19 Telehealth Program, Circulates Connected Care Pilot Order

     Chairman Pai announced on March 30, 2020, his plans for a $200 million COVID-19 telehealth program to support health care providers responding to the ongoing pandemic. As part of the CARES Act, Congress appropriated $200 million to the FCC to support health care providersí use of telehealth services in combating the pandemic. If adopted by the Commission, the program would help eligible health care providers purchase telecommunications, broadband connectivity and devices necessary for providing telehealth services. Pai also announced he circulated an order proposing to make available $100 million under the Connected Care pilot program for health care providers to offer telehealth services. [Source: NECA Washington Watch, 03/31/2020]

CARES Act Telecom Funding Includes $300M for FCC Telehealth, USDA ReConnect Program

     CARES Act telecom funding includes $200 million for an FCC emergency telehealth program and $100 million for the USDA ReConnect program. Read more... [Source: Telecompetitor, 03/31/2020]

Trump Signs Bills on Broadband Mapping, 5G Security

     President Trump signed the Broadband DATA Act on March 24, 2020, which requires the FCC to collect and disseminate granular broadband service availability data from wired, fixed-wireless, satellite and mobile broadband providers. Trump also signed the Secure 5G and Beyond Act of 2020, which requires the president to develop a strategy to ensure the security of next generation mobile telecommunications systems and infrastructure in the United States, and assist allies and strategic partners in maximizing the security of next generation mobile telecommunications systems and infrastructure. Chairman Pai issued a statement on the Broadband DATA Act bill. [Source: NECA Washington Watch, 03/25/2020]

Broadband Maps Should Improve as Trump Signs Broadband DATA Act, But FCC's Pai Adds a Dose of Reality

     The Broadband DATA Act signing aims to improve the accuracy of government broadband availability data, which is used to award rural broadband funding. Read more... [Source: Telecompetitor, 03/26/2020]

New National Broadband Map a Big Deal

     The Broadband Deployment Accuracy and Technological Availability (DATA) Act has been signed into law, creating a new national broadband map and improved broadband data collection. As USTelecom President and CEO Jonathan Spalter said, "At a time when the nation is collectively relying on its communications infrastructure more than ever, modernizing our broadband maps to increase connectivity and narrow the gaps in rural America couldn't be more necessary." Next step: Congress should fully fund this data-driven project so future federal broadband spending will be based on the most accurate and granular maps. [Source: USTelecom dailyLead, 03/25/2020]

Seminar Series for 2020

NTCA Live
Learning Center
NECA Training
Courses and Conferences
Moss Adams Telecom
Seminars and Workshops
USTelecom On-demand
Educational Webinars

NTCA Discusses Draft NPRM Detariffing Telephone Access Charges

     NTCA spoke with Chairman Paiís advisor on March 20, 2020, to discuss the draft NPRM detariffing telephone access charges, which will be considered at the FCC March 31, 2020 Open Meeting. NTCA said instead of proposing mandatory detariffing of end-user TACs, the FCC should seek comment on a permissive detariffing proposal specifically for RLECs. NTCA recommended the Commission inquire whether and to what degree such a framework would make more sense for RLECs, given the respective implications of mandatory or permissive detariffing regimes on RLEC consumers and the regulatory and cost recovery mechanisms that otherwise apply to their operations. [Source: NECA Washington Watch, 03/24/2020]

Office of Economics and Analytics Releases Voice Telephone Services Reports

     The Office of Economics and Analytics issued a voice telephone services report on March 6, 2020, which summarized the information collected on telephone services as of December 31, 2018. The report noted in December 2018, there were 44 million end-user switched access lines in service, 67 million interconnected VoIP subscriptions and 348 million mobile subscriptions in the United States. Over a three-year period, interconnected VoIP subscriptions increased at a compound annual growth rate of 4%, mobile voice subscriptions increased at a compound annual growth rate of 2% and retail switched access lines declined at 12% per year. The OEA also released a voice telephone services report on March 6, 2020, which summarized the information collected on telephone services as of June 30, 2018. [Source: NECA Washington Watch, 03/09/2020]

FCC Releases Broadband Form 477 Data

     The Office of Economics and Analytics, the Wireline Competition Bureau and the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau issued a public notice on March 12, 2020, announcing the release of updated data on fixed broadband deployment and mobile voice and broadband deployment as of June 30, 2019, based on Form 477 data. Fixed deployment data includes revisions made by filers through February 25, 2020, and mobile deployment data includes revisions made by filers through December 1, 2019. [Source: NECA Washington Watch, 03/13/2020]

FCC Announces Second Quarter 2020 USF Contribution Factor

     The FCC Office of Managing Director released a public notice on March 13, 2020, announcing the proposed universal service contribution factor for the second quarter of 2020 will be 19.6%, down from the previous quarterís 21.2%. [Source: NECA Washington Watch, 03/16/2020]

Wireline Bureau Waives Lifeline Deadlines

     The Wireline Competition Bureau released an order on March 17, 2020, waiving the Lifeline recertification and reverification requirements for 60 days, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The bureau also waived for 60 days the 2019 Lifeline orderís requirement that all ETC enrollment representatives register with USAC. News release. [Source: NECA Washington Watch, 03/18/2020]

USTelecom, et al. Discuss Concerns with Network Testing During Pandemic

     USTelecom, AT&T, CenturyLink, Frontier, Consolidated and Windstream spoke with Wireline Competition Bureau staff on March 20, 2020, to discuss meeting performance testing obligations while USTelecom members also respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. They said service providers attempting to install equipment in customer homes have found themselves unable to do so due to social distancing and quarantine measures, and technicians who would be doing testing are now working on responding to customer needs and maintaining critical network operations. They suggested the FCC permit providers to select additional randomly selected test locations rather than attempting to replace incompatible modems during the current emergency, among other things. [Source: NECA Washington Watch, 03/24/2020]

Team Fishel Team Fishel Serving the telecommunications industry since 1936, Team Fishel is the Best Choice for Utility Engineering, Construction, Installation and Maintenance.

Please click for more information..
           Cooper Cooper Provides comprehensive legal representation on matters of importance to telecommunications providers, their business partners and their principals since 1896.

Please click for more information..
           Rocky Mountain West Telecom Niels Fugal We are a professional consulting and engineering firm, investing in people, processes, systems and technologies to deliver value in terms of performance and speed.

Please click for more information..
           Niels Fugal Niels Fugal Niels Fugal Sons Company has been serving the utility construction industry since the late 1920*s and is recognized today as a well-known leader in the telecommunications and natural gas construction industry. It has been a leader, not a follower. Technology has improved, and the company has been and will continue to be on the cutting edge of those changes.

Please click for more information..

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