Tag Archives: FCC

New Rate-of-Return Order Released by FCC

new rate-of-return order from FCCOn March 30, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released its long anticipated rate of return order that provides $20 billion in funding over the next 10 years.  According to Chairman Wheeler, “Today’s order sets forth a package of reforms to address rate-of-return issues that are fundamentally intertwined—the need to modernize the program to provide support for stand-alone broadband service; the need to improve incentives for broadband investment to connect unserved rural Americans; and the need to strengthen the rate-of-return system to provide certainty and stability for years to come.” Continue reading

FCC Chairman Foreshadows New Rate-of-Return Order

rural broadband rate of returnFederal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler recently took to the FCC blog to announce that a new order to reform universal support for rate-of-return carriers has been circulated at the agency.  Mr. Wheeler announced progress has been made to support stand-alone broadband providers, improve incentives for providers to connect rural communities, and generally strengthen the rate-of-return system and rural broadband so that it can be reliable and stable for years to come.

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Proposed Federal Legislation Updates

Seal_of_the_United_States_Congress.svgUpdated November 29, 2016

As the 114th Congress winds down, progress with proposed legislation has been extremely limited.  Recently, however, the House passed an amended Communications Act Update (S. 253) that contains a few bills that had previously passed the House, including:

Keep an eye on S. 253 to see how it progresses, and read the Benton Summary to see the full list of bills that were folded into the Communications Act Update.

Below you can find a running list of proposed legislation we have seen from the 114th Congress.  These bills and discussion drafts focus on auctioning spectrum, improving the deployment of conduit, streamlining the permitting process for use of federal lands, creating an inventory of federal assets and facilities related to broadband infrastructure, and making changes to the regulation of pole attachments.  When the 115th Congress begins, expect to see proposals for similar legislation that could impact broadband stakeholders.
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September 2015 Map of the Month: Communication Tower Mapathon

Utah Tower LocationsIn a recent meeting of the Utah Broadband Advisory Council, members indicated that a statewide map data layer of communication tower sites would present numerous uses. These included fire defense planning during wildfires, broadband coordination, and radio service planning. While there are a number of maps of communication sites in Utah from various sources, each one that we examined fell short in terms of completeness.

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FCC Seeks to Ensure Continuity of Communications During Emergencies

FCC-LogoOn August 6, 2015, the Federal Communications (FCC) Commission adopted rules to “help ensure that consumers have the information and tools necessary to maintain landline home telephone service during emergencies.” The Report and Order issues new rules that require modern voice service providers to give their consumers more information about emergency power situations and to adequately cover consumer emergency power needs with adequate solutions. Continue reading