Spectrum, Infrastructure, Lifeline Items Set for Nov. 16 FCC Votes

The FCC announced today that it plans to vote at the agency’s Nov. 16 meeting on eight items, including an order to make more than 1,700 megahertz of spectrum available for 5G and other terrestrial wireless uses, as well as making 4 gigahertz of spectrum available for core satellite uses; efforts aimed at easing deployment of wired and wireless infrastructure; a Lifeline item; and an item on unlawful robocalls.

Also planned for votes at the meeting are items dealing with a new broadcast TV transmission standard; petitions for reconsideration from the agency’s last two quadrennial reviews of its media ownership rules; and a request for comments on a proposal to eliminate a requirement for cable TV system operators to file a particular form.

Regarding the spectrum allocation second report and order, order on reconsideration, and memorandum opinion and order in GN docket 14-177, IB dockets 15-256 and 97-95, and WT docket 10-112, the item also would “adopt, refine, or affirm” rules adopted last year in the FCC’s spectrum frontiers proceeding (TR Daily, July 14, 2016), the “sunshine” notice noted.

Regarding the deployment of wireless infrastructure, the FCC plans to consider a report and order in WT docket 17-79 that would “eliminate the requirement for historic preservation review where utility poles are replaced with substantially identical poles that can support antennas or other wireless communications equipment,” the agenda noted.

As for wired infrastructure, the FCC “will consider a Report and Order, Declaratory Ruling, and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Order that will revise and seek comment on further changes to the Commission’s pole attachment rules, network change disclosure processes, and section 214(a) discontinuance processes to remove barriers to infrastructure investment and promote broadband deployment, and will seek comment on taking targeted actions to facilitate rebuilding and repairing broadband infrastructure after natural disasters,” the agenda said. Among other things, the item in WC docket 17-84 would establish a 180-day “shot clock” for resolving pole attachment access complaints and ensuring incumbent telcos have access to infrastructure owned by other local exchange carriers (LECs).

The Lifeline fourth report and order, order on reconsideration, MO&O, NPRM, and notice of inquiry in WC docket 17-287 would “adopt and propose measures to effectively and efficiently bridge the digital divide for Lifeline subscribers and reduce waste, fraud, and abuse in the Lifeline program,” the agenda said. But it has drawn criticism from FCC Commissioner Mignon L. Clyburn, members of Congress, and a number of groups (see separate story).

Regarding the robocalling report and order in CG docket 17-59, the item “would expressly authorize voice service providers to block certain types of robocalls that falsely appear to be from telephone numbers that do not or cannot make outgoing calls,” the agenda said. “It also would prohibit voice service providers from blocking 911 calls under these rules, encourage voice service providers to provide a mechanism to allow subscribers whose legitimate calls are blocked in error to stop such blocking, and clarify that providers may exclude calls blocked under these rules from their call completion reports.”

The other items to be considered are a report and order and further notice in GN docket 16-142 on the ATSC 3.0 transmission standard for next-generation broadcast TV; a media ownership order on reconsideration and NPRM in MB dockets 14-50, 09-182, 07-294, 04-256, and 17-289 that would eliminate the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership rule, the radio/television cross-ownership rule, and the rule adopted under former Chairman Tom Wheeler to attribute TV stations’ joint sales agreements when applying the ownership cap; and an NPRM in MB dockets 17-290 and 17-105 “that seeks comment on whether to eliminate Form 325, Annual Report of Cable Television Systems, or, in the alternative, on ways to modernize and streamline the form.”

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m.- Paul Kirby, paul.kirby@wolterskluwer.com

Courtesy TRDaily