As we welcome Anna Gomez to the FCC as its fifth commissioner, we ought to be prepared for an avalanche of new regulations, including the return of net neutrality, additional control of broadband services and an increased focus on consumer protections.
To combat 8YY access stimulation, the FCC in October 2020 transitioned ILEC interstate and intrastate toll-free originating end office access service rates to cost-based rates over a three-year period ending July 2, 2023. The transition included:
In May, the FCC released a Seventh Order in Docket 17-59, mandating new requirements for non-gateway carriers to stop illegal robocalls.
In a July 25, 2023, Report and Order in Docket 10-90, along with a Notice of Proposed Rule-making (NPRM) and Notice of Inquiry (NOI), the FCC adopted an Enhanced Alternative Connect America Cost Model (A-CAM) program. This model will provide a voluntary path to enable the widespread deployment of 100 Mbps download speed and 20 Mbps upload speed (100/20) broadband service throughout rural areas served by small ILECs currently receiving A-CAM support and in areas served by legacy rate-of-return support recipients.
The Infrastructure Structure and Jobs Act (Infrastructure Act) became law in 2021, directing the FCC to establish the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Congress appropriated $14.2 billion to the Program to support discounted broadband service to qualifying low-income households by providing a monthly benefit of: (1) up to $30 per month; (2) up to $75 per month for eligible households on qualifying Tribal lands; or (3) up to $75 per month for eligible households in high-cost areas. In a Sixth Report and Order (Order) in Docket 21-450 that will be adopted at its August 3, 2023, meeting, the FCC will mandate rules to implement the up-to-$75 monthly ACP benefit in high-cost areas.
At its upcoming meeting on July 20, 2023, the FCC is expected to promulgate new responsibilities for providers to improve the reliability and resiliency of the 988 suicide and crisis hotline (988 Lifeline). These will include new reporting and notice requirements for service outages potentially affecting 988 special facilities. They are similar to the existing requirements for outages that potentially affect 911 special facilities.
While waiting for Congress to approve a fifth commissioner, the FCC has decided to wade into the controversial areas of customer data caps and data privacy issues.
In a special edition this week we look at the latest developments at the FCC, including the expected next commissioner, the latest broadband maps release and the upcoming Stir/Shaken requirements.
On June 8, 2023, the FCC is expected to adopt a proposal which would require wireline, interconnected VoIP, and TRS providers, to deliver 911 calls and texts in IP format.
At its upcoming May 18, 2023, meeting, the FCC is poised to extend its robocall rules to even more carriers. The creation of the new rules highlights the Seventh Report and Order (Order), Eighth Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking