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FCC Tackles Rural Carrier Issues Including Business Data Services, Call Completion

The FCC took action today on three issues impacting rural carriers. At today’s monthly FCC meeting, the commission adopted new call completion rules and proposed others. In addition, the commission proposed to deregulate business data services provided by certain rate-of-return (ROR) carriers and proposed to prevent rural carriers from using Universal Service Fund (USF) support...Learn More

FCC Won’t Regulate Most Business Data Services Pricing, Aims to Speed Copper Retirement

The FCC today opted not to regulate pricing for most business data services and began a process aimed at making it easier for service providers to retire copper networks. The moves on business data services pricing and copper retirement came during the commission’s monthly meeting. Business Data Services Pricing FCC officials said the new business...Learn More

Study: FCC Business Data Services Decision Could Determine Viability of Rural 5G

The impact of the impending FCC business data services decision could be critical for rural wireless carriers, argued Raul Katz, president of telecom policy consulting firm Telecom Advisory Services, LLC, at a Washington, D.C. event Friday that was also webcast. The BDS decision will impact carriers’ ability to provide sufficient network capacity and to deploy...Learn More

FCC Business Data Services Regulation Would Require Carriers to Revise Contracts

The FCC today took the next step toward implementing FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s plan for business data services regulation. The commission at today’s monthly FCC voted to adopt a tariff investigation order and a further notice of proposed rulemaking (FNPRM) that would re-regulate business data services, formerly known as special access. If adopted the proposed...Learn More

FCC Broadband Report: New Deployments Rise After Two-Year Drop

Broadband deployment had slowed but has shown recent signs of recovery, according to the 2018 version of the annual FCC broadband report. The agency attributes the two-year downturn between 2015 and 2017 to the previous commission’s 2015 Title II Order that regulated broadband Internet access service as a utility, arguing that it resulted in a...Learn More

FCC Draft Report Maintains Current Broadband Definition

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has circulated a draft of the 2018 broadband deployment report to colleagues, highlighting that the regulatory agency wants to maintain the current broadband definition of fixed broadband speed: 25 Mbps download/3 Mbps upload. Debate surrounding maintaining this 25 Mbps benchmark was quite contentious, with concerns that the FCC may have tried...Learn More

FCC Votes to Hasten Copper Retirement and Notification Process, Hopeful for IP/Fiber Upgrades

The FCC today adopted rules that would make it easier for telecom service providers to replace traditional copper infrastructure with fiber. The copper retirement reforms include eliminating a requirement for certain consumer notices, eliminating discontinuance requirements involving wholesale-only services, enabling service providers to discontinue certain low-speed data services that had been grandfathered and eliminating the...Learn More

FCC Proposes USF Lifeline Cap for $2 Billion Annual Program, Resellers Would be Ineligible

The FCC is proposing major changes to the USF Lifeline program, including imposing a cap on the program, which has disbursed as much as $2.1 billion in a year to cover some or all of the cost of broadband and/or voice service for low-income households. The proposal comes in a notice of proposed rulemaking on...Learn More

FCC Wireless Report Finds Competitive Market, New Satellite Rules to be Considered

The FCC today voted to accept a report from its wireless competition bureau stating that the U.S. mobile wireless market is competitive, making it the first FCC wireless report to make that finding in several years. In addition, the commission adopted a report and order establishing new rules for non-geostationary satellites and adopted a notice...Learn More

Will FCC Broadband Progress Report Count Wireless-Only Areas As “Served”?

The FCC is seeking input on how it should gauge whether broadband is being deployed in a timely manner — a determination the commission makes annually in the FCC Broadband Progress Report. Under consideration is “whether some form of advanced telecommunications capability, be it fixed or mobile, is being deployed to all Americans in a...Learn More

CFO: ‘Non-sustainable’ T-Mobile Lifeline Business to be Phased Out

T-Mobile’s business selling service to low-income users whose costs are paid, at least in part, through the Universal Service Fund (USF) Lifeline program is “non-sustainable,” said Braxton Carter, T-Mobile chief financial officer today.  T-Mobile Lifeline customers represent 4.4 million of the carrier’s 73 million subscribers and “we’re going to eliminate them from the base,” Carter...Learn More

FreedomPop Lifeline Database Makes Lemonade Out of Lemons

Just a few months after having its credentials for participation in the FCC’s low-income Lifeline program revoked, FreedomPop has found a new Lifeline-related revenue stream: The company is licensing a database system originally developed for its own use to service providers approved to offer Lifeline service. In an interview with Telecompetitor, FreedomPop CEO Steve Stokols...Learn More

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