Verizon – Telecom Replace: FCC Chairman Pai’s Departure
Windstream Companies Fined $18,000 for Environmental, Historic Preservation Violations
Final week, the Enforcement Bureau launched an Order getting into right into a consent decree with Windstream Companies II, LLC (“Windstream”) for violating the FCC’s environmental and historic preservation guidelines. Underneath the Fee’s guidelines, earlier than setting up sure wi-fi amenities licensees should assess whether or not the power may have a major influence on the setting or historic properties. Licensees should additionally coordinate with related state and federal authorities workplaces and tribal nations. Within the consent decree, Windstream admits that it started setting up two tower websites with out onsite monitoring requested by affected tribes and agrees to pay an $18,000 civil penalty.
Chairman Pai Pronounces Departure
On November 30, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai issued a assertion asserting his intent to depart the Fee on January 20, 2021. Commissioner Michael O’Rielly will depart upon the conclusion of the present Congressional session on January 3, 2021, leaving two Democratic and one Republican Commissioner out of the present 5. Previous to the election, President Trump nominated Nathan Simington, at present at NTIA within the Commerce Division, for the seat at present held by Commissioner O’Rielly. Hearings have been held and the nomination may obtain a Senate Commerce Committee vote this week. Nonetheless, with the temporary time remaining on this session of Congress and the bizarre post-election standing of the nomination, it’s unclear whether or not the total Senate would act on the nomination if the Committee approves it. One of many remaining Democratic Commissioners will change Pai as Chairman shortly after the Biden inauguration.
FCC Units Max Pole Attachment Fee for Verizon
The FCC issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order final week establishing a most pole attachment charge that The Potomac Edison Firm (“Potomac Edison”) may cost Verizon Maryland LLC (“Verizon”). Underneath Part 224 of the Communications Act, the Fee should regulate pole attachment charges, phrases, and situations to make sure that they’re “just and reasonable.” The Fee discovered that Potomac Edison charged Verizon charges that had been considerably larger than the charges it charged aggressive LECs and cable suppliers to connect to the identical poles. Accordingly, the Fee set a most pole attachment charge of $12.12 per 12 months and directed Potomac Edison to refund Verizon the distinction within the charges charged for the previous three years.
ZTE Petition for Reconsideration Denied
The Wireline Competitors Bureau issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order denying ZTE Company’s (“ZTE”) petition for reconsideration of the Bureau’s order designating ZTE as an organization posing a nationwide safety menace to the integrity of communications networks or the communications provide chain (Vol. XVII, Problem 21). Final 12 months, the FCC banned service suppliers from utilizing Common Service Fund (USF) cash to purchase communications know-how from corporations deemed nationwide safety dangers, particularly naming ZTE. In response, ZTE filed a petition for reconsideration arguing that, inter alia, the Fee didn’t take into account all out there proof when it concluded that ZTE didn’t dispute the assertations made relating to the safety of its merchandise. After reviewing the file and the petition, the Bureau discovered that there is no such thing as a foundation for reconsideration as a result of ZTE depends on arguments that had been already thought-about and rejected by the Bureau and doesn’t show that the Bureau dedicated any materials error or omission in its evaluation.
Comcast to Impose Home Web Knowledge Cap
Comcast plans to impose a residence web knowledge cap of 1.2TB starting subsequent 12 months in choose northeastern states and can cost clients whose utilization exceeds that threshold. Non-unlimited plan clients shall be given a credit score throughout January and February for any knowledge utilization prices over the 1.2TB restrict throughout these months. Beginning in March, non-unlimited clients that exceed the 1.2TB month-to-month cap shall be charged $10 per 50GB of information, for a most of $100. The affected states embody Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and New York, in addition to components of North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Vermont, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
Laws Launched to Make the most of Unspent CARES Act Funds
Final week, Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL) launched the Enabling Further Time to Prolong Community Deployment (EXTEND) Act, which might permit unspent CARES Act Funds for use by 2021. The funds at present are set to run out on December 30, 2020. The EXTEND Act would permit states to make use of CARES Act cash for grants to deploy broadband infrastructure and companies in unserved areas.
Sean Stokes, Wesley Okay. Wright, Michael T. N. Fitch, Timothy A. Doughty, Kathleen Slattery Thompson and Adam (AJ) Reust contributed to this text.