FCC Announces Open Meeting Agenda for “Rural Broadband Month”

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FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has dubbed August “Rural Broadband Month, and the FCC’s release of the tentative agenda for its next open meeting, scheduled for August 3, 2017, reflects that. Continuing the Chairman’s pilot program, the FCC is publicly releasing the draft text of the matters that are expected to be considered, along with one-page summaries describing each of these items in greater detail. All these materials will be available here. The tentative Open Meeting agenda contains the following items: Connect America Fund Phase II Auction (Auction 903) – The Commission will consider a Public Notice to initiate the pre-auction process for the Connect America Fund Phase II auction which will award up to $198 million annually for 10 years to service providers that commit to offer voice and broadband services to fixed locations in unserved high-cost areas. Mobility Fund Phase II Challenge Process – The Commission will consider an Order on Reconsideration and Second Report and Order that lays out a robust challenge process that will enable the Commission to direct Mobility Fund Phase II support to primarily rural areas that lack unsubsidized 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) service. Form 477 – The Commission will consider a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that takes a focused look at the Commission’s Form 477 to improve the value of the data it continues to collect. Expanding Flexible Use in Mid-Band Spectrum Between 3.7 GHz and 24 GHzThe Commission will consider a Notice of Inquiry that explores opportunities for next generation services – particularly for wireless broadband – in the 3.7 GHz to 24 GHz spectrum range and asks about how it can increase efficient and effective use of this spectrum for the benefit of all services and users. Wireless License Renewal and Service Continuity Reform – The Commission will consider a Second Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would adopt unified construction, renewal, and service continuity rules for the Wireless Radio Services, while seeking comment on a range of additional possible actions to increase the number of Americans with access to wireless communications services. Transmitter Identification Requirements for Satellite Digital Video Uplink Transmissions – The Commission will consider a Memorandum Opinion and Order that waives the requirement that satellite news trucks, and other temporary-fixed satellite earth stations transmitting digital video, comply with the Digital Video Broadcasting-Carrier Identification (DVB-CID) standard if the earth station uses a modulator that cannot meet the DVB-CID standard through a software upgrade. Hearing Designation Order – The Commission will consider a Hearing Designation Order. Enforcement Bureau Action – The Commission will consider an enforcement action. Drafts of items under consideration that involve specific, enforcement-related matters, which can include restricted proceedings and hearing designation orders, will not be publicly released.

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