Broadband Report

The FCC just released its Fifth Measuring Broadband America Report, in an effort to provide information to consumers pertaining to broadband Internet access and network performance across the country.  The Report covers data collected in September 2014 and summarizes the extent to which broadband service providers meet or exceed their respective advertised data rates.  Cable and fiber-based networks, along with AT&T’s U-Verse offering, performed more favorably as compared to DSL and satellite.  The Report also highlights that latency (the time it takes for a data packet to travel from point to point) and packet loss (percentage of data sent but not received) vary by technologies.

PSAP Task Force Meeting

Last week, the FCC announced that the Task Force on Optimal Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) Architecture (TFOPA) will meet at FCC’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. from 1:00pm to 4:00pm on January 29, 2016.  The TFOPA provides recommendation to the Commission on actions that PSAPs may take pertaining to their migration to NG911.  At the meeting, the TFPOA will vote on final recommendations based on reports and recommendations obtained during three working groups in 2015.  The meeting is free and open to the public.  Video coverage of the meeting will be accessible here.

PrivacyCon

On Thursday, January 14, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission will hold an inaugural privacy and data security conference, coined “PrivacyCon,” at its Constitution Center offices in Washington, D.C.  The conference will cover topics that include the current state of online privacy, the Internet of Things, the economics of privacy and security, and trends in protecting consumer privacy.  The FTC hopes to develop strategies for companies and policymakers to protect sensitive data.  The event is free and open to the public; a live webcast of the event will be available on the day of the conference.

Drone Smartphone App

Last week the Federal Aviation Administration announced the release of the smartphone application, B4UFLY.  The app informs mobile users on any requirements or restrictions pertaining to operation of drones in the National Airspace System.  For example, the app provides status updates, such as “Flight Prohibited” when the user is in a specific area.  IPhone users may download the app from the App Store.  The FAA released a beta version of the app for Android devices, which can be downloaded from Google.

ULS Issues From FCC Website Upgrade

Last month, the FCC unveiled its upgraded website.  Although the website upgrades include a “new look,” such as a new landing page, some of the FCC’s databases are not functioning properly.  For example, due to issues with the mapping tool in the Universal Licensing System (ULS) database, the time to complete some assignment and lease applications has increased.  Additionally, last week, ULS was unavailable at various times due to “scheduled maintenance” lasting hours to a day at a time.  Applicants should consider these issues when planning to utilize the ULS database.