BDAC Model Codes
The Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee held a two-day meeting last week, in which they intended to vote on harmonized model codes. In April, BDAC adopted the Model Code for States and the Model Code for Municipalities (Vol. XV, Issue 18). At the meeting last week, the Committee considered reports and recommendations from the Harmonization Working Group to harmonize the two codes. The Committee voted to hold off on considering the model code, as there were significant changes in the harmonized code. BDAC Chair Elizabeth Bowles hopes the Committee will consider the harmonized code in August or September.
FCC Oversight Hearing
Last week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology held an oversight hearing on the FCC. Chairman Pai and Commissioners O’Rielly, Carr, and Rosenworcel appeared at the hearing. The Subcommittee questioned the Commissioners on a broad range of topics, including the CBRS proceeding and the 6 GHz band. Regarding the CBRS proceeding, they discussed the size of geographic license areas for PALs and Commissioner O’Rielly explained that census tract licenses would not be possible with current auction technology. When asked about the 6 GHz band, Commissioner O’Rielly stated that he hopes to have an NPRM in the fall.
USDA Seeks Comment on e-Connectivity Pilot Program
On Friday, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Perdue announced that the USDA is seeking comment on the implementation of the e-Connectivity Pilot Program. The program was established in an appropriations bill enacted earlier this year (Vol. XV, Issue 20). Specifically, the USDA seeks comment on evaluating a household’s “sufficient access” to broadband, verifying speeds of broadband, and determining the best indicators of the potential project benefit. Comments are due September 10, 2018.
Fixed Broadband Competition Public Notice
On Friday, the Commission issued a Public Notice seeking comment for the Commission’s analysis of fixed broadband competition. The Commission is required to publish a communications marketplace report in the last quarter of every even numbered year by RAY BAUM’S Act of 2018 (Vol. XV, Issue 11). Specifically, the Public Notice requests comment on the criteria and metrics that should be used to evaluate the state of fixed broadband competition to be included in the communications marketplace report.