Pole Attachment Draft Order Released

The FCC last week released a draft order in its pole attachment rulemaking proceeding (WC Docket Nos. 17-84 and 17-79), proposing shorter make-ready deadlines, self-help remedies in the electric space, pole-by-pole make-ready estimates, and a number of other provisions unfavorable to electric utility pole owners. The draft order is scheduled for a vote August 2, 2018.

FirstNet Update

Earlier in July, the Colorado Public Safety Broadband Governing Body (CPSBGB) filed Comments in the Commission’s docket regarding Procedures for Commission Review of State Opt-Out Requests. The Comments seek clarification from the Commission on the requirements for interoperability between FirstNet and wireless carriers. Verizon recently submitted an ex parte filing in support of CPSBGB’s comments. The filing emphasized the importance of interoperability, stating that “promoting interoperability was one of the principal reasons Congress established FirstNet.” Verizon requested the Commission seek input on this issue from public safety agencies and interested stakeholders.

Emergency Alerts

The Commission adopted a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding the Emergency Alert System (EAS). The Report and Order sets out procedures for state and local officials to conduct “live code” tests of the EAS. The FNPRM seeks comment on procedures to help prevent false alerts. Additionally, the Commission’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau is holding a webinar on July 25, 2018 to provide information on the EAS and Wireless Emergency Alerts.

Connected Care Pilot Program

Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Commissioner Brendan Carr announced the Connected Care Pilot Program. The FCC will seek $100 million to put towards the program, which will support telehealth for low-income Americans. At the August Open Meeting, the Commission will vote on a Notice of Inquiry, which seeks comment on budgeting $100 million in USF, targeting support to connected care deployments that would benefit low-income patients, including those eligible for Medicaid or veterans receiving cost-free medical care, and supporting projects to measure and verify the costs and benefits of the program

FCC Application Fees

The Commission released an Order adopting new fee amounts for FCC applications. The Order comes as part of the Commission’s required two-year review of the application fee schedules. There do not appear to be any drastic increases, with many of the fees remaining the same.