Emergency Broadband Benefit Fund Outreach

The FCC issued a News Release last week announcing that it is seeking outreach partners to help share important consumer information about the Emergency Broadband Benefit Fund (Vol. XVIII, Issue 2). The FCC established a new website where stakeholders can sign up to help promote the new program, and as the program is developed the website will be a resource for consumers and stakeholders to obtain the latest information on the program. The Commission held a virtual roundtable last week (Vol. XVIII, Issue 5) to gather information from interested parties on how to best implement the program.

House Hearing on Broadband During the Pandemic

The House communications and technology subcommittee will host a hearing on February 17 titled "Connecting America: Broadband Solutions to Pandemic Problems." The hearing will examine how broadband has been utilized during the pandemic, and how a lack of internet access has affected individuals across the country. Witnesses will include Matthew Wood, VP of Policy and General Counsel of Free Press Action, Dr. Tiffany Anderson, Superintendent of Topeka Public Schools, Christopher Shelton, President of Communications Workers for America, and Jonathan Adelstein, President and CEO of Wireless Infrastructure Association.

DOJ Withdraws Challenge of CA Net Neutrality Law

Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice withdrew its legal challenge to California's net neutrality law aimed at protecting the open internet. The California Internet Consumer Protection and Net Neutrality Act of 2018, which was adopted after the FCC repealed its net neutrality rules in 2017, prohibits internet service providers from blocking or throttling internet traffic or offering paid fast lanes. The DOJ had argued that federal law preempted the California law.

Huawei Challenges FCC's Security Threat Designation

Huawei Technologies USA, Inc. and Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. (Huawei) filed a Petition for Review with the Fifth Circuit last week seeking to overturn the FCC's affirmation of the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau's final designation of Huawei as a national security threat. The FCC made an initial designation in 2019 that Huawei was a "covered company" that providers could not use Universal Service Fund support to purchase equipment or services from. Huawei already had pending before the Fifth Circuit a challenge of its designation as a covered company. In its Petition for Review, Huawei argues that the FCC's final designation exceeds the Commission's statutory authority, violates federal law and the Constitution, and is arbitrary and capricious, among other claims.