FCC Proposes Wireless E911 Location Accuracy Requirements

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai released a proposed Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would adopt a z-axis location accuracy metric of plus or minus three meters for 80 percent of wireless E911 calls from capable handsets (Vol. XVI, Issue 21). The Order would require carriers to deploy this technology in the top 25 CMAs by April 3, 2021, and in the top 50 CMAs by April 3, 2023. The FNPRM seeks comment on whether there should be a long-term timeline for establishing more stringent metrics and whether carriers should ultimately be required to also report the caller’s specific floor level. 

T-Band Bill Reintroduced in Senate

Five senators introduced a bill (S.2748) last Wednesday that would repeal a section of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Act) that requires the FCC to reallocate and auction the T-Band spectrum. Similar legislation was introduced in the House and Senate in 2018 and 2019, but were not enacted (Vol. XVI, Issue 25). The specific section of the Act mandates the FCC to commence an auction of public safety spectrum in the T-Band by 2021 and relocate users within two years of the date the auction is complete.

Joint Proposal of C-Band Auction Principles

Last week, the C-Band Alliance, along with five wireless carriers, proposed a set of principles to guide the FCC in any potential auction of the 3.7 to 4.2 GHz band (C-Band). The principles emphasize the need for transparency and fairness, urging the Commission to make bids and their corresponding data public and to open the auction to all qualified bidders. Some of the other principles include prohibiting joint bidding agreements, setting a reasonable aggregate reserve price, and returning a portion of auction proceeds to the U.S. Treasury. The five wireless carriers that signed onto the proposed principles are AT&T, Bluegrass Cellular, Pine Belt Wireless, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon

Lifeline Recertification Deadline Waived for Certain Subscribers

On October 30, the Wireline Competition Bureau issued an Order granting a limited, one-time waiver to Lifeline subscribers who received incorrect information about the recertification deadline from the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). These subscribers were informed that they had 90 days to recertify their Lifeline eligibility, instead of the required 60-day deadline. Subscribers who received letters from USAC with the incorrect information may recertify by the 90-day deadline.