Some major broadband associations want to make sure the FCC knows they are on the same page when it comes to spending the $3.2 billion in emergency broadband funds Congress has allocated.
The FCC has 60 days from the passage of the COVID-19 aid package Dec. 22 to figure out just how to do that.
According to an ex parte document filed with the FCC, executives from ACA Connects, NCTA-the Internet & Television Association, INCOMPAS, and WISPA, the wireless internet service providers association, met via videoconference with Wireline Competition Bureau staffers to present a unified front on some key elements of the program.
They want the FCC to allow non-eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) to be eligible for the new funds and get the training to be able to participate in the applications process from "day one."
They also want the FCC to establish an initial filing window for applications, rather than the current proposal to have a rolling review process, and they want a single start date for all providers that qualify "so that consumers are presented with a full array of competitive broadband choices."
Lastly, they want flexibility in "the specific service offerings that are available for the EBB program, the categories of households that may participate, and the verification processes that providers will use to qualify households."
Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.
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