WEA, Broadband Funding Dominate FCC’s January Docket

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai continues his aggressive voting schedule into the New Year. No less than seven items have been teed up for the January 30 monthly meeting; that compares to a general number of five items per meeting for his predecessor Tom Wheeler.

Last year, the FCC adopted rules for “Connect America Fund Phase II” and authorized investment of up to $2 billion over the next decade to bring fixed broadband service to rural America. At the meeting, Commissioners will vote to finalize bidding procedures for a reverse auction to fund the effort. Also, several parties challenged the order and those must be handled before the auction can proceed. Commissioners will vote on ways to do that.

The agency will also vote to mandate carriers employ geo-targeting for Wireless Emergency Alerts, Inside Towers reported. Carriers say they need time to comply while emergency personnel involved in the California wildfires say waiting too long is risky.

The Commission will consider an order to establish a new office of economics, one of Pai’s long-time goals. Finally, in an effort to update media ownership rules, the FCC will vote whether to drop a requirement that stations routinely submit paper copies of contracts to the agency.

January 12, 2018

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