December 13, 2022 – The National Telecommunications and Information Administration has officially opened the comment period for its $1.5 billion innovation fund, which it says will invest in the development of alternative wireless devices, according to a request for comment.
The $1.5 billion from the $280 billion Chips and Science Act will go into domestic alternatives to current wireless devices, the majority of which will be supplied by foreign companies including Finland’s Nokia, Sweden’s Ericsson and China’s Huawei. The NTIA will accept comments on this issue through January 27, 2023.
“NTIA invites broad input and feedback from all interested stakeholders – including private industry, academia, civil society and other experts – on this grant program to support the promotion and deployment of open, interoperable and standards-based Radio Access Networks (RAN). ‘ was the message.
NTIA’s inquiries include the current “state” of the telecoms industry, technology development, radio access network integration and certification, supply chain security, questions on trials, pilot programs and telecoms market development, program execution and monitoring supported by the Innovation Fund, the release said.
Last week, the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada signed a commitment to “ensure the security and resilience of our telecoms networks, including by fostering a diverse supply chain and influencing the development of future telecoms technologies such as 6G.
“Together we recognize that open and interoperable architectures are a way to create a more open, diverse and innovative marketplace,” the statement said.
Anchor institutions want FCC maps to include low-income housing units
Over 100 organizations, including EducationSuperHighway and the Schools, Health, and Library Broadband Coalition, are urging the Federal Communications Commission to include a mapping challenge process for residential buildings in low-income areas.
The organizations said in a letter to the commission on Tuesday that low-income families in multi-dwelling units that serve only one unit with certain broadband speeds are excluded from the ‘unserved’ category in the commission’s preliminary broadband map. But the organizations say that doesn’t reflect the reality for low-income families in other units of these buildings.
As such, the organizations are requesting that the FCC develop a mapping data challenge process for multifamily housing, including “sites where the percentage of individuals with household income is at or below 150 percent of the poverty line” and “sites where there is a significant Percentage of households without care.”
The organizations also said the exposure to such individuals in those residences was unreasonable to submit their own challenges to the mapping data.
“To ensure that all MDUs are accurately named, we are requesting that the FCC shift the burden of proof from disconnected consumers to ISPs by pausing the current challenge process and creating a new challenge process that includes MDUs that meet the above criteria automatically labeled as unconnected and set up a process for asking ISPs to submit challenges.
SHLB has previously said that the current iteration of FCC cards is skipping community anchor institutions because the commission assumed, without justification, that these institutions subscribed to largely non-mass-market Internet services.
Public Knowledge wants clarity that wireless services are included in the digital discrimination investigation
Internet advocacy group Public Knowledge recommends that the FCC include mobile wireless services in the agency’s review of digital discrimination by telecom companies, according to a letter Monday to the commission.
The FCC’s draft proposal “appears to indicate that the definition of ‘broadband Internet access service’ covered by the proposed rules will not apply to mobile broadband,” Public Knowledge said in the letter, which includes a graphic stating that the FCC is proposing a limitation on its focus on BIAS.
“Due to the importance of non-discrimination in access to mobile services, the Commission should clarify” that BIAS includes both fixed and mobile services, the letter reads.
Digital discrimination is on the agency’s agenda for its 21 December open session. The NPRM is published that day and while the agency is soliciting comments, the goal is to create new rules consistent with the provisions of the Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act on digital discrimination.