FCC Unveils Updated and Modernized National Broadband Map
Background: On February 22,2018, the FCC unveiled a new and improved National Broadband Map providing consumers, policymakers, and other interested stakeholders better access to enhanced, and frequently updated, fixed broadband deployment information. With its advanced features, the new map affords a wealth of data and information that will aid in advancing the FCC's and state and local government efforts to close the digital divide.
QUICK SUMMARY: The new, cloud-based map provides various categories of data, including:
- Broadband and provider availability in over 11 million national census blocks by technology (fiber, DSL, cable, satellite, fixed wireless, etc.) and speed;
- Deployment information for various geographical types, including Nation, state, county congressional district, city or town, Tribal area and deployment comparisons between geographic areas;
- Information about 1,782 providers by technology, speed tiers and upload speed tiers;
- Graphic information illustrating an area's population percentage with access to broadband at specified speeds; and
- Easy access to broadband and provider information by simply typing in a specified address.
The map can be accessed at https://broadbandmap.fcc.gov.
Instructions on map use and a demonstration video can be accessed at https://broadbandmap.fcc.gov/#/about.
FCC Seeks Applicants for Intergovernmental Advisory Committee Membership
Background: The mission of the Intergovernmental Advisory Committee (IAC) is to provide advice to the Commission on the many telecommunications issues affecting local, state and Tribal governments that are within the jurisdiction of the FCC. During its two-year term, the IAC may be tasked by the Chairman to produce specific deliverables that will further the Commission's mission and objectives. The duties of the Committee may include providing guidance to the Commission, gathering data and information, aiding the agency on outreach when needed, and performing those analyses the Commission deems necessary to respond to the questions or matters before it.
- The FCC has expanded the membership of the IAC from 15 members to 30 members.
- The Commission is seeking applications from local, state and Tribal government officials to fill the 15 new positions as well as three vacancies in the existing IAC membership.
- Members of the IAC are required to attend at least 2 of the 4 meetings per year in Washington, D.C. at the applicant's expense. For full details see the Public Notice of January 11, 2018.
- Interested candidates should submit their applications to the Commission via email at IGA@fcc.gov and/or hardcopy via mail to Carmen Scanlon, Attorney Advisor, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, FCC, 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC 20554.
- Applications are due by 6 p.m. EST, March 12, 2018.
- Members appointed by the Chairman of the FCC to fill the vacancies will serve through the end of the IAC's current term, which will run through March 24, 2019.
- Once the Chairman of the FCC selects the new IAC members, the FCC will release a Public Notice announcing the appointments.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
Please contact Carmen Scanlon, Attorney Advisor, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, Consumer and Governmental Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, (202) 418-0544, firstname.lastname@example.org. Or refer to Public Notice (DA 18-28), https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-announces-vacancies-iac-membership-and-seeks-nominees.
FCC Streamlines Review Process for Replacement Utility Poles to Advance Wireless Infrastructure Deployment
Background: On November 16, 2017, the FCC adopted an order eliminating historic preservation review requirements for the deployment of replacement utility poles that are substantially identical to the ones they replace. By adopting this exemption, the FCC made it easier to replace utility poles with poles capable of accommodating antennas or other wireless communications equipment that will be critical to support the small cell technologies needed for the rollout of next-generation services. The FCC defined certain conditions that, if met, render replacement poles so similar to the poles they are replacing that the replacement poles have no potential effect on historic properties, and therefore, require no historic preservation review under the National Historic Preservation Act.
- The construction of replacement utility poles – a new pole in place of a preexisting pole that is being removed – without historic preservation review, is subject to certain conditions, including that:
- The original pole can hold utility, communications or related transmission lines and is not a historic property;
- The deployment does not cause new ground disturbance;
- The replacement pole is put in a hole no more than 10 feet away from the original pole; and
- The replacement pole is no more than 10% higher or five feet higher (whichever is greater) than the previous pole.
- The replacement of poles must cease if there is a discovery of any historic artifacts or other historic properties and appropriate consultation with the Commission, State/Tribal Historic Preservation Officers, and any affected Tribal Nations must ensue.
- The order consolidates the Commission's historic preservation review rules and procedures, which had previously been adopted through a variety of rules and orders, into a single rule.
- To learn more about the FCC's streamlined review process for replacement utility poles, see:
Full text of the Report and Order
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