June 22, 2022
By Jessica Rosenworcel | Chairwoman

With yesterday’s summer solstice, the days have started getting shorter, but the agenda for the Commission’s monthly open meeting has not. Here’s what we’ve got lined up for July.

  • We’re expanding opportunities for small, Tribal, and rural wireless carriers. Some wireless providers have access to airwaves that others might be better positioned to deploy. The Commission will vote to establish the Enhanced Competition Incentive Program, which will create new incentives for wireless licensees to make underutilized spectrum available to small carriers, Tribal Nations, or any carrier in rural areas.
  • We’re closing loopholes that enable arbitrage. For too long, unscrupulous carriers have exploited the FCC’s system of intercarrier compensation by inflating traffic volumes to maximize access charge revenues, with consumers literally paying the price. In 2019, the FCC adopted rules to crack down on these arbitrage schemes, but some carriers have evaded those new rules by using IP-enabled services to drive up traffic and charges. The Commission will vote to clarify ambiguities in our 2019 rules and prevent people from gaming the system.
  • We’re supporting survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Survivors of domestic violence and sexual violence uniquely rely on access to private communications, while, at the same time, facing unique challenges securing reliable phone and internet service. The Commission will vote to explore ways the Lifeline and Affordable Connectivity Programs can better support this population and how to ensure that survivors are able to communicate safely with abuse hotlines and shelters.
  • We’re matching media rules with new market realities. The Commission’s rules specifically state that the Nielsen Station Index Directory shall be used to determine a television station’s local market for carriage purposes. The Nielsen Company recently phased out this report, so the Commission will vote to begin the process of updating our rules to refer to a new publication for determining market areas.
  • We’re phasing out obsolete analog-era rules. The Commission will consider an item to clean up our so-called Part 74 rules for low-power television and television translators, getting rid of rules for analog TV operations that have no practical effect in our fully digital world. We are also working on a similar action for our full-power TV rules to be considered later this year.
  • We will also consider an action from our Enforcement Bureau.