July 14, 2022
It’s only been a few hours since the Commission wrapped up its July meeting, and we’ve already got a new slate of actions lined up for August. Here’s what you can expect at next month’s open meeting.
- We’re making sure people know about affordable ways to get connected. The new Affordable Connectivity Program is our country’s largest ever broadband affordability effort, helping more than 12 million U.S. households get online, but millions of eligible people haven’t taken advantage of this opportunity. The historic bipartisan infrastructure law that established the ACP also gave us the authority to allocate funds for outreach. Consistent with the law, the Commission will be voting to establish a multi-million-dollar Outreach Grant Program that would enlist partners to inform people in their communities about the ACP’s benefits, eligibility requirements, and how to apply.
- We’re leveraging housing assistance programs to narrow the digital divide. People who receive federal housing assistance disproportionately find themselves on the wrong side of the digital divide, and the Affordable Connectivity Program offers a unique opportunity to help them get online. Building on the existing infrastructure and relationships of local housing authorities, and thanks to the leadership of Commissioner Starks, the Commission will vote to establish a one-year pilot program, titled “Your Home, Your Internet,” with the goal of increasing awareness of the ACP among recipients of federal housing assistance and facilitating enrollment in the program by providing targeted assistance.
- We’re starting an effort to promote Space Innovation and U.S. leadership in the emerging space economy. Across the board, we need to update our polices for the new space age. To start, we’re launching an inquiry to examine the opportunities and challenges of in-space servicing, assembly, and manufacturing capabilities—or “ISAM”—that can support sustained economic activity in space. New space activities like satellite refueling, inspecting and repairing in-orbit spacecraft, and capturing and removing debris have the potential to build entire industries, create new jobs, mitigate climate change, and advance our nation’s economic, scientific, technological, and national security interests.
- We’re freeing up spectrum to support satellite broadband service. The Commission will be voting on rules to use spectrum in the 17.3-17.8 GHz more efficiently and expand the downlink capacity for high-throughput satellite communications. These changes will facilitate the deployment of advanced satellite services like high-speed broadband. We’re also seeking comment on opening up this opportunity to more satellites.
- We will consider an adjudicatory matter from our Media Bureau.
- We will also consider an action from our Enforcement Bureau.