Taking a page from Washington, D.C.’s cherry blossoms, which have reached peak bloom this week, the Commission is rolling out a bountiful agenda for our April open meeting. In three weeks, the Commission will consider the follow proposals, which are both abundant in number and diverse in their content.
- We’re taking a next step toward more innovative spectrum management. In 2022, the Commission launched an inquiry to take a fresh look at how receiver improvements could provide greater opportunities for efficient use of spectrum. Building on the record from this inquiry and the work of our Technological Advisory Council, the Commission will consider a Policy Statement that establishes high-level principles to guide our work on the role of receivers in spectrum management going forward, potentially enabling greater innovation in future wireless technologies.
- We’re keeping our national security assessments up-to-date. Under Section 214 of the Communications Act, the Commission is charged with granting applications for licenses to provide service in the United States. Once the Commission grants authorization for foreign-owned carriers, that review has essentially been frozen, even if national security considerations change. To stay ahead of evolving security threats, we will consider a proposal to require foreign-owned license holders to undergo a periodic review and renewal process, which would involve close consultation with our national security colleagues in the Executive Branch.
- We’re promoting competition in the satellite broadband market. A new generation of low-orbit satellite systems can provide broadband services with dramatically higher speeds and lower latency than previous satellite broadband offerings. To promote competition and innovation through good-faith coordination, we will vote on a Report and Order that revises our rules governing spectrum sharing among these new broadband satellite constellations. Specifically, the new rules would clarify protection obligations between non-geostationary satellite orbit, fixed-satellite service (NGSO FSS) systems.
- We’re aligning Commission rules with international developments. We will consider various changes to the Commission’s rules and the U.S. Table of Allocations in order to reflect changes made to the Radio Regulations and other actions taken at the 2015 and 2019 World Radiocommunication Conferences.
- We’re making life-saving emergency alerts more accessible. Since they became operational in 2012, Wireless Emergency Alerts have been used more than 70,000 times to warn the public about dangerous weather, missing children, or other critical situations. Unfortunately, these alerts are only available in English and Spanish. The Commission will vote to seek comment on a number of proposals to improve Wireless Emergency Alerts, including enhanced support for multi-lingual alerting.
- We’re closing loopholes that enable arbitrage. For too long, unscrupulous carriers have exploited the Commission’s system of intercarrier compensation by inflating traffic volumes to maximize access charge revenues, with consumers literally paying the price. In 2019, the Commission 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 on rules to resolve ambiguities in our 2019 rules and prevent people from gaming the system.
- We’re phasing out obsolete analog-era rules. The Commission will consider an Order to clean up Part 74 of our 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.