As August draws to a close, I want to thank everyone who welcomed me into their communities this summer. My extensive travels carried me across the country to promote the historic Affordable Connectivity Program and allowed me to spend time with leading advocates for America’s libraries, accessible technologies, and Latino communities. I even got to make a once-in-a-lifetime visit to the Kennedy Space Center where I was honored to meet the Artemis II crew who are training to become the first astronauts to visit the moon in over 50 years. NASA Administrator Nelson invited me to discuss the exciting work of the Commission’s new Space Bureau, and I’m pleased that we’re quickly following up on that early August visit with a September agenda that features new action to help ensure that the United States leads the way in space innovation, exploration, development, and operations. Here’s everything we have on deck for the Commission’s September open meeting.
- We’re advancing innovation for the new space age. The space industry has entered an era of unprecedented growth, which is fueling an increase in both the complexity and the number of applications for space services before the Commission. To keep pace with this rapid change, the Commission will consider new rules to streamline our satellite policies and expedite the processing of space and earth station applications. These policy changes include a new Transparency Initiative so that applicants can better understand the Commission’s procedures.
- We’re expanding 5G to everyone, everywhere. The need for high-speed mobile services has never been more critical, yet there are some areas of our country that continue to lack access to any mobile broadband service at all. The Commission’s 5G Fund for Rural America was created to ensure the deployment of next-generation, high-speed mobile service in areas of the country where, absent subsidies, it will continue to be lacking. The Commission will vote to explore a series of questions on how best to harness new, granular, and improved mobile coverage data from our Broadband Data Collection to better target 5G Fund support to those areas of the country where support is most needed and where the funds could be spent most efficiently.
- We are making life harder for malicious robocallers. Widely available VoIP software can allow bad actors to make spoofed robocalls with minimal technical experience and cost. The FCC will vote on rules to modernize direct access to numbers by providers of VoIP services. The changes would safeguard our finite numbering resources while seeking to curb robocalls and reduce the opportunity for regulatory arbitrage. The new rules would also establish guidelines to protect national security.
- We’re updating obsolete media rules. The Commission’s rules for full-power and Class A TV stations have not been comprehensively reviewed in decades. This means the current rules do not reflect the completion of major developments, like the transition from analog to digital-only operations and the post-incentive auction transition to a smaller television band with fewer channels. The Commission will vote to clean up these rules to reflect the current operating environment.
- We will also consider two items from our Enforcement Bureau.