Today, the Federal Communications Commission voted to close two dockets and opening two more, all focused on broadband infrastructure deployment.
The Commission voted on two items. First, an Order on Reconsideration will allow providers to fully recover their investment in deploying broadband to high-cost rural areas from the Connect America Fund. Second, a Report and Order will remove certain legacy price regulation on business data services (BDS) (wholesale broadband for businesses) in areas with sufficient competition, while maintaining regulations in areas lacking competition.
The Commission also voted to open two new dockets on infrastructure deployment that will inform the work of the FCC’s new Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee. The wireless infrastructure NPRM will take comment on barriers to deployment of wireless broadband, especially 5G, which requires much larger numbers of small cell antennas. The wireline infrastructure item proposes stated goal is to remove obstacles to new broadband infrastructure at all levels of government and assist in the transition from legacy copper networks to fiber.