June 29, 2020

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Next Industry Intelligence Publishes on July 13!

Editor’s Note: As we celebrate the Fourth of July holiday, Industry Intelligence will not publish on Monday, July 6.

We will resume publishing on July 13!

We thank our members for all they do to power our lives. Thank you for everything you do for us, your customers, and our country.

–The Industry Intelligence Team

Annual T&T Event to Go All Virtual! Register Now!

UTC is extremely excited to announce that we will hold UTC Telecom & Technology 2020 as a virtual conference and expo. We will hold the virtual annual conference starting on Aug. 18-Sept. 4, 2020. We are taking this step as a way to ensure that as many of our members and attendees as possible can participate in our conference.

We are working with its education program sponsors and presenters to deliver live and pre-recorded content to our attendees. Offering a dual presentation delivery option allows you to enjoy the original education program subject matter and schedule while providing flexible viewing patterns.

Conference delegates will be able to engage with presenters, ask questions through virtual chats, and set up private meetings. Attendees will have access to the annual conference session gallery that includes virtual training, summits, pre-recorded sessions, and tracks. Attendees can view the pre-recorded sessions at their convenience or at a scheduled time, after which the panelists in those sessions will be available for a live Q&A.

UTC thanks all of our members, technology partners, and stakeholders who make our work possible. We are also especially grateful for the sacrifices many of you are making to keep powering our lives.

We look forward to virtually seeing everyone in August during the conference and expo.

More information is available at UTC Telecom & Technology!

FCC Unveils Locations Eligible for RDOF Bidding

Federal Communications Commission (FCC, the Commission) staff last week released a list of 5,392,530 unserved locations deemed eligible for bidding in the $16 billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) Phase I Auction that begins Oct. 29.

The Public Notice updates a preliminary list released March 17, 2020, which was followed by a limited challenge process.

According to the Commission, it conducted a limited challenge process that gave parties an opportunity to identify by April 10, 2020, census blocks that fell into one of three categories: (1) census blocks that have become served with voice and 25/3 Mbps broadband service since June 30, 2019; (2) census blocks that have been awarded funding by a federal or state broadband subsidy to offer broadband service at 25/3 Mbps or better and for which funding has already been paid or committed; and (3) census blocks within a rate-of-return carrier’s service area where it does not expect to extend broadband in satisfaction of its universal service deployment obligations.

UTC’s upcoming Broadband Workshop will dig into the RDOF and other related utility broadband issues. An agenda for the workshop is available here. Registration is available here.

Please contact the UTC Public Policy Team with any questions.

Senators Introduce Broadband Funding Acceleration Bill

Three U.S. senators last week introduced legislation that would expedite the deployment of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC, the Commission) Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF).

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), who chairs the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) are co-sponsors of the Accelerating Broadband Connectivity (ABC) Act of 2020.

According to the senators, the bill would expedite the deployment of broadband service by incentivizing winners of the FCC’s RDOF auction to complete their buildout obligations on a shorter timeline.

The Accelerating Broadband Connectivity Act would:
• Create a fund to be used by the FCC following the RDOF Phase I auction to incentivize winning bidders to complete their buildout obligations on an accelerated timeline;
• Build upon the existing RDOF process to get high-speed broadband service to rural consumers much faster than the current timetable for deployment using RDOF dollars;
• Require service providers who receive funds from the Accelerating Broadband Connectivity (ABC) Fund to meet a series of accelerated milestones for their RDOF deployments;
• Allow the FCC to conduct the auction in a way that maximizes value to American taxpayers while connecting consumers more quickly.

UTC is still analyzing the bill and has not issued a public statement.

By contrast, recent bipartisan legislation in the House would accelerate the RDOF grants immediately to those projects that are shovel ready (Industry Intelligence, June 1, 2020).

Please contact the UTC Public Policy Team with any questions.

JULY’S SPONSORSHIPS ARE NOW AVAILABLE!

Calendar of Events

Webinars

Committee/Division calls

  • July 14: UtiliSite Committee Call–For more information, contact Bob Lockhart
  • July 14: Knowledge & Learning Call—For more information, contact Bob Lockhart
  • July 15: IT/OT Committee Call—For more information, contact Bob Lockhart
  • July 16: Telecom Committee Call—For more information, contact Brett Kilbourne
  • July 16: Public Policy Division Call—For more information, contact Rob Thormeyer
  • July 17: Security, Risk, and Compliance Committee Call—For more information, contact Bob Lockhart
  • July 21: Utilities Broadband Committee Call—For more information, contact Brett Kilbourne