Wireless Roundup (April 2021)

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Key Wireless Deadlines

FCC Requests Comment on Proposals to Address 911 Fee Diversion: Reply comments are due by April 2 on the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC or Commission) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to clarify what does and does not constitute 911 fee diversion, establish a process for providing further guidance on fee diversion issues, and codify restrictions on states and taxing jurisdictions that engage in fee diversion.

DOC Requests Comment on Risks in the Semiconductor Manufacturing and Advanced Packaging Supply Chains: The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) within the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) seeks comments to assist the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) in preparing a report to President Biden identifying risks in the semiconductor manufacturing and advanced packaging supply chains and proposing policy recommendations to address these risks. The Secretary is preparing this report pursuant to the President’s February 24 Executive Order titled “America’s Supply Chains,” which mandates several Federal agency actions intended to secure and strengthen the nation’s supply chains. Comments are due by April 5.

FCC Requests Comment on the Provision of Support from the Emergency Connectivity Fund Consistent with the American Rescue Plan Act: The FCC seeks comment via a Public Notice on the provision of support from the Emergency Connectivity Fund—a $7.171 billion fund established by the recently enacted American Rescue Plan Act of 2021—to schools and libraries for the purchase of equipment and advanced telecommunications and information services for remote use by students, school staff, and library patrons. Comments are due by April 5 and reply comments by April 23.

FCC Requests Comment on Expediting Removal of Communications Equipment and Services That Pose a National Security Risk: The FCC seeks comment on a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking intended to modify FCC rules consistent with changes that were made to the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019 by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 to expedite removal of communications equipment and services that pose a national security risk. Comments are due April 12 and reply comments by April 26.

FCC Requests Comment on the Bidding Procedures for the Auction of 3.45-3.55 GHz Band Licenses: The FCC seeks comment via a Public Notice on the proposed auction procedures for bidding to acquire licenses in Auction 110, which will offer 4,060 new flexible-use licenses for spectrum in the 3.45-3.55 GHz band, subject to cooperative sharing requirements. The FCC expects the bidding to commence in early October 2021. Comments are due by April 14 and reply comments by April 29.

FCC Requests Comment on its Role in Overseeing Certificate Revocation Decisions by the STIR/SHAKEN System: Reply comments are due by April 19 on a Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking intended to create a limited role for the FCC to oversee certificate revocation decisions by the private STIR/SHAKEN caller ID authentication governance system. Certificate revocation decisions would deem service providers to be in noncompliance with FCC STIR/SHAKEN rules.

FCC Requests Comment on the Development and Deployment of 5G Open Radio Access Networks: The FCC seeks comment via a Notice of Inquiry on the potential of Open Radio Access Networks (Open RAN) in securing America’s communications networks and the communications supply chain, and in driving 5G innovation. Specifically, the FCC seeks comment on any steps it should take to accelerate the development and deployment of Open RAN, any challenges or other considerations related to the testing, deployment, and integration of Open RAN, and the costs and benefits associated with Open RAN development and deployment. Comments are due by April 28 and reply comments by May 28.

DOC Requests Comment on Licensing Procedures for ICTS Transactions Involving “Foreign Adversaries”: Comments are due by April 28 on the DOC’s Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding creating a licensing or pre-approval process for certain information and communications technology and services (ICTS) transactions. This new process will impact transactions for ICTS designed, developed, manufactured, or supplied by persons owned by, controlled by, or subject to the jurisdiction or direction of a “foreign adversary” (which the rule identified as China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela’s Maduro regime) that pose an undue or unacceptable risk to U.S. national security.

Upcoming Meetings and Events

NIST Workshop: The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will host a virtual workshop—“Zero Trust: Beyond the Moat”—on April 7 to discuss the status of several zero trust related projects and the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence. Additional information, including registration details, is available here.

DOC Virtual Forum on Semiconductor Supply Chains: The DOC’s BIS will host a virtual forum on risks in the semiconductor manufacturing and advanced packaging supply chain on April 8. The forum will allow participants to orally express the policy objectives in President Biden’s February 24 Executive Order, “America’s Supply Chains,” as they affect the U.S. semiconductor manufacturing and advanced packaging supply chains, including the elements included in BIS’s March 15 notice of request for public comments, mentioned above. Additional information, including registration details, is available here. Registration closes on April 1.

CSMAC Meeting: The Commerce Spectrum Management Advisory Committee (CSMAC) public meeting will be held on April 8. The Public Notice is available here.

FirstNet Emergency Management Webinar Series: The FirstNet Authority will host a webinar—“FirstNet Brings Internet to the Woods: Command and Control During Wildfires”—on April 8. The webinar will focus on how public safety has utilized the FirstNet Network to support wildlife response operations. Additional information, including registration, is available here.

NTIA SBOM Plugfest: The National Telecommunications and Information Agency (NTIA) will hold its first Software Bill of Materials (SBOM) “Plugfest” on April 9. The goals of this event are to align the different SBOM formats around the “baseline” SBOM fields, confirm interoperability and uniformity between the existing standards, and create a set of reference SBOMs as part of the corpus for further tooling evaluation. Additional information on this event, including registration details, is available here.

Region 28 700 MHz and 800 MHz Public Safety Planning Committee Meeting: The Region 28 (Eastern Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey, and Delaware Area) 700 MHz and 800 MHz Regional Public Safety Planning Committee Meeting will be held on April 13. The Public Notice and agenda are available here.

NTIA Broadband Infrastructure Program Webinar: This month, the NTIA will hold the first in a series of webinars on its Broadband Infrastructure Program (BIP), which was authorized and funded by the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act (CSA). These webinars are designed to help prospective applicants understand and prepare applications for the BIP and will occur on the second Wednesday and Thursday of each month, starting on April 14 and running through July 2021. Additional information is available here and registration is available here.

NANC Meeting: The North American Numbering Council (NANC) will hold its next meeting on April 15. The meeting will be open to the public via livestream. The Public Notice and agenda are available here.

NTIA Tribal Broadband Connectivity Webinar: This month, the NTIA will hold the first in a series of webinars on its Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (TBCP), which was authorized and funded by the 2021 CSA. These webinars are designed to help prospective applicants understand and prepare applications for the TBCP and will occur on the third Wednesday and Thursday of each month, starting on April 21 and running through July 2021. Additional information is available here and registration will be made available here.

FCC Open Meeting: The next FCC Open Meeting is scheduled for April 22. When available, the agenda will be posted here.

FCC Tech and Communications Diversity Opportunity Symposium and Virtual Fair: The Tech and Communications Diversity Opportunity Symposium and Virtual Fair will be held on April 28. Additional information, including registration, is available here.

NTIA Connecting Minority Communities Webinar: This month, the NTIA will hold the first in a series of webinars on its Connecting Minority Communities (CMC) grant program, which was authorized and funded by the 2021 CSA. These webinars are designed to help prospective applicants understand and prepare applications for the CMC grant program and will occur on the fourth Wednesday and Thursday of each month, starting on April 28 and running through July 2021. Additional information is available here and registration will be made available here.

FTC Workshop: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will host a virtual workshop, titled “Bringing Dark Patterns to Light,” on April 29. The workshop will examine digital “dark patterns”—a range of potentially manipulative user interface designs used on websites and mobile apps. More information is available here.

NTIA SBOM Quarterly Meeting: The National Telecommunications and Information Agency (NTIA) will hold its quarterly Software Bill of Materials (SBOM) meeting on April 29. The meeting will provide updates from NTIA working groups and encourage participation from members of the SBOM community. Additional details on the meeting, including registration information, will be posted here in the coming weeks.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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