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Tag Archives: Jessica Rosenworcel

Fixed Wireless Providers Welcome FCC Promoting Broadband Competition in Apartment, Office Buildings

As represented by the Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA), fixed wireless providers have welcomed an FCC initiative to promote competition and choice for broadband in apartments and office buildings.

“WISPA applauds FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel on proposing a number of important changes,” Louis Peraertz, vice president of policy for WISPA, said. “WISPA members have long-sought to open up the underserved multidwelling and multitenant marketplace to more providers. “

On Jan. 21, Rosenworcel shared with her FCC colleagues a Report and Order and Declaratory Ruling that would promote competition and increase choice for broadband services for people living and working in multiple-tenant environments (MTEs). The measures, if adopted, would halt practices that evade long-existing FCC rules intended to allow tenants to choose their own provider, according to the federal agency.

“We believe that the chairwoman’s work represents great forward progress on the matter, which, when completed, should help consumers experience better and more affordable offerings for their broadband services,” Peraertz said.

According to Rosenworcel, with more than one-third of the U.S. population living in apartments, mobile home parks, condominiums and public housing, it is time to address practices that lock out broadband competition and consumer choice.

“Consumers deserve access to a choice of providers in their buildings,” Rosenworcel said. “I look forward to having my colleagues join me in lifting the obstacles to competitive choice for broadband for the millions of tenants across the nation.”

To promote broadband competition and deployment in MTEs, the Order and Declaratory Ruling, if adopted by a vote of the full commission, would prohibit providers from entering into graduated revenue sharing agreements or exclusive revenue sharing agreements with a building owner. It would require providers to disclose to tenants in plain language the existence of exclusive marketing arrangements that they have with building owners. It would eEnd a practice that circumvents the FCC’s cable inside wiring rules by clarifying that existing FCC rules prohibit sale-and-leaseback arrangements that effectively block access to alternative providers.

“The chairwoman’s proposal builds upon a 30-year record of Commission proceedings to promote competition in apartment buildings and other MTEs, including a long-standing ban on exclusive access contracts,” a statement from the federal agency reads. “Most recently, the Commission issued a Public Notice in September 2021 inviting a new round of comments in a proceeding examining competitive access to broadband in apartment and office buildings. The record revealed a pattern of new practices that inhibit competition, contrary to the Commission’s goals, and limit opportunities for competitive providers to offer service for apartment, condo and office building unit tenants. These practices could throttle consumer access to providers participating in the Commission’s affordable broadband programs such as the Emergency Broadband Benefit and its successor, the Affordable Connectivity Program.”

Biden, Rosenworcel Want 5G, Air Safety Fears Resolved

President Joe Biden and FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel issued statements today that refer to an agreement that permits tomorrow’s 5G wireless communications deployment while ensuring aviation safety. Statements today from Verizon and AT&T refer to the companies having taken voluntary steps to limit the use of C-band frequencies in their 5G networks in areas near airport runways, temporarily.

“I want to thank Verizon and AT&T for agreeing to delay 5G deployment around key airports and to continue working with the Department of Transportation on safe 5G deployment at this limited set of locations,” Biden said. “This agreement will avoid potentially devastating disruptions to passenger travel, cargo operations, and our economic recovery, while allowing more than 90 percent of wireless tower deployment to occur as scheduled. This agreement protects flight safety and allows aviation operations to continue without significant disruption and will bring more high-speed internet options to millions of Americans.”

The president said that expanding 5G and promoting competition in internet service are critical priorities of his.

“Tomorrow will be a massive step in the right direction,” Biden said, referring Verizon and AT&T launching their 5G service on C-band frequencies in the United States. “My team has been engaging non-stop with the wireless carriers, airlines and aviation equipment manufacturers to chart a path forward for 5G deployment and aviation to safely co-exist — and, at my direction, they will continue to do so until we close the remaining gap and reach a permanent, workable solution around these key airports.”

Rosenworcel said that next-generation 5G technologies will be the backbone of the United States’ economic future.

“Today’s agreement makes it possible to bring this technology to millions more consumers and businesses throughout the country starting tomorrow using the C-band,” she said. “This is welcome news, because we know that deployment can safely coexist with aviation technologies in the United States, just as it does in other countries around the world. The FAA has a process in place to assess altimeter performance in the 5G environment and resolve any remaining concerns. It is essential that the FAA now complete this process with both care and speed.”

Chairwoman Rosenworcel Debuts Draft Rules for Affordable Connectivity Program

FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel has released a draft Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that, if adopted, would establish the rules for the $14.2 billion Affordable Connectivity Program, pursuant to congressional directives in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021. According to the FCC, the Affordable Connectivity Program would provide eligible households with discounts of up to $30 a month for broadband service, and up to $75 a month if the household is on Tribal lands. It also would provide a one-time discount of up to $100 on a computer or tablet for eligible households, as directed under the law, the agency said..

“The past two years have made totally clear that broadband is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity,” said Rosenworcel said. “The response to the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, with over 9 million households enrolled in less than eight months, proved what many of us knew to be true: There are simply too many people across the country struggling to pay for high-speed internet service. Now with tens of thousands already coming into the just-launched Affordable Connectivity Program, it’s clear that the need for support continues. Given the importance of this program to consumers, I made public the draft for our newest broadband affordability program to invite feedback. We know that programs meant to help the most vulnerable consumers benefit greatly from public input.

Rosenworcel said that Congress gave the FCC a short window to stand up the Affordable Connectivity Program.

“Working with a hyper-accelerated schedule during the holidays, we’ve proven that we are up to the task with this draft,” she said. “We faced similar circumstances creating the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program and met our statutory deadlines. So, I look forward to working with my colleagues to do the same with this new program. I know we can get this done.”

Rosenworcel Receives Nod for FCC Chair, Additional Term

This morning, President Joe Biden designated FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, 50, as chair of the Commission, the first woman to serve in that capacity. He also announced his intention to nominate Rosenworcel to another term on the Commission. Rosenworcel has served as a commissioner since 2012.

“During her time at the agency, she has worked to promote greater opportunity, accessibility and affordability in our communications services in order to ensure that all Americans get a fair shot at 21st century success,” a statement issued by the White House reads. “From fighting to protect an open internet, to ensuring broadband access for students caught in the homework gap through the FCC’s Emergency Connectivity Fund, to making sure that households struggling to afford internet service stay connected through the Emergency Broadband Benefit program, she has been a champion for connectivity for all.”

The White House called Rosenworcel a leader in spectrum policy who has developed new ways to support wireless services from Wi-Fi to video and the internet of things. She has fought to combat illegal robocalls and enhance consumer protections in our telecommunications policies, the White House said.

Prior to joining the FCC, Rosenworcel served as senior communications counsel for the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation under the leadership of Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV and Sen. Daniel Inouye, the White House said. It said that before entering public service, Rosenworcel practiced communications law. She is a native of Hartford, Connecticut, and is a graduate of Wesleyan University and New York University School of Law, the White House said.

A representative of a membership organization of communications infrastructure contractors extended congratulations to Rosenworcel. Todd Washam, director of government relations and Wireless Industry Network at NATE: The Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association, also said that NATE welcomes the opportunity to work with her to expand broadband services, improve telehealth services and other contractor priorities.

Speaking for an association of independent, community-based telecommunications companies, Shirley Bloomfield, CEO of NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association, called Rosenworcel a tireless advocate for overcoming barriers to broadband access for all Americans.

“We have long appreciated her focus on closing the digital divide, and, especially during the pandemic, to giving families and students greater ability to get and stay connected,” Bloomfield said. “We look forward to her confirmation and to continuing to work with her to advance these goals and sustain the progress already made in rural America and across the country.”

The head of a membership organization of public safety communications professionals, Derek K. Poarch, said that Rosenworcel has proven her devotion to promoting the best interests of public safety.

“She has made a point to truly understand the needs of the public safety community, including through her many visits to 9-1-1 centers throughout the country,” said Poarch, executive director and CEO of APCO International. “With her expertise and commitment, I am confident she will serve the country well.”

The Wireless Industry Association represents businesses that build, develop, own and operate wireless infrastructure. Its president and CEO, Jonathan Adelstein, said that Rosenworcel’s knowledge, experience, and commitment to bridging the digital divide and the homework gap would be crucial as the FCC guides America through the expansion of 5G.

“We look forward to working with her to increase broadband access and accelerate 5G deployment,” Adelstein said.

Spectrum Policy Stakes Never Higher: Rosenworcel

By Don Bishop

Jessica Rosenworcel, acting chairwoman of the FCC

Speaking during an online symposium Sept. 21, Jessica Rosenworcel, acting chairwoman of the FCC, said that when it comes to radio-frequency spectrum policy, the stakes never have been higher. She spoke during the 2021 NTIA spectrum policy symposium, “Modernizing U.S. Spectrum Strategy and Infrastructure for 21st-century Global Leadership.”

“Mobile technology has already reshaped almost every facet of our lives and our economy,” the agency chief said. “Now, 5G is poised to unlock the potential of countless technologies that we’ve been talking about and slowly developing for years: the internet of things, telemedicine, virtual and augmented reality, precision agriculture, smart transportation networks, smart energy grids, I could go on. This, in turn, will drive the future of industry and expand the potential for machine learning and the possibilities of artificial intelligence.”

Rosenworcel said that to guide the future of 5G wireless communications, the FCC focuses on freeing up more spectrum, especially in the mid-band frequency range. The agency also focuses on expanding the reach of fiber facilities and diversifying equipment in 5G wireless communications networks, she said. Additionally, she said the FCC focuses on building security and resiliency in the supply chain, and on fostering American leadership in setting the technology standards of the future.

“In each of these principles — whether it is freeing spectrum, expanding broadband, diversifying networks, securing communications, or leading internationally — we have embraced the idea that no single entity can meet this challenge alone,” Rosenworcel said. “We need a whole-of-government approach to get this done and one that is open to commercial innovation and opportunity. To do this, we need to draw on the strengths in our national DNA — our hard-wired belief in the creative possibilities of the future, the power of coordination, and the rule of law. This is how we turn spectrum scarcity into spectrum abundance.”

Rosenworcel said that it is vital that the FCC keep an open door and an open mind and advance policies that are consistent with the facts, the law and its most critical mission, which she said was to ensure that world-leading communications reaches everyone, everywhere in the United States.


Don Bishop is executive editor and associate publisher of AGL Magazine.