Welcome to the Tech & Telecom Weekly, an e-newsletter keeping you apprised of the latest developments in the telecommunications and high-tech industries.
The next FCC Open Meeting will be held tomorrow, October 27, 2020, at 10:30am ET. The final Agenda contains eight items, including an Order on Remand in the Restoring Internet Freedom docket responding to the D.C. Circuit remand by asserting that the 2017 order in fact meets the court of appeals’ concerns about public safety, infrastructure deployment, and Lifeline support. The meeting will be live streamed here.
As previously reported, the Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing titled “Does Section 230’s Sweeping Immunity Enable Big Tech Bad Behavior?” on October 28, 2020, at 10:00am ET. Appearing remotely will be Mr. Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, and Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook. The hearing will be live streamed here.
The FCC has granted the first set of license applications for the 2.5 GHz band, which were made available “through the agency’s first-of-its-kind Rural Tribal Priority Window.” The agency granted applications from 154 entities that seek to provide broadband and 5G wireless services to rural Tribal communities. The list of potential licensees (by name) is here and the list by state is here.
FCC Form 499-Q is due November 1, 2020, for all filers that are not considered de minimis for Universal Service contribution purposes. The filing must report revenues from the 3rd quarter of 2020, and projected revenues for the 1st quarter of 2021. The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) filing portal is here.
On November 4, 2020, USAC will hold a series of training webinars relating to the E-rate program’s upcoming funding year. The kickoff will start at 11:00am ET with a review of the 2020 funding year, followed by an overview of the E-rate program at 1:00pm ET, and a demonstration of the E-Rate Productivity Center (EPC) at 2:00pm ET. Registration for the kickoff can be found here; registration for the E-rate program overview can be found here; and registration for the EPC demonstration can be found here.
In the Courts
The U.S. Department of Justice filed a landmark antitrust lawsuit against Google last week, following a year-long investigation into the search engine giant. Eleven state attorneys general joined in the suit, United States v. Google, LLC, alleging Google entered into anticompetitive agreements with mobile device manufacturers, wireless carriers, and web browser developers to secure default status for Google’s search engine and, in many cases, to lock out Google’s competitors. Google is now “a monopoly gatekeeper for the internet,” according to the complaint, using the same playbook that came under fire two decades ago in United States v. Microsoft. The only difference, says DOJ, is that Google learned from Microsoft’s mistakes and instructed its employees to avoid using terms like “bundle,” “tie,” “crush,” “kill,” “hurt,” or “block” competition.