FCC unveils April meeting agenda


Are you a broadcaster who has plans made for Thursday, April 7, 2011? If so, plan on doing whatever you were planning. Or at least, don’t change your plans so that you can attend the FCC’s Open Meeting scheduled for that day. You won’t likely find much of interest.

It will probably not come as much of a surprise that the FCC is going to be looking into more broadband issues at its next meeting, considering issues to ease build-out of new broadband delivery systems. There is also a Notice of Inquiry about how well communications networks (broadband included) are likely to hold up in the event of a major calamity.

From the FCC, here is the full agenda as it stands now:

* Pole Attachment Report and Order and Order on Reconsideration:  An Order that reforms the Commission’s access, rates, and enforcement rules for utility pole attachments, reducing barriers to deployment and availability of broadband and other wireline and wireless services, and promoting competition.

* Accelerating Broadband Deployment NOI:  A Notice of Inquiry seeking comment on key challenges and best practices in expanding the reach and reducing the cost of broadband deployment, including by improving policies for access to government rights of way and wireless facility siting requirements.

* Data Roaming Second Report and Order: A Second Report and Order that adopts a rule requiring facilities-based providers of commercial mobile data services to offer data roaming arrangements to other such providers on commercially reasonable terms and conditions, subject to certain limitations.

* Signal Boosters Declaratory Ruling, NPRM, and Order:  A Declaratory Ruling, NPRM and Order that helps to fill gaps in wireless coverage and expands broadband in rural and difficult-to-serve areas, while protecting wireless networks from harm.

* Structure and Practices of Video Relay Service Program:  Report and Order will adopt rules to detect and prevent fraud and abuse in the provision of video relay service (“VRS”).  Also, a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposes to require all VRS providers to obtain certification from the FCC under new, tighter certification procedures in order to receive compensation from the TRS Fund.

* Reliability and Continuity of Communications Networks NOI:  A Notice of Inquiry seeking comment on existing reliability standards for communications networks, including broadband networks, and ways to further strengthen the reliability and continuity of communications networks to avoid disruptions of service during major emergencies, such as large-scale natural and man-made disasters.