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WTA Files Comments for FCC’s Annual Video Competition Report
On October 10th, WTA filed Comments in the FCC Media Bureau’s Annual Video Competition Report proceeding. WTA expressed its concern that small MVPDs’ inability to acquire programming at reasonable prices has made offering video services a losing proposition where companies either lose money, or at best, break even. WTA asserted that without substantial policy changes, more […]
WTA Responds to FCC’s Review of Form 477 Data Collection Process
On October 10, WTA filed comments in response to the FCC’s FNPRM examining its FCC Form 477 data collection process. WTA supports moving to an annual reporting requirement instead of the current semi-annual requirement. However, WTA opposes the contemplated change that would make public on a national level the number of each filer’s subscribers at each reported […]
WTA Meets With FCC Staff to Discuss Shifting USF Funds to Treasury and USF Budget Review
On September 28, representatives from WTA met with staff from the offices of Chairman Pai and Commissioner Clyburn. In both meetings, WTA expressed its concern about the lack of transparency associated with the shifting of USF funds to the U.S. Treasury and the risks associated with putting USF funds in the U.S. Treasury along with general […]
WTA Visits Staff for New FCC Commissioners
On September 12th, WTA Staff met with legal advisors for new FCC Commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel and Brendan Carr. In meetings with Wireline advisors Travis Litman (Rosenworcel) and Nathan Eagan (Carr), WTA Staff asserted that the Universal Service Fund High Cost Program should be fully funded and warned against a proposed transitioning of USF monies from […]

USTelecom Board Elects New Leadership
10.20.2017

USTelecom announced today that Alaska Communications Systems’ President and CEO Anand Vadapalli has been elected as the new Chair of the association’s Board of Directors.

Vadapalli joined Alaska Communications in 2006 after an extensive career in the telecom sector and became its CEO five years later. Alaska Communications is the leading provider of advanced broadband and managed IT services for business and consumers in Alaska, operating an advanced statewide data network that is connected to the contiguous U.S. via an undersea fiber optic system.

David Redl Should be Confirmed Soon as Head of NTIA
10.04.2017

Background:  The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation today approved David Redl’s nomination to serve as the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s Assistant Secretary for Communication and Information.

The following statement is from USTelecom CEO Jonathan Spalter:

USTelecom Congratulates Chairman Ajit Pai on His Confirmation
10.02.2017

Background: Today, the Senate confirmed Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai for a second term at the agency.

The following statement is from USTelecom CEO Jonathan Spalter:

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Closing the Digital Divide in Unserved Areas is a Vital Priority
09.28.2017

Background: Today, House and Senate Democrats unveiled a plan, “A Better Deal: Universal High-Speed Internet,” for ensuring all Americans have access to broadband internet access service.

The following statement is from USTelecom CEO Jonathan Spalter:

What's New at NTIA

ITS Research Offers New Avenues for Improving Speech Recognition in Wireless Communications
Keith Gremban, Director of the Institute for Telecommunication Sciences

Noise is one of the more vexing communications issues first responders face during emergencies. Emergency scenes are often loud and chaotic, and responders must compete with background noise -- sirens, yelling, a roaring fire, severe weather and more -- when trying to communicate with the command center and each other.

Improving over-the-air transmissions so that essential verbal communications can be heard above background noise is part of the goal of signal processing, a decades-long specialty of NTIA's research laboratory, the Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS). This week, ITS is presenting research that offers new avenues for addressing speech separation problems while enabling more efficient use of spectrum. The research could lead to solutions that produce higher speech quality, better speech intelligibility and less distorted sound -- while using less bandwidth.

Notice of 11/08/2017 Virtual Meeting of Multistakeholder Process on Internet of Things Security Upgradability and Patching
Date: 
October 12, 2017
Docket Number: 

NTIA will convene a virtual meeting of a multistakeholder process on Internet of Things Security Upgradability and Patching on November 8, 2017. The virtual meeting will be held on November 8, 2017, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Eastern Time. 

How NTIA Ensures Responders Can Communicate During Hurricane Recovery Efforts

United States Coast Guard helicopter
Source: United States Coast Guard

The devastation of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria over the past few weeks triggered a massive response from emergency responders. Thousands of federal personnel have been deployed to the Gulf Coast, Florida, and the Caribbean, including National Guard troops, the Coast Guard and Federal Emergency Management Agency staff, mounting search-and-rescue missions and delivering emergency supplies of food and fresh water.

NTIA's role in these efforts is ensuring that these responders can communicate with each other and with the various state and local agencies on the ground. After Hurricane Harvey, NTIA's Scott Jackson and Ron Snider flew to Camp Mabry, Texas, where the Texas Department of Public Safety had set up a command post for its Communications Coordination Group. Jackson heads the Emergency Response Team for NTIA's Office of Spectrum Management (OSM), and Snider is a telecommunications specialist in OSM and also a member of the Emergency Response Team.

NTIA Release of Funding Level Determination for Each State
Date: 
September 29, 2017

By law, when FirstNet formally presents its State Plan for the National Public Safety Broadband Network to the Governor of each State, it must also provide "the funding level for the State as determined by NTIA."  This week, NTIA officially transmitted to FirstNet the Funding Level Determinations (FLDs) for each State listed in the document below.  To establish each FLD, NTIA used an estimate of the number of terrestrial sites (towers) in each State and territory necessary to achieve baseline coverage objectives based on National Institute of Standards and Technology technical modeling.

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