#RuralIsCool Volume 1, Issue 6/January 24, 2019

Walden Announces Republican Rosters for House Energy and Commerce Subcommittees

Rep. Greg P. Walden (R–Ore.), Republican leader of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, announced the Republican rosters for all six subcommittees on January 18, 2019.

Rep. Bob E. Latta (Ohio) will be the Republican leader of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology (C&T)—a key subcommittee for legislation affecting the rural broadband industry. Other C&T subcommittee Republicans are: John M. Shimkus (Illinois); Steve J. Scalise (Louisiana), Pete G. Olson (Texas), Adam D. Kinzinger (Illinois), Gus M. Bilirakis (Florida), Bill Johnson (Ohio), Billy Long (Missouri), Bill H. Flores (Texas), Susan W. Brooks (Indiana), Tim L. Walberg (Minnesota), Greg Gianforte (Montana) and Walden, Ex Officio.

“Our Republican members are ready and willing to work with our Democratic colleagues to promote policies that grow our economy, put consumers first and bring commonsense solutions to the issues facing our nation,” Walden said.

Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank J. Pallone (D–N.J.) announced the Democratic rosters for all six subcommittees January 15, 2019. (See #RuralIsCool, January 17, 2019.) Democratic C&T members are: Mike F. Doyle (Pennsylvania)–chair, Jerry McNerney (California), Yvette D. Clarke (New York), Dave W. Loebsack (Iowa), Marc A. Veasey (Texas), A. Donald McEachin (Virginia), Darren M. Soto (Florida), Tom O’Halleran (Arizona), Anna G. Eshoo (California), Diana L. DeGette (Colorado), G.K. Butterfield (North Carolina), Doris O. Matsui (California), Peter F. Welch (Vermont), Ben Ray Luján (New Mexico), Kurt Schrader (Oregon), Tony Cárdenas (California), Debbie Dingell (Michigan) and Pallone, Ex Officio.

FCC Reactivates Equipment Authorization System

Though the federal government remains shut down, the FCC has reactivated the Equipment Authorization System (EAS).

In a January 2, 2019, public notice addressing the impact of a lapse in funding resulting from a government shutdown, the commission had said EAS would not be available. But “after reviewing our statutory authority, the status of contract obligations and our lapse in funding plan, we will be reactivating this system today,” the commission said in a January 18 public notice.

Telecommunications Certification Bodies must enter approved equipment certifications into EAS before such equipment can be imported and marketed in the United States. Reactivating EAS will allow this to happen; however, the commission noted that “while the EAS will be available to the public, no support will be provided by commission staff.” New products requiring preapproval by the commission will continue to remain unavailable until the FCC reopens.

FCC Forms 499-Q and 502 Still Due on or Before February 1, 2019

Despite the federal government shutdown, FCC Form 499-Q, the Quarterly Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet, and FCC Form 502, the North American Numbering Plan Report, still must be filed on or before February 1, 2019.

The FCC’s public notice describing the impact on operations in the event of a lapse in funding specified that “any filings with fund administrators” must still be timely filed with such entities, “even if the commission has suspended operations.”

Please check with your consultants and appropriate staff members to ensure these filings are submitted on time.

Notes in the News for January 24, 2019

Rep. Doug A. Collins (R–Ga.) introduced the CAF Accountability Act in the U.S. House of Representatives on January 10. The legislation would amend the Communications Act of 1934 to require some recipients of Connect America Fund support to report on methods of performance testing, among other things.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R–Fla.) introduced the American Data Dissemination Act of 2019 in the U.S. Senate last week, a bill that would impose privacy requirements on internet service providers.

Sens. John Thune (R–S.D.) and Edward J. Markey (D–Mass.) have reintroduced the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act (S. 151). You can read NTCA’s statement on the legislation online.

Former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler wrote a New York Times op-ed this week discussing the importance of securing any potential 5G networks against cyber threats.

The Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) will host a webinar, “SHAKEN 101: Mitigating Illegal Robocalling and Caller ID Scams,” on January 30 at 2 p.m. ET.

Amidst an ongoing shutdown of the federal government due to a lapse in funding for certain agencies, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has recalled thousands of its employees to staff Farm Service Agency offices. 

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced January 23 that the open commission meeting originally scheduled for January 30 will proceed whether or not the government reopens by that date, but agenda items will not be considered at the meeting.

Data Privacy Day will take place on January 28. This is an annual effort sponsored by the National Cyber Security Alliance to promote data privacy awareness and education.


NTCA Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield will speak at the Alaska Telephone Association Winter Conference, January 28, 2019. Her topic will be, “The Road Ahead for the Broadband Industry and Rural America.”