Here’s a preview of what we have on deck for our March Open Meeting. It’s a flurry of orders, rulemakings, inquiries, and adjudications aimed at advancing the United States’ economic recovery and preparing for a post-COVID world. So, here’s what we’ve got:
- We’re taking steps to better prepare for emergencies like Winter Storm Uri. We know that the breakdown of communications during an emergency can lead to preventable loss of life and damage to property. So the FCC will consider an Order that would permit the agency to share important information about communications outages with state and federal partners. This will go a long way to ensuring that downed networks are restored quickly and that emergency operations are not delayed. My thoughts are with those affected, and we stand ready to help.
- We’re proposing updates to the way Americans receive emergency alerts wherever they are—on their phones, on television, and on radio. We will consider a rulemaking that proposes new rules to keep the public safe and informed during emergencies and disasters, and an inquiry on whether it would be possible to deliver emergency alerts via other forms of communications. This will implement the bipartisan READI Act, which was enacted into law as Section 9201 of the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021.
- We are taking significant action to help deliver the 5G you were promised. That means 5G that is fast, secure, resilient, and most importantly, available across the country. We will do that by considering an Order that will make much-needed mid-band spectrum in the 3.45-3.55 GHz band available for 5G, and a Public Notice that will seek comment on how we should auction this spectrum to ensure that it is put to use quickly in service of the American people. This Order demonstrates what’s possible when we work together—it is the result of moving with unprecedented speed and in collaboration with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the Department of Defense. Most importantly, we propose to get started quickly—with an auction start date in early October.
- We are exploring opportunities to build a better, a more secure 5G network of the future. We will launch an inquiry on the benefits and challenges of building 5G radio access networks with open and interoperable technologies. With this inquiry, we will start to compile a record about how we can secure our vulnerable supply chains once and for all and revitalize the nation’s 5G leadership and innovation.
- Finally, our March Open Meeting will feature an item from our Enforcement Bureau and two national security items. In order to protect the confidentiality of those actions, I can’t talk about them in detail just yet, but I look forward to sharing them with you at the meeting.