FCC to Address Secured Networks, Broadcast Internet at December Meeting

FCC seal
(Image credit: FCC)

WASHINGTON—The FCC has set the agenda for its final Open Commission meeting of 2020 taking place in December, with a heavy focus on how to protect communications networks.

In a blog post, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, outlined what will be up for votes at the December meeting. First on the docket is an order to implement the Secure and Trusted Communications Network Act of 2019. According to Pai, these rules would establish the procedures and criteria for publishing a list of communications equipment and services that “pose an unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States.” He specifically mentions how companies from China, like Huawei, represent such a threat.

The proposed rules would require eligible telecommunications carriers to remove and replace equipment from their networks, and would establish the Secure and Trusted Communications Network Reimbursement Program to subsidize smaller carriers to remove and replace such equipment. The rules also include reporting requirements.

The commission also intends to vote on a report and order focused on the development of ATSC 3.0 Broadcast Internet services. The report and order seeks to clarify and update regulations regarding Broadcast Internet services “to foster the efficient and robust use of broadcast spectrum capacity for the provision of such services,” Pai said. This will include clarifying the basis for calculation of ancillary and supplementary service fees, as well as retaining the existing standard of derogation of broadcast service.

The last item on the FCC’s agenda is a proposal for enhancements to the equipment authorization rules, per Pai.

The FCC’s December Open Commission Meeting will take place virtually on Dec. 10.