On behalf of the Coalition of Rural Wireless Carriers, LLGS filed comments with the FCC regarding the 5G Fund auction NPRM. Specifically, the comments explain that adopting the Broadband DATA Act, Option A, is not a feasible solution, but rather the Commission should adopt Option B, as proposed in the NPRM, on an accelerated timetable, ensuring that the 5G Fund auction could be held in early 2022. Taking the appropriate time to improve existing mapping resources will benefit the public.
The comments further propose that T-Mobile should be barred from participating in the 5G Fund auction and argue that the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 prohibits the Commission from phasing down legacy support to any carrier until Mobility Fund Phase II auction concludes. Additionally, the proposed two-year phase down of legacy support for carriers serving ineligible areas on short notice should be rejected as arbitrary.
Finally, the comments argue that requiring carriers to deliver 5G broadband technology in areas that are being phased down is arbitrary and violates the Congressional directive in Section 254(e). The comments propose alternatives to ensure that phase down support is used lawfully and benefits rural citizens. The comments urge the Commission to create service deployment milestones that encourage small carriers to participate in the 5G Fund auction and do not overburden support recipients.
A copy of the Coalition of Rural Wireless Carriers’ comments can be found here.
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