The Federal Communications Commission on Oct. 27 voted to approve action to “reduce regulatory barriers to 5G deployment by further streamlining the state and local government review process for modifications to existing wireless infrastructure that involve excavation and deployment beyond existing site boundaries.”

In the September 2020 President’s Management Agenda (PMA) updates, two Federal agencies focused on rural broadband expansion reported they are meeting key milestones.






FirstNet

FirstNet Authority Board Chair Tip Osterthaler selected Richard Carrizzo to lead as vice chair of the board effective yesterday.






Jennings County School Corporation (JCSC), Ind., and the Indiana Public Broadcasting Stations (IPBS) are partnering to expand distance learning to 1,200 students who have little or no access to reliable broadband.






Fifteen Democratic Senators penned a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on August 20, pushing Chairman Ajit Pai to increase funding for and improve transparency about rural healthcare operations.






FirstNet

Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced today that he has appointed Tip Osterthaler as chair of the FirstNet Authority Board.






President Donald Trump signed an executive order August 3 to make COVID-19 era changes to telehealth – such as telehealth coverage in Medicare programs and investments in telecommunications infrastructure – permanent after the pandemic ends.






Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Tim Scott, R-S.C., introduced the Connecting Minority Communities Act on Aug. 4. The legislation would codify the existing Minority Broadband Initiative at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) in a new Office of Minority Broadband Initiatives (MBI).






The Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that its National Broadband Availability Map (NBAM) now has 20 participating states. In a July 10 statement, NTIA confirmed that Wyoming and Washington State have been added to the NBAM.






Both the Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Commerce are progressing ahead on rural broadband agency priority goals (APG) as a part of the President’s Management Agenda (PMA) with some help from emergency funds in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.






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