The FCC has issued a Notice of Inquiry, pursuant to section 706 of the Telecommunications Act, seeking comment on how it can further the goals of universal service, remove barriers to infrastructure investment, define advanced telecommunications capability, and promote competition in the telecommunications market. This statutorily required annual inquiry was modified and expanded in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic with the enactment of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. This will be the first inquiry to rely upon the FCC’s new Broadband Data Collection data in evaluating the state of broadband availability and access.
Among other proposals, the Commission proposes to increase its benchmark for fixed broadband speeds to 100/20 Mbps. The FCC seeks comment on whether it should adopt a speed benchmark for mobile services as it currently relies on multiple parameters in assessing mobile services. Comments on the NOI are due December 1 and reply comments are due December 18.