FCC allocates spectrum for US commercial space industry, including today’s Crew-2 launch

The FCC has allocated spectrum to support the growing number of US commercial space launches, including today’s Crew-2 mission.

SpaceX’s Crew-2 launch will send four astronauts – National Aeronautical Space Administration’s Megan McArthur and Shane Kimbrough, Akihiko Hoshide from the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, and Thomas Pesquet from the European Space Agency – into orbit.

Weather-permitting, the launch is scheduled for 10.49am BST (5.49am EDT) at...

FCC is re-establishing its 5G security council which disbanded in March

The FCC is re-establishing its Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council (CSRIC), with a primary focus on improving 5G network security.

CSRIC VII was disbanded in March. Recent cyberattacks such as the high-profile SolarWinds breach have demonstrated the need for CSRIC to re-establish and continue its crucial work.

Jessica Rosenworcel, Acting Chairwoman of the FCC, said:

“I am committed to working with our federal partners and the...

FCC wants the public to help measure actual broadband speeds

The FCC is encouraging the public to download and use its Speed Test app to help the regulator gain a greater understanding of the speeds consumers are actually receiving.

Data used by regulators is often not representative of real-world experiences. The FCC’s broadband coverage maps, for example, have come under repeated scrutiny for being inaccurate—predominately due to what internet access advocates claim is a weak definition of coverage by the FCC which allows carriers to...

FCC considers revoking China Telecom’s license to provide US services

The FCC has announced that it’s launched a review into whether to revoke China Telecom’s license to provide services in the United States.

The US telecoms regulator says the proceedings will “determine whether to end China Telecom (Americas) Corporation’s authority to provide domestic interstate and international telecommunications services within the United States under section 214 of the Communications Act.”

According to the FCC, the action seeks to safeguard...

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is stepping down after eight years

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is stepping down from his role after eight years at the US telecoms regulator.

Pai was appointed to the FCC as commissioner in 2012 by President Obama and was promoted to chairman in 2017 by President Trump. Pai has now served notice that he will be stepping down when President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated on January 20th.

“It has been the honour of a lifetime to serve at the Federal Communications Commission, including as Chairman of the FCC...

FCC moves to regulate social media after Trump’s executive order

The FCC has announced that it will move to regulate social media following President Trump’s executive order earlier this year.

Trump’s executive order followed fact-checking by Twitter which highlighted inaccuracies in his tweets. Despite the tweets remaining public, Trump argued that it amounted to censorship by Twitter.

Under the proposed changes, social media platforms could be sued for anything which could be deemed censorship such as fact-checking. This itself...

Chinese telecoms equipment removal will cost the US around $1.8bn

US telecoms regulator the FCC has estimated the removal of Chinese equipment will result in a fairly substantial bill.

On Friday, the FCC released a report (PDF) which highlighted that operators in the US have already applied for around $1.6 billion in reimbursement funds as part of the Secure and Trusted Communications Network Act of 2019.

However, Congress is yet to approve the much-needed funds to support the predominantly small operators.

Ajit Pai, Chairman...

FCC chairman used known bad data from ISP now facing a fine

FCC chairman Ajit Pai cited data from BarrierFree to boast of improved rural broadband access, despite warnings that it was overinflated.

The FCC has been on a mission to improve broadband access for rural Americans with the launch of the $20.4 billion Rural Digital Opportunity Fund last year.

On its website, the FCC highlights the scale of the issue:

“In urban areas, 97% of Americans have access to high-speed fixed service. In rural areas, that number falls...

Critics weigh in as Section 230 proposals threaten free speech

Critics have weighed in on proposals to change or scrap Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects online companies from being sued for what users share.

Section 230 was thrust into the limelight after President Trump claimed it’s being used to silence voices after some of his tweets were flagged as containing misinformation.

However, Section 230 consists of just 26 words and is designed to protect free speech:

“No provider or user of an...

FCC tells China Telecom it will share confidential docs with other agencies

The FCC has notified China Telecom that it will share documents the operator issued in confidentiality.

State-owned China Telecom has been authorised to operate in the US since 2001, but has found itself subject to increased scrutiny in recent months.

The US Justice Department and other federal agencies have recommended that the FCC revokes China Telecom's license due to concerns including "inaccurate public representations by China Telecom concerning its cybersecurity...