Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel is wasting no time fulfilling Congress’ marching orders. Last month’s appropriation law includes several tasks to keep the agency on point. They include: helping Americans afford broadband, expanding access to telehealth technologies, building better maps that reflect where high-speed service is and is not, and improving the safety and security of the nation’s communications.
“Our challenge now is to couple Congress’s vision with strategies for successful implementation, so we’re going to hit the ground running,” she said in her blog about the February 17 monthly meeting.
After inheriting a 2-2 politically divided agency, Rosenworcel seems to be sticking to non-controversial topics. Staff presentations will cover progress on the creation of an Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. Congress charged the FCC with developing a new $3.2 billion program to help Americans who are struggling to pay for internet service during the pandemic.
The next steps for the agency’s COVID-19 Telehealth program will be discussed. Congress recently provided an additional $249.95 million in support.
Also on tap is what the agency is doing to improve its broadband location maps; Congress just appropriated $65 million for this purpose, “so we can get started on this in earnest,” Rosenworcel noted.
Removing insecure foreign equipment from U.S. communications networks will also be covered, as will 911 fee diversion.