FCC Steps Up to Hurricane Ida, OneWeb Sides With SpaceX on 12 GHz Sharing, FCC’s $5M Robocall Fine

FCC makes temporary changes for Ida, OneWeb says no to spectrum sharing, FCC proposes $5M for robocall scheme.

FCC Steps Up to Hurricane Ida, OneWeb Sides With SpaceX on 12 GHz Sharing, FCC’s $5M Robocall Fine
OneWeb CEO Neil Masterson

August 30, 2021—Between August 28 and August 29, the FCC took a series of actions designed to allow those who find themselves in the path of hurricane Ida to seek help more easily or get information.

The first of such action was granting “special temporary authority” to various carriers to ensure that their operations are interrupted as minimally as possible. This would allow certain facilities, such as radio facilities, that may not otherwise be allowed to operate, to do so legally to the extent that they are enabling communication to those impacted by the hurricane.

This weekend, the FCC waived numbering rules for providers affected by Ida. This would allow telephone carriers to port numbers outside of their geographic region—particularly for remote areas in Louisiana and Mississippi—temporarily.

OneWeb maintains negative impact of spectrum sharing

In response to the FCC’s notice of proposed rulemaking regarding making flexible use of the 12 Gigahertz band, legal counsel for OneWeb asserted that a growing body of recent data demonstrates that cohabitation of the band would be disastrous for OneWeb’s ability to operate in the band.

RS Access has been an outspoken voice in favor of cohabitation, referencing a study conducted by RFK Engineering Solutions, LLC. SpaceX—another stakeholder opposed to flexible use in the band—has referred to the study in question as “fatally flawed” and that sharing the band will result in interference to their operations.

FCC proposes $5M fine for robocall scheme

The FCC is proposing this month a $5 million fine against two men accused of running a robocalling scheme.

The calls in questions were all made between August 26 and September 14 of 2020 and and allegedly fraudulently “informed” potential voters that if they voted by mail, their “personal information will be part of a public database that will be used by police departments to track down old warrants and be used by credit card companies to collect outstanding debts.”

On August 24, the FCC released a press release publicly condemning Jacob Wohl and John Burkman for allegedly making “unlawful robocalls to voters’ wireless phones without prior consent.” The fine would come out to just over $5.1 million and is designed to punish the men for making more than a thousand robocalls in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

According to 10WBNS, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost stated that these efforts were made is dissuade specific demographics from voting by mail in the 2020 election amid the pandemic.

“It’s pretty obvious that they were trying to discourage black citizens from exercising their right to vote by mail and that’s just reprehensible,” Yost said.

As noted by the release, this is not only the largest fine of its kind proposed by the FCC, but it is also the first where the FCC did not provide a warning to the parties in violation of the act.

Both Wohl and Burkman admitted their involvement in the scheme under oath.

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