Launch of New FCC Bureau, ACP Signups on Tribal Lands, Breezeline’s Fiber Expansion

The FCC will launch the bureau on Tuesday.

Launch of New FCC Bureau, ACP Signups on Tribal Lands, Breezeline’s Fiber Expansion
Photo of FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel

April 10, 2023 – The Federal Communications Commission announced Friday it will launch the new Office of International Affairs and Space Bureau on Tuesday.

The FCC will host a public kickoff event at the headquarter to go over the goals of the offices and celebrate and recognize the staff members who have been working on the transition.

“Our country’s economic success today and in the future relies on space-based connections,” said Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. “Whether it’s bringing broadband to hard-to-connect rural communities, closing mobile dead zones, or linking freedom-seeking people across the globe, satellite connectivity is fundamental to improving our quality of life and maintaining our economic success.”

The Space Bureau will focus on promoting an innovative global marketplace by “leading policy and licensing matters related to satellite and space-based communications and activities,” a release said.

The Office of International Affairs will take the responsibilities of foreign engagement and international regulatory authorities, including multilateral and regional organizations, it added.

The chairwoman introduced the new bureau in November last year, which was followed by a unanimously vote in January to confirm its establishment.

Rosenworcel encourages native American outreach on ACP

At the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development event Thursday, Rosenworcel encouraged native Americans to spread the word about the commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program.

The ACP allows eligible low-income households to get a discount on broadband of up to $30 and $75 per month on tribal lands.

“Because the first people to live on this land should not be the last to benefit from the digital age,” said Rosenwrocel, according to a news release. “You have my commitment that I will work with you to bring high-speed connections to everyone, everywhere Tribal lands, included.”

“I have made it a priority for the FCC to be more present and more accessible in Indian Country,” she added. “Because the connections we make are going to help us work with you to bring highspeed internet to Tribal communities everywhere.”

The chairwoman emphasized the progress the commission has made in helping get internet in unserved areas, and the significance of supporting tribal communities. Last week, the commission announced that 17 million Americans were on the program.

Breezeline expands fiber in West Virginia

Breezeline, the nation’s 8th largest cable network company, announced Thursday it expanded access to its fiber internet in West Virginia.

The expansion involves the construction of a 500-mile fiber network that is expected to reach more than 40,000 homes and businesses in Monongalia County over the next 12 months, according to a press release on Thursday.

“We’ve made tremendous progress in our efforts to bring advanced fiber technology to West Virginia,” said Frank van der Post, president of Breezeline, in his remarks at the event. “We’ve extended our fiber facilities to 25,000 new homes and businesses already, and expect to add an additional 17,000 serviceable homes and businesses over the next 12 months.”

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