Mapping Comment Deadline Extended, AT&T Gets Federal Contract, 5G and LTE Drive Microwave Demand

The FCC extends Form 477 comment deadline, AT&T secures State Department contract, mobile wireless driving equipment demand.

Mapping Comment Deadline Extended, AT&T Gets Federal Contract, 5G and LTE Drive Microwave Demand
John Stankey, CEO, AT&T Entertainment Group speaks to the crowd during a half day summit, named “Convergence”. The Atlantic and the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism explored the merging of two of the nation’s most vibrant and globally influential industries, and how the new dynamics will redefine the entertainment industry across television, digital video, movies and music. The event took place in Downtown Los Angeles at the Hudson Loft on December 8, 2015. © USC Annenberg/Brett Van Ort

August 26, 2021 – The Federal Communications Commission has extended the deadline for public comments on its process to modernize its broadband mapping program.

The commission is extending the deadline for comments on modernizing its Form 477 Data Program by 14 days – from August 27, 2021 to September 10, 2021 and reply comments from September 13 to September 27 – after the California Public Utilities Commission requested a longer 30-day extension.

The CPUC asked for the extension because the matter is highly technical and complicated that “require complex analyses, an involved process which has been slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to an order by the FCC on Wednesday.

The Form 477 Data Program is a mapping method used by the agency to track what areas have or don’t have adequate connectivity, which is reliant on internet service provider data. The program has come under scrutiny and criticism over many months after the agency itself found some providers were providing it with faulty data on which it executed decisions.

“The Commission does not routinely grant extensions of time for filing comments,” the order said. “In this case, however, COVID-19 has negatively affected the ability of the CPUC’s consultant to provide statistical analysis critical to its evaluation of the proposals included in the Public Notice.”

AT&T gets another contract with State Department

The State Department has selected AT&T to provide telecom services to over 270 diplomatic locations around the world, according to a Wednesday press release.

The deal, worth $609 million over five years, will include voice, data and mobile network connectivity, Wi-Fi and other enterprise-level communications services with cybersecurity protections, the release said.

AT&T is the existing provider of the State Department, so continuity of service saves time and money, the release noted.

“Their new contract award to us is a vote of confidence in the reliability and performance of our teams, our networking capabilities and the value we deliver in service of their mission,” Chris Smith, vice president of civilian and shared services at AT&T, said in the release.

5G and LTE drive demand for microwave transmission equipment

The first half of the year saw an 11 percent increase in demand from the same period last year for microwave transmission equipment, which was driven by LTE and 5G, according to a Dell’Oro Group report published Tuesday.

The top three equipment providers were Huawei, Ericsson, and Nokia, the big notables in the field of next-generation mobile wireless equipment.

In particular, the report notes that Huawei in the second quarter regained most of the market share it lost in the first quarter, and said the Chinese giant holds a 10 percentage point lead over Sweden’s Ericsson.

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