News from the ITA

April 9, 2021



Broadband: Keeping our Communities in the Game!

Virtual Annual Convention Agenda Coming Soon - ITA Golf Outing Registration is Open!

Please mark your calendars for the ITA 2021 "Broadband: Keeping Our Communities in the Game!" Annual Convention on June 7th and 8th. We received some great submissions for presentations and are in the process of finalizing the agenda. We are excited about the information our speakers are going to share with our members and look forward to sharing the agenda with you soon as we open the convention registration. Similar to last year, we plan to open registrations to companies and allow any employees within the registered companies to participate.

Although the convention is virtual, the ITA is hosting an in-person golf outing at Piper Glen Golf Course in Springfield on June 10th! Registration is open, so take advantage of the opportunity to hit the links, network, and strengthen relationships with other ITA members. This year we are offering more opportunities than ever to get your brand noticed. We hope you will be able to join us! Click here for details!

Federal News & Programs

American Jobs Plan Proposes $100 Billion for Broadband (NECA Washington Watch)

President Biden announced on March 31, 2021, the establishment of the American Jobs Plan, which proposes to invest in jobs and infrastructure, including $100 billion for broadband. The plan calls for: building high-speed broadband infrastructure to reach 100% coverage; prioritizing building future proof broadband infrastructure in unserved and underserved areas; reducing the cost of broadband internet service; and promoting more widespread adoption. It will also prioritize support for broadband networks owned, operated by or affiliated with local governments, non-profits and co-operatives, and promote transparency and competition. fact sheet

Report and Order on Digital Opportunity Data Collection Effective May 7 (NECA Washington Watch)

The January 2021 third report and order that adopted additional rules for the Digital Opportunity Data Collection was published in the Federal Register on April 7, 2021. The report and order, among other things: specified facilities-based fixed service providers are required to report broadband internet access service coverage in the DODC; required these providers to identify where such services are offered to residential locations as well as where they are offered to business locations; established specific reporting requirements relating to speed and latency for fixed service providers; and established requirements for challenges to fixed and mobile service coverage reporting and for challenges to the fabric data. The order is effective May 7, 2021.

Applications for USDA Distance Learning, Telemedicine Program Due June 4 (NECA Washington Watch)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced on April 5, 2021, it is accepting applications for its Distance Learning and Telemedicine program, which provides grants to rural communities with populations of 20,000 or less to acquire the technology and training necessary to connect educational and medical professionals with the teachers and medical providers who serve rural residents at the local level. Eligible applicants include state and local governmental entities, federally recognized tribes and nonprofits. The application deadline is June 4, 2021. fact sheet

RUS is Hosting Two Webinars on Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program

The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) will host two webinars focused on the FY2021 application window for the Distance Learning and Telemedicine (DLT) Grant Program on Wednesday, April 14 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (EDT) and on Tuesday, April 20 from 2 to 3 p.m. (EDT). These webinars will inform participants about the changes in the program from the previous FY application windows, review major eligibility and regulatory requirements of the program, and provide guidance on how to submit a successful grant application. There will be time for participants to ask specific questions about the program or the application process. Register for the Wednesday, 4/14 Webinar. Register for the Tuesday, 4/20 Webinar. More information about the DLT Grant Program is available on our website. Contact the RUS at [email protected] or call (202) 720-0800 with any questions.

Caller ID Authentication Rules Effective May 6 (NECA Washington Watch)

The December 2020 report and order on caller ID authentication was published in the Federal Register on April 6, 2021. The order adopted rules to implement the TRACED Act and require voice service providers to better police their networks. The rules are effective May 6, 2021, except instruction 5 adding section 64.1200(k)(9), which is effective January 1, 2022, and instruction 6 adding sections 64.1200(k)(10) and (n)(2), which is delayed indefinitely.

FCC Issues Tentative Agenda for April Open Meeting (NECA Washington Watch)

The FCC issued a tentative agenda on April 1, 2021, for its April 22, 2021 Open Meeting and will consider: a further notice of proposed rulemaking to expand access to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline via texting; a report and order and further notice of proposed rulemaking enabling the commission to issue licenses for spectrum use during commercial space launches; a notice of proposed rulemaking to enhance wireless microphone spectral efficiency; a third notice of proposed rulemaking to enhance public safety by improving the framework for reporting network disruptions that affect 911 service; an order terminating the commission’s rebanding process; a report and order seeking to increase transparency and ensure audiences of broadcast stations are aware when a foreign government or its representatives are seeking to persuade the American public; a public notice seeking to limit the number of applications for new noncommercial education FM stations to 10; and an enforcement matter. 

Member Company News



Notice is hereby given that sealed bids are being accepted for Adams TelSystems Inc. for the construction of 94.79 miles of new underground fiber optic facilities within Adams County, Illinois, awarded through round one of the Connect Illinois Broadband Grant Program. The contractor must adhere to the Prevailing Wage Act (820 ILCS 130/0.01 et seq.), Employment of Illinois Workers on Public Works Act (30 ILCS 570/.01 et seq.), and Illinois Works Jobs Program Act (30 ILCS 559/20-1 et seq.).

Bid packages are available by contacting Jeanette Knock with Vantage Point Solutions at [email protected] Sealed bids will be accepted until 1 p.m. CST on Friday, May 6, 2021. All bids should be submitted to: Vantage Point Solutions, Attn: Jeanette Knock, 2211 North Minnesota Street, Mitchell, SD  57301.

Adams TelSystems, Inc. reserves the right to reject any or all bids and to waive informalities. 

Broadband & Telecom Headlines

Biden Infrastructure Plan Calls for $100 Billion Broadband Investment, End to Subsidies (telecompetitor)

Report Confirms Historic Growth in Pandemic Upstream Internet Traffic (telecompetitor)

FCC Leader Shares 'Cautious Optimism' for Broadband Expansion in Schools (STATESCOOP)

Starlink Delivering Sporadic Speeds - Study (LightReading)

Illinois Telecommunications Association

312 S. 4th Street, Suite 100

           Springfield, IL 62701             

 (217) 572-1262