See Meeting Agenda and Conferencing links below Steve Peters 520-321-1309 firstname.lastname@example.org If possible, please engage by video rather that just audio so that we can also share our screens with you. Monday, March 30, 2020 Time: 7:30 - 8:30:00 AM Audio and Video Conference Only - See Audio Video Tab below
Next Task Force Meetings Next scheduled meetings: April 6 and 13, with ad hoc meetings as needed. All meetings are 7:30 am - 8:30 AM by audio and video conferencing
Tentative Agenda Primary agenda item is to continue our discussion on the AZBSN COVID-19 Response .
Presentation and partner discussion with Insight. Terence Ford and Brian Louderback. a global Arizona based provider of computer hardware, software, cloud solutions and IT services to business, government, education and healthcare clients. Download Insight documents below
BriaFederal and State Updates: Jeff Sobotka, State Broadband Manager; Mala Muralidharan, E-rate Administrator for Public Libraries Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records; Karen Ziegler,Arizona Public Safety Program Manager with the Arizona Department of Administration; Janet Major, Associate Director for Education & Facilities with the Arizona Telemedicine Program; others
Unlicensed 2.5 GHz spectrum over tribal lands. see info below
Viasat opening up free Wi-Fi hotspots – per the FCC Keep Americans Connected Pledge – in the Arizona towns of San Manuel and Mammoth. Investigating other locations in Arizona
Draft Purpose Statement, Strategy - See COVID Web Site About page
PBS At Home Learning: An Arizona Public Education Partnership. Arizona Public Media and Arizona PBS are partnering to offer Arizonans broadcast programming and accompanying digital resources that adhere to our state curriculum to provide continued at-home learning.
Education Leaders Letter: Letter signed by over 50 education leaders around the state asking the legislature to approve emergency funding for districts to solve challenges with a digital-divide during long-term closures. Link or download file below
Arizona Telemedicine Executive Order: Governor Ducey issued an Executive Order requiring health care insurance companies to expand telemedicine coverage for all services that would normally be covered for an in-person visit.
FCC Keep Americans Connected Pledge.See pledge and other FCC waivers, provider commitments and rule changes. FCC Empowers Schools, Libraries to Open Wi-Fi to Community Use - What does this Mean for Arizona - How do we expedite? Barriers and Issues.
Proposed FCC Keeping Critical Connections Actwould appropriate $2 billion for a Keeping Critical Connections fund at the FCC under which small broadband providers with fewer than 250,000 customers could be compensated for broadband services—if they provided free or discounted broadband services or upgrades—during the pandemic for low-income families who could not afford to pay their bills or provided distance learning capability for students.
EveryoneOn.Orgis a nonprofit connecting low-income families to affordable internet service and computers, and delivering digital skills training. Multiple Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have made updates to their low-cost internet service programs to ensure individuals and families stay connected . EveryoneOn has updated its low-cost internet service options tool to reflect these changes. For more information, visit EveryoneOn.org.
Arizona Department of Education Virtual Resource Hub: These resources are to assist Teachers as they plan for non-traditional instruction including synchronous and asynchronous teaching and learning. These resources could compliment your current district adopted online resources.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the challenges that many Americans will face in the coming months, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai recently announced the Keep Americans Connected Initiative. In order to ensure that Americans do not lose their broadband or telephone connectivity as a result of these exceptional circumstances, he specifically asked broadband and telephone service providers, and trade associations, to take the Keep Americans Connected Pledge. So far, more than 550 companies and associations have signed the Chairman's pledge to Keep Americans Connected. The Keep Americans Connected Pledge reads as follows: Given the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on American society, [[Company Name]] pledges for the next 60 days to:
Not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic;
Waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic; and
Open its Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them
More Ways the FCC is Keeping Americans Connected
Supporting Telehealth and Remote Learning by Waiving Gift Rules: The FCC waived gift rules in the Rural Health Care and E-Rate programs to make it easier for broadband providers to support telehealth and remote learning efforts during the pandemic. The waiver will allow healthcare providers, schools, and libraries to accept improved capacity, Wi-Fi hotspots, networking gear, or other equipment or services to support doctors and patients, teachers and students, and librarians and patrons during the coronavirus outbreak.
Increasing Rural Health Care Funding: The FCC adopted an Order to fully fund all eligible Rural Health Care Program services for the current funding year with an additional $42.19 million. This action will help ensure that healthcare providers have the resources they need to promote telehealth solutions for patients during this outbreak.
Granting Providers Additional Spectrum to Support Increased Broadband Usage: The FCC has granted temporary authority to three wireless companies to use additional spectrum in order to ensure that they are able to meet their customers’ needs. The FCC granted Special Temporary Authority to T-Mobile U.S.A. to use additional spectrum in the 600 MHz Band to help it meet increased customer demand for broadband during the coronavirus pandemic. It granted U.S. Cellular temporary access to additional spectrum for customers in parts of California, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin. And it granted Verizon’s request to use additional spectrum in the AWS-3 Band in order to provide additional capacity to consumers across the country.
Waiving Lifeline Program Rules to Help Low-Income Consumers: : The FCC announced changes to waive Lifeline program rules to assist program participants potentially affected by the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic and aid community efforts to slow its spread. The Lifeline program plays an important role in ensuring that low-income Americans have access to affordable communications services by providing monthly discounts on broadband and voice services to qualifying consumers.
Connecting with Broadcasters: : On March 16, Chairman Pai held a conference call with television and radio broadcasters and broadcaster trade associations to thank them for their efforts to educate the American people about the coronavirus pandemic and discuss additional ways that broadcasters can help Americans stay safe and informed, including a Coronavirus Response Toolkit for radio and television stations. He also asked broadcasters to work with cable and satellite operators to avoid service disruptions during the next 60 days.
Incentive Auction Transition Guidance: On March 17, the FCC announced that it would provide broadcasters with appropriate flexibility to address disruptions and issued guidance for stations in Phase 9 of the post-Incentive Auction transition.
Extending E-Rate Deadlines: : To help educational institutions during the coronavirus pandemic, the FCC extended the deadline for E-Rate applications to April 29 for funding year 2020.
FCC Empowers Schools, Libraries to Open Wi-Fi to Community Use
Washington, D.C. (March 23, 2020) - Today the Federal Communications Commission confirmed that schools and libraries closed due to the coronavirus pandemic may open their Wi-Fi networks for public use. The announcement allows schools and libraries to provide connectivity to their communities without fear of losing their E-rate funding. John Windhausen Jr., Executive Director Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition statement: “Many schools and libraries have been uncertain about whether to switch off their Wi-Fi networks when the institution is closed, out of concern that they would lose part of their E-rate funding. Shutting down these Wi-Fi networks could have been disastrous for the millions of people who depend on schools or libraries as their only point of internet access. We are pleased that the FCC, in response to our request, has clarified that schools and libraries may leave their Wi-Fi networks on for community use without jeopardizing their E-rate funding. The SHLB Coalition now encourages the FCC to take the next step and grant the Petition of the Boulder Valley School District to permit schools and libraries to extend their broadband services to surrounding residential consumers.” The SHLB Coalition requested the FCC make this clarification in the letter it sent the FCC last week. The letter proposed several immediate actions the Commision should take to ensure those without home broadband access can obtain healthcare and educational services. ### About SHLB: The SHLB Coalition is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) advocacy organization that supports open, affordable, high-quality broadband connections for anchor institutions and their surrounding communities. The SHLB Coalition is based in Washington, D.C. and has a diverse membership of commercial and non-commercial organizations from across the United States. To learn more, visit www.shlb.org. Link to statement: https://www.shlb.org/news/shlb/2020/03/FCC-Empowers-Schools-Libraries-to-Open-Wi-Fi-to-Community-Use/ Best, Alicja Johnson SHLB Coalition 202-263-4626
Our public libraries receive E-rate funding and as a result are able to provide internet access (wired and wireless) to their patrons. Currently they are all closed to public but many of them are leaving their WiFi open 24/7 for public and students to access from their parking lots and from the areas just outside the library. Often our public libraries are the only free access that citizens can get in remote areas. The libraries also have a lot of e-resources that are invaluable to students especially when they can’t go in to get the physical books. As long as the public follows the guidelines of social distancing this is a good, immediately available access to the internet.
The map will be updated as more libraries open up their WiFi 24/7. FYI, most common reason why the rest are not turning it on is vandalism, security reasons and nefarious activities.
Telecom Excerpt Re Docket Filing from ACC Commissioner Marquez Peterson Questions To Providers
Has your organization committed to removing data caps for business and residential customers?
Is your company committed to complying with the FCC's "Keep Americans Connected Pledge"?
Will the public have free use of your company's Wi-Fi hot spots in Arizona? Have you considered relocating your hot spots with a focus on underserved communities in the state?
What percentage of your company's broadband capacity is utilized during non-emergency times? What are your expectations for capacity utilization during the crisis?
Does your company have additional capacity that it can add as needs grow? is this at an additional cost to customers?
What percentage of employees or departments within your organization will be working remotely during the crisis? Will any services be interrupted during the crisis? How will you ensure excellent customer service during this time?
How can your organization ensure that 9-1-1 services will not be interrupted during this crisis?
How is your organization coordinating with businesses / government agencies that are creating a remote workforce (assistance with VPN, Firewalls)?
Are there any programs your organization can provide to schools or students in your region (at no additional cost) to ensure a smooth transition to learning at home?
How is your organization communicating with your customers during this crisis?
Is your organization offering a "low cost" program for low income families?
Download Commissioner Peterson's and AZBSN Docket Filing Below
Thanks to Derek Masseth at the University of Arizona for arranging this video and audio conferencing. You can choose to participate by video and/or audio on the web, or only audio by telephone. Here are the instructions.
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Summary FCC Recommendations From Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition Immediate Actions: The Commission should take the following actions in the next week:
Extend the Filing Window for Rural Health Care Applicants and Reduce Administrative Burdens for FY2020: SHLB has already asked for the Rural Health Care (RHC) application window to be extended to June 30.
Clarify that schools and libraries can allow their Wi-Fi networks to be shared with the community without losing E-rate funding
Allow schools, libraries and healthcare providers to increase their broadband capacity immediately
Waive the E-rate and RHC Gift Rules: The FCC should temporarily waive the Erate and RHC gift rules to allow schools, libraries and healthcare providers to accept increased Internet bandwidth from their ISPs, and donations of hot spots and software applications from commercial and non-commercial service providers
Extend E-Rate Deadlines for FY2019 and FY2020:for extending the Form 471 filing deadline in the E-rate program and asks the FCC to extend additional deadlines for both applicants and service providers for the 2019 and 2020 Funding Years (FY).
Encourage ISPs to Expand Affordable Broadband Offerings to Low-income People:
Encourage broadband providers to open their Wi-Fi routers for use by any residential users. Charter/Spectrum10 and Comcast/Xfinity11 have already agreed to open their public facing Wi-Fi hot spots for community use at no charge during this crisis.
Hot Spot Lending Programs: The FCC could make emergency funding available from the Universal Service Fund for hot spot lending programs operated by schools, libraries and other community organizations in areas where schools and libraries close.
Extension of E-rate Networks: The FCC could grant the Petitions of the Boulder Valley School District and Microsoft/Virginia schools to allow broadband extensions to the home from schools and libraries.
Connected Care: The FCC could expedite the adoption of a final Order funding the Connected Care proceeding to fund telemedicine solutions to the home.
Raise the RHC funding cap: The FCC should triple the funding capfrom approximately $600 M per year to $1.8 B per year
The FCC could also consider providing supplemental funding for Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) to deploy wireless broadband in unserved areas where schools are closed
School Broadband Voucher Program: The FCC could work with the U.S.Department of Education and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to implement a trial voucher program to provide a subsidy to any service providers to make broadband at home affordable
EBS Window for Educational Organizations: The Commission could open a window for rural schools and education organizations to obtain rural EBS licenses
TV White Spaces: The FCC could expedite approval of new technical rules to promote TV White Spaces use and availability.
The Commission may wish to establish a Covid-19 Working Group, which would include anchor institutions, public interest groups and industry, to work through these ideas.