News from the IBTA

June 18, 2021

 

 

Thank you for your Participation in the ITA Convention and Golf Outing!

Thanks to all who participated in our Virtual Annual Convention last week! The theme of the convention - Broadband: Keeping Our Communities in the Game - was appropriate because that is exactly what our member companies have been doing through the pandemic. And the demand for better broadband access and adoption continues to be a top priority. With that in mind, the ITA Board of Directors decided to update the name of our association to better reflect the services our member companies provide. In the coming weeks, you will see updates to our website and material reflecting the new Illinois Broadband & Telecommunications Association. The IBTA will continue providing the same representation and advocacy for our members, just under a name that better represents to elected officials and policy makers the services our member companies provide.

We had great online attendance and learned more about the Connect Illinois Broadband Grant program, efforts to improve broadband access and adoption, and the broadband mapping initiative in Illinois. Current and potential federal broadband policy, programs and funding opportunities were covered and a panel from SIU Medicine helped us all understand more about the state of telehealth in Illinois. We also learned about benefits of cloud switching, hidden risks in network expansion, data capture innovations for better broadband quality, and digital marketing methods that get results. If you registered for the convention and want to review the recorded sessions, please contact Leticia at [email protected] 

The ITA Golf Outing June 10th allowed members to finally connect in-person again and raise money for the Jack Tharp Scholarship Fund for students enrolling in the Broadband Telecom Program at Lincoln Trail College. It was good to see so many of you on a very hot, steamy day and we thank all the sponsors and players for making the event a success!



Save the Dates - IBTA Fall Vendor Showcase September 8th-10th in East Peoria!

We are very excited to announce our Fall Vendor Showcase will be an in-person event! Please save the dates of September 8th - 10th in your calendars. We are planning an outstanding event in East Peoria at the Embassy Suites Riverfront Hotel and Conference Center. 

We will be sending a call for presentations on Monday, June 21st with a June 28th deadline for submissions for companies interested in providing information on relevant topics and technology. We did receive submissions for the convention and/or fall vendor showcase from our first call for presentations this Spring and those are being reviewed as well. We will share the agenda and open registration soon!


 

Governor Pritzker Signs Omnibus Telecommunications Bill into Law

The Illinois General Assembly approved an omnibus telecommunications bill in the final hours of the spring legislative session. House Bill 3743 updated and extended four communications laws in Illinois and included changes to the prevailing wage act impacting telecommunications and broadband providers. The legislation addressed the Telecommunications Act, Cable and Video Competition Law, Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act, and the Emergency Telephone System Act (911). Governor Pritzker signed the bill into law June 3rd as Public Act 102-0009.

Of note in the section updating the Emergency Telephone System Act is a provision reducing the percentage of the 911 surcharge that telecommunications carriers may deduct and retain for the expense of collecting and remitting the surcharge from 3% to 1.74%. This provision takes effect immediately and telecom providers should adjust the amount in their upcoming billing cycles.

House Bill 3743 summary:

Telecommunications Act:

  • Telecommunications Act extended to Dec. 31, 2026.
  • Provides Carrier of Last resort relief for a small electing provider that has 40,000 or fewer subscriber access lines as of Jan. 1, 202 under the same process and requirements established for a large electing provider in 2017.

Cable and Video Competition Law:

  • Cable and Video Competition Law extended to Dec. 31, 2026.
  • Cable and Video State Authorizations extended to Dec. 31, 2029.

 Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act:

  • Small Wireless Facilities Deployment Act extended to Dec. 31, 2024.
  • Adds to information required when seeking a permit, certification from a radio engineer the wireless provider operates the small wireless facility within all applicable FCC standards.
  • Allows a local authority to propose the small wireless facility be collocated on an existing utility pole or existing wireless support structure within 200 feet of the proposed collocation (rather than 100 feet).
  • Adds “acoustic regulations” to the generally accepted standards a local authority may require a wireless provider to comply.
  • Requires certification from a radio engineer that the continuing operation of a small wireless facility complies with all applicable FCC standards when a wireless provider replaces or adds a new radio transceiver or antennas to an existing small wireless facility.

 Emergency Telephone System Act:

  • Emergency Telephone System Act extended to December 31, 2023.
  • No change in 9-1-1 surcharge
  • Changes the amount a carrier may deduct and retain for the expense of collecting and remitting the surcharge from 3% to 1.74%
  • Provides for training and certification of public safety telecommunicators and supervisors.
  • Updates law, terminology, and definitions for NG911
  • Requires every 9-1-1 system in Illinois, except in the City of Chicago, to provide NG911 Services with 18 months of the execution of the contract with the statewide NG911 System Provider. Chicago is required to implement NG911 by Dec. 31, 2023.
  • Every 911 system in Illinois must be able to accept text to 911 by Jan. 1, 2023.
  • Carriers aggregating 9-1-1 traffic must provide the 911 Administrator a list of Originating Service Providers for whom the aggregator transports 911 calls.
  • Aggregators and OSPs are required to establish procedures with the 911 system provider to prevent and resolve No Record Found errors
  • Establishes timeframes for Aggregators and deadlines for OSPs whose 911 traffic is carried by an aggregator for 911 transitions and migrations.

 Prevailing Wage Act:

  • Applies the prevailing wage to construction projects performed by a third party contracted by any public utility as defined in Section 13-105 of the Public Utilities Act (electric, natural gas, and water utilities) in the public rights-of-way, whether or not done under public supervision or direction or paid for wholly or in part out of public funds.
  • Also applies the prevailing wage to construction projects that exceed 15 aggregate miles of new fiber optic cable, performed by a third party contracted by any public utility as described below in the public rights-of-way, whether or not done under public supervision or direction or paid for wholly or in part out of public funds.
    1. telecommunications carriers as defined in Section 13-202 of the PUA, but not including incumbent local exchange carriers that serve fewer than 20,000 access lines.
    2. providers of cable service or video service, as defined in Section 21-202 of the PUA.
    3. providers of wireless services, including but not limited to, private radio service, public mobile service, or commercial mobile service within the meaning of Section 332 of the federal Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 332)
    4. interconnected VoIP providers as defined in Section 13-235 of the PUA.
    5. providers of broadband service, as defined in 21-201 of the PUA; and
    6. persons or entities engaged in the installation, repair or maintenance of fiber optic cable that is or will be used by persons described in 1-5

Please contact Randy with any questions about the updates to these communications laws.

Illinois Broadband and Telecommunications Association

312 S. 4th Street, Suite 100

           Springfield, IL 62701             

 (217) 572-1262

www.il-ita.com