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Open Recommendations (33 total)

Broadband Speed: FCC Should Improve Its Communication of Advanced Telecommunications Capability Assessments

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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Federal Communications Commission FCC's chair should provide consistent communication in its reporting of how it determines whether advanced telecommunications capability is being deployed and when updating the related metrics it uses to assess broadband speeds and deployment. For example, FCC could report to the public the scope and steps of its research and analysis, the data and analysis used to support its assertions, and the rationale for why it agrees or disagrees with stakeholder comments it receives. (Recommendation 1)
Open
In a November 2023 letter, the FCC Chairwoman noted that transparency and consistency are important principles to FCC as it determines whether advanced telecommunications capability is being deployed in a reasonable and timely fashion. She further noted that, in October 2023, FCC issued its Notice of Inquiry for its latest assessment of broadband deployment. In that notice, FCC sought comments on ways it can provide consistent and transparent communications to the public about how it reviews, and determines whether to update, the advanced telecommunications capability evaluation metrics. When FCC issues its report on this proceeding, we will review FCC's analysis of these comments and what conclusions and decisions the agency reaches regarding changes to its reporting in accordance with our recommendation.

Affordable Broadband: FCC Could Improve Performance Goals and Measures, Consumer Outreach, and Fraud Risk Management

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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Federal Communications Commission The Office of the Managing Director should develop and implement processes to monitor antifraud controls related to subscriber address validation in ACP. (Recommendation 8)
Open
In a July 2023 letter, FCC said it had taken corrective action to address this recommendation. In June 2023, FCC provided us documentation to address this recommendation that we reviewed. We sent the agency additional clarifying questions about their efforts and are awaiting a response. We will continue to monitor FCC's efforts to implement this recommendation.

Satellite Licensing: FCC Should Reexamine Its Environmental Review Process for Large Constellations of Satellites

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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Federal Communications Commission The Federal Communications Commission should identify the factors that FCC will consider in determining whether an extraordinary circumstance is present when reviewing licenses for large constellations of satellites and make the results available to the public. (Recommendation 3)
Open
In July 2023, the CEQ published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, proposing to revise its regulations for implementing NEPA. FCC plans to develop proposed procedures after adoption of the final rule.

Satellite Licensing: FCC Should Reexamine Its Environmental Review Process for Large Constellations of Satellites

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2 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Federal Communications Commission The Federal Communications Commission should review whether licensing large constellations of satellites normally does not have significant effects on the human environment and document FCC's resulting decision. (Recommendation 1)
Open
In July 2023, the CEQ published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, proposing to revise its regulations for implementing NEPA. FCC plans to develop proposed procedures after adoption of the final rule.
Federal Communications Commission The Federal Communications Commission should establish a timeframe and process for a periodic review of its categorical exclusion under NEPA and publish both on the FCC website. (Recommendation 2)
Open
In July 2023, FCC anticipates conducting a review of its NEPA rules following the issuance of the final CEQ rules, including a consideration of any direction in CEQ's final rules related to the periodic review of the Commission's categorical exclusions.

Workforce Diversity: Hispanic Workers Are Underrepresented in the Media, and More Data Are Needed for Federal Enforcement Efforts

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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Federal Communications Commission The Chair of FCC should work with EEOC to develop a new memorandum of understanding that includes a plan for EEOC to routinely share data with FCC regarding discrimination charges filed against broadcasters and cable and satellite television operators. (Recommendation 2)
Open
FCC agreed with this recommendation and described their initial efforts to work collaboratively with EEOC to address it. As of April 2023, FCC officials reported that FCC held initial discussions with EEOC regarding the establishment of an agreement and will continue these discussions to determine how to best implement GAO's recommendation. We will monitor the agency's progress and close the recommendation when these efforts are complete.

Broadband: FCC Should Analyze Small Business Speed Needs

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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Federal Communications Commission We are recommending that the Chair of FCC solicit input from stakeholders and conduct analysis of small businesses broadband speed needs and incorporate the results of this analysis into its determination of the benchmark for broadband. (Recommendation 1)
Open
FCC began the process of addressing this recommendation in its October 2023 Notice of Inquiry to begin its latest proceeding to review the state of broadband deployment. In the notice, FCC sought comments from the public on what needs of small businesses should be taken into consideration in its determination of a new speed benchmark. We will review FCC's resulting report once it is published to determine whether FCC has implemented our recommendation.

Spectrum Management: Agencies Should Strengthen Collaborative Mechanisms and Processes to Address Potential Interference

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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Federal Communications Commission The Chair of FCC should request that State initiate a review of the General Guidance Document—in consultation with FCC, NTIA, and other relevant participants—and update and develop a means to continually monitor and update this document. (Recommendation 4)
Open
In a January 2022 letter, FCC affirmed its commitment to implement this recommendation. In August 2023, FCC officials told us that they had requested that State update the document and sent suggested revisions. We asked FCC officials to provide documentation of this request, which we are awaiting. We will continue to monitor FCC's efforts as it implements this recommendation.

Spectrum Management: Agencies Should Strengthen Collaborative Mechanisms and Processes to Address Potential Interference

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2 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Federal Communications Commission The Chair of FCC should establish clearly defined and agreed-upon processes for making decisions on spectrum-management activities that involve other agencies, particularly when consensus cannot be reached, in consultation with NTIA and—as appropriate—State. (Recommendation 1)
Open
FCC agreed to implement this recommendation and has taken steps to do so. Previously, FCC and NTIA signed an updated Memorandum of Understanding that, according to FCC officials, is part of establishing an agreed-upon process for making decisions on spectrum-management activities that involve other agencies. As the MOU focuses on FCC's coordination with NTIA, we are awaiting additional information from FCC about processes for resolving conflicts with other agencies. In August 2023, FCC officials explained that NTIA is the lead agency for communicating about spectrum issues with other federal agencies, but agreed to contact NTIA about whether FCC should further clarify its role in federal spectrum management and related communication with other federal agencies. We will continue to monitor FCC's efforts as it implements this recommendation in consultation with NTIA. By establishing clearly defined and agreed-upon processes, FCC will be better positioned to work collaboratively to make important spectrum-management decisions, particularly when consensus cannot be reached.
Federal Communications Commission The Chair of FCC should establish procedures to help guide the design (including selection of acceptable assumptions and methodologies) of spectrum-sharing and potential-interference studies intended as U.S. contributions to WRC technical meetings, in consultation with NTIA, State, and other federal participants of the U.S. technical preparatory process. (Recommendation 5)
Open
FCC agreed to implement this recommendation from our June 2021 report on spectrum management and has re-iterated its commitment to doing so. Previously, FCC officials told us that FCC is committed to implementing this recommendation and said that actions to do so are a work in progress. As of February 2024, we are continuing to monitor FCC's actions to implement this recommendation in collaboration with NTIA. Establishing specific procedures for the design of spectrum-sharing and potential-interference studies intended as U.S. contributions to WRC technical meetings may help guide agencies' efforts to resolve disagreements like those experienced in the past.