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FCC Announces April 'Infrastructure Month' - These Companies Stand To Benefit

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FCC Announces April 'Infrastructure Month' - These Companies Stand To Benefit
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The Federal Communication Commission, or FCC, has dubbed April "Infrastructure Month" and has scheduled a meeting on April 20 to chalk out several proposals aimed at bringing the benefits of the digital age to all Americans.

To achieve this purpose, the FCC has set a three-prong strategy:

    1. Make it easier for companies to build and expand broadband networks.
    2. Reduce the cost of broadband deployment.
    3. Eliminate unnecessary rules that slow down or deter deployment.

"Infrastructure investment is critical to closing the digital divide in our country and bringing high-speed Internet access to more rural Americans. Broadband has also made many sectors of the economy more productive, from shipping to energy. And it's has given birth to entirely new industries, like the mobile apps economy, telemedicine, online education, and the nascent Internet of Things," FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a March 30 release.

Pai said the FCC would be voting on several proposals at its April 20 meeting. Some of the proposals on the FCC radar include the following, detailed below.

A Few Proposals

Wired Infrastructure

The FCC chairman has sought support from his colleagues at the commission to back rules that would help construction of wired networks. Pai also said he would seek to lower costs for and speed deployment of the internet-equipment tied to utility poles. Additionally, the commission said it would support the transition from legacy copper networks to fiber-based network and services.

Wireless Infrastructure

Providing a sneak-peak into the wireless infrastructure of tomorrow, Pai said wireless networks of the future would have small cells as wireless access points instead of the tall towers. The commission is also looking to expedite proposals to help private sector build 5G networks.

Business Data Services

Pai said the commission would vote on new rules to update the rules for business data service, or BDS, which is known as special access.

Facilitating Rural Deployment

The commission also intends to tweak one of the rules for the Universal Service Fund, or USF, which subsidizes broadband deployment for small carriers to ensure rural households that cannot be served by these carriers are not left stranded without broadband service.

UHF Discount

The commission will review whether to restore the Ultra-High Frequency, or UHF, discount related to the national television ownership cap, which was scraped last September by a party-line vote.

Companies That Stand To Benefit From The Increased Thrust On Infrastructure

Wireline Companies

  • AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T).
  • Centurylink Inc (NYSE: CTL).
  • Frontier Communications Corp (NASDAQ: FTR).
  • Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ).

Wireless Companies

  • AT&T Mobility.
  • Sprint Corp (NYSE: S).
  • T-Mobile US Inc (NASDAQ: TMUS).
  • Verizon Wireless.

Networking Equipment Vendors

  • Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: BRCD).
  • Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: CHKP).
  • Ciena Corporation (NYSE: CIEN).
  • Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO).
  • Extreme Networks, Inc (NASDAQ: EXTR).
  • Fortinet Inc (NASDAQ: FTNT).
  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co (NYSE: HPE).
  • International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM).
  • Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE: JNPR).
  • NetGear, Inc. (NASDAQ: NTGR).
  • Nokia Corp (ADR) (NYSE: NOK).
  • Sierra Wireless, Inc. (USA) (NASDAQ: SWIR).
  • Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC).

Fiber Optic Cable Makers

  • Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW).

At the time of writing, the SPDR S&P International Teleco Sec (ETF) (NYSE: IST) was down 0.12 percent at $24.06, and the SPDR Series Trust (NYSE: XTL) was slipping 0.18 percent at $70.83.

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Image Credit: By Federal Communications Commission - 7/12/2011 Open Commission Meeting, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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