News From PCCA...
PCCA Cautions Against SpaceX Participation of in Pending Auction
Broadband Contractors Concerned with “Unproven Technology”
March 12, 2020
Alexandria, VA – On January 30, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to approve the launch the new Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF), a $20.4 billion program aimed at accelerating the buildout of fiber optic, high-speed broadband to rural America. The Power & Communication Contractors Association (PCCA) supported the establishment of the RDOF but encourages FCC to deny a proposal by SpaceX (formerly the Space Exploration Technologies Corp.) to allow the company to participate in the auction of Phase I of the RDOF, scheduled for October this year.
A major topic of discussion during the Construction Industry Roundtable at PCCA's 2020 Convention was the DOL grant that was announced the week before theconvention. The grant is part of the agency's grant program, Apprenticeship: Closing the Skills Gap, which is designed to support large-scale expansions of apprenticeship. PCCA partnered with the Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) on the grant, which will provide the necessary funding to design curricula and deliver training to develop qualified applicants for placement in middle- to high-skilled jobs nationwide. The nearly $6 million grant is supplemented by more than $9 million in matching support from industry, including cash and in-kind contributions from WIA, PCCA, Ditch Witch, FS3, and participating employers, for a total commitment to apprenticeship of $15 million in a public-private partnership.
At PCCA's Construction Industry Roundtable during the recent convention, Steve Sellenriek, Sellenriek Construction, updated his fellow members on the work of the FCC's Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC). Steve is a PCCA Past Chairman and chairman of the PCCA Education & Research Foundation, and he serves on the Board of Regents at the State Technical College of Missouri. Last July, he was appointed to the BDAC's Job Skills Working Group, which is charged with exploring ways to improve job skills training and development opportunities for the broadband infrastructure deployment workforce and to make those opportunities more widely available.
During the Construction Industry Roundtable at PCCA's 2020 Convention in the Bahamas, Eben Wyman discussed language in the construction procedures for the Rural Utilities Service's new ReConnect Program for rural broadband that permits the use of RUS Form 773 on "small-scale" projects. RUS defines "small-scale" as $1 million or less, whereas the previous limit on the use of Form 773 was $250,000. When PCCA expanded its government affairs efforts in 2015, a top goal was raising the 773 limit so that RUS could realize the full benefit of its resources and more efficiently construct broadband infrastructure in rural America. PCCA will continue working to ensure that the ReConnect Program contract policy will become permanent RUS policy.
Presentations from the PCCA 2020 Convention at the Baha Mar, Nassau, Bahamas (February 28 - March 4, 2020) are available to members in the Members Only area of the website under Education. (Login required.)
Available to everyone is Corning Field Engineer (retired) Gerry Harvey's presentation: Quality OSP Fiber Optic Cable Install.
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) announced that the U.S. Department of Labor awarded it a $6 million grant to expand apprenticeship in the telecommunications industry. The grant program, Apprenticeship: Closing the Skills Gap, is designed to support large-scale expansions of apprenticeship. In partnership with the Power & Communication Contractors Association (PCCA), the grant will be used to train a 5G workforce, an integral part of winning the global race to 5G. Five institutions of higher education have already committed as technical partner schools. The nearly $6 million grant is supplemented by over $9 million in matching support from industry, including cash and in-kind contributions from WIA, PCCA, Ditch Witch, FS3, and participating employers, for a total commitment to apprenticeship of $15 million in a public-private partnership.
The latest edition of the PCCA Journal is in the mail but you can avoid the wait by reading it online.
Read about the new Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, check our Broadband and Electrric Outlook and more...
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The utility and civil infrastructure programs at Missouri State Technical College will see renovations to existing building as well as a new Utility Technology Center thanks to a recent vote by the school's Board of Regents. The program at State Technical College is one of the projects supported by the PCCA Education & Research Foundation.
Details on the decision are available here.