Telecommunications Assessment of the Arctic Region, 59746-59750 [2014-23517]

Download as PDF 59746 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 192 / Friday, October 3, 2014 / Notices • Final Action—Amendment 40— Recreational Red Snapper Sector Separation • Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Program Review • Gag Overfishing Limit (OFL) and Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC) • Final Action—Red Grouper Bag Limit and Accountability Measures Framework Action • Hogfish Benchmark Assessment Overfishing Limit (OFL) and Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC) • Greater Amberjack Annual Catch Limit (ACL)/Annual Catch Target (ACT) Options Paper • Amendment 28—Red Snapper Allocation • Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC) Comments on Red Snapper Abundance Graph – Recess – Mackerel Management Committee Agenda, Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 8:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. • Final Action—Framework Amendment 2 to the Coastal Migratory Pelagics Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Atlantic Migratory Group Spanish Mackerel Trip Limits • Other Business—King Mackerel Gill Net Concerns Shrimp Management Committee Agenda, Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 9:30 a.m.–11 a.m. • Final Action—Shrimp Amendment 15—Status Determination Criteria for Penaeid Shrimp and Adjustments to the Shrimp Framework Procedure • Final Action—Shrimp Amendment 16—Adjustments to the Annual Catch Limit and Accountability Measures for Royal Red Shrimp • Shrimp Amendment 17—Scoping Document of the Shrimp Permit Moratorium • 2013 Shrimp Effort and Shrimp Electronic Logbook (ELB) Program Update mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Council Session Agenda, Wednesday, October 22, 2014, 11 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. 11 a.m.–11:10 a.m.: Call to Order and Introductions, Adoption of Agenda, and Approval of Minutes 11:10 a.m.–11:15 a.m.: Approval of 2015 Committee Appointments 11:15 a.m.–2:30 p.m.: The Council will receive presentations on the Proposed Rule Update for the Aquaculture Fishery Management Plan (FMP), Evaluation of the Status of Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle Following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Spill using a Revised Assessment Model, Update on Red Snapper Federal Violations. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:08 Oct 02, 2014 Jkt 235001 2:30 p.m.–5 p.m.: The Council will receive public testimony on Final Action on Reef Fish Amendment 40— Sector Separation, Final Action on Shrimp Amendment 15—Status Determination Criteria for Penaeid Shrimp and Adjustments to the Shrimp Framework Procedure, Final Action on Shrimp Amendment 16—Adjustments to the Annual Catch Limit and Accountability Measures for Royal Red Shrimp, Final Action on Framework Action to Modify Recreational Red Grouper Bag Limits and Accountability Measures, Final Action on Framework Amendment 2 to the Coastal Migratory Pelagics Fishery Management Plans (FMP)—Atlantic Migratory Group Spanish Mackerel Trip Limits, and open testimony on any other fishery issues or concerns. People wishing to speak before the Council should complete a public comment card prior to the comment period. – Recess – 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m.: The Council will continue to receive public testimony. – Recess – Council Session Agenda, Thursday, October 23, 2014, 8:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.: The Council will continue to receive committee reports from the following: Reef Fish Management Committee (8:30 a.m.– 11:30 a.m.), Shrimp Management Committee (1 p.m.–1:30 p.m.), Red Drum Management Committee (1:30 p.m.–1:45 p.m.), Gulf SEDAR Management Committee (1:45 p.m.–2 p.m.), Joint Law Enforcement Committees (2 p.m.–3 p.m.), Mackerel Management Committee (3 p.m.–3:30 p.m.), Data Collection Administrative Committee (3:30 p.m.–4 p.m.), and the Joint Administrative Policy and Budget/ Personnel Committee (4 p.m.–4:30 p.m.) 4:30 p.m.–5:15 p.m.: The Council will receive a summary report on the Pacific Fishery Management Council Meeting and an update on the RESTORE Act Science Program. 5:15 p.m.–5:30 p.m.: Other Business— Status of Biscayne National Park Implementation of Fishing Regulations –Adjourn – The Agenda is subject to change, and the latest version will be posted on the Council’s file server, which can be accessed by going to the Council Web site at http://www.gulfcouncil.org and clicking on FTP Server under Quick Links. For meeting materials see folder ‘‘Briefing Books/Briefing Book 2014–10’’ on Gulf Council file server. The username and password are both ‘‘gulfguest’’. The meetings will be webcast over the internet. A link to the PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 webcast will be available on the Council’s Web site, http:// www.gulfcouncil.org. Although non-emergency issues not contained in this agenda may come before this group for discussion, those issues may not be the subject of formal action during these meetings. Action will be restricted to those issues specifically identified in this notice and any issues arising after publication of this notice that require emergency action under section 305(c) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, provided the public has been notified of the Council’s intent to take final action to address the emergency. Special Accommodations These meetings are physically accessible to people with disabilities. Requests for sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids should be directed to Kathy Pereira at the Council Office (see ADDRESSES), at least 5 working days prior to the meeting. Note: The times and sequence specified in this agenda are subject to change. Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. Dated: September 30, 2014. Tracey L. Thompson, Acting Deputy Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service. [FR Doc. 2014–23616 Filed 10–2–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–22–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Telecommunications and Information Administration [Docket No. 140925800–4800–01] RIN 0660–XC013 Telecommunications Assessment of the Arctic Region National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. ACTION: Notice of Inquiry. AGENCY: Consistent with the Implementation Plan for the National Strategy for the Arctic Region, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) issues this Notice of Inquiry (Notice) to seek public comment on the current and potential availability of communications services in the Arctic region. DATES: Comments must be received no later than November 3, 2014. ADDRESSES: Comments may be submitted by email to SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\03OCN1.SGM 03OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 192 / Friday, October 3, 2014 / Notices mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES arcticnoi@ntia.doc.gov. Comments also may be submitted by mail to: National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Room 4898, Attn: Arctic NOI, Washington, DC 20230. Responders should include the name of the person or the organization, as well as a page number on each page of their submissions. Paper submissions should also include a CD or DVD with an electronic version of the document, which should be labeled with the name and organization of the filer. All email messages and comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted without change to the NTIA Web site at http:// www.ntia.doc.gov/federal-registernotice/2014/comments-arctic-noi. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Please do not submit any confidential or business sensitive information. NTIA intends to use the information provided in response to this Notice about potential future plans for communications networks in Arctic Alaska only in the aggregate, excluding companies’ names and customer information. Additionally, this information will be used to describe potential future communications developments to fill the gaps where services are not currently provided. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Helen Shaw, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Room 4874, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482–1157; email hshaw@ntia.doc.gov. Please direct media inquiries to NTIA’s Office of Public Affairs, (202) 482–7002. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background On May 10, 2013, President Obama issued the National Strategy for the Arctic Region (National Strategy) to articulate strategic priorities to enable the United States to ‘‘respond effectively to challenges and emerging opportunities arising from significant increases in Arctic activity due to the diminishment of sea ice and the emergence of a new Arctic environment.’’ 1 The National Strategy 1 National Strategy for the Arctic Region, The White House (May 10, 2013), available at http:// www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/nat_ arctic_strategy.pdf. For purposes of this Notice, the Arctic Region is defined as the geographic region north of the Arctic Circle, which is at 66° 33′ 39″ North latitude. The area includes offshore areas such as the Chukchi Sea and the Beaufort Sea. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:08 Oct 02, 2014 Jkt 235001 includes: (1) Advancing U.S. security interests; (2) pursuing responsible Arctic Region stewardship; and (3) strengthening international cooperation. The National Strategy states that these efforts will be guided by: ‘‘Providing for the security of the United States; protecting the free flow of resources and commerce; protecting the environment; addressing the needs of indigenous communities; and enabling scientific research.’’ 2 The United States is a member of an eight nation Arctic Council, also consisting of Canada, the Russian Federation, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Sweden, and Norway.3 The White House issued the Implementation Plan for the National Strategy for the Arctic Region (Implementation Plan) in January 2014, setting forth the methodology, process, and approach for executing the National Strategy.4 The Implementation Plan provides four guiding principles: (1) Safeguard peace and stability; (2) make decisions using the best available information; (3) pursue innovative arrangements; and (4) consult and coordinate with Alaska Natives.5 Furthermore, the Implementation Plan emphasizes that the successful implementation of the National Strategy will depend upon the active engagement and coordination with Alaska Natives and the State of Alaska.6 The Implementation Plan calls on NTIA, with support from the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security (U.S. Coast Guard), Department of Transportation, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), to ‘‘assess the telecommunication infrastructure in the Arctic and use new technology to support improved communications in the region, including in areas of sparse population to facilitate emergency response.’’ 7 The Implementation Plan outlines three distinct deliverables: (1) ‘‘[a]ssess current and potential availability of telecommunications services in the Arctic region, including local and long2 Id. at 4. purposes of this Notice, the ‘‘pan Arctic’’ region is defined as the region above the Arctic Circle that includes the areas of all eight Arctic Council member nations. 4 Implementation Plan for the National Strategy for the Arctic Region, The White House, January 2014, available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/ default/files/docs/implementation_plan_for_the_ national_strategy_for_the_arctic_region_-_fi....pdf. 5 Id. at 4. 6 Press Release, White House Releases Implementation Plan for the National Strategy for the Arctic Region, National Security Council (Jan. 30, 2014), available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/ blog/2014/01/30/white-house-releasesimplementation-plan-national-strategy-arcticregion. 7 Implementation Plan at 6. 3 For PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 59747 distance terrestrial, commercial mobile cellular, public safety services, emergency services, navigational safety and satellite voice, and broadband channel availability by the end of 2014;’’ (2) ‘‘[d]evelop a framework that lists and prioritizes opportunities for investment in telecom capacity and capability, with a strong emphasis on innovative technologies with Federal, State, and international public-private partnerships by the end of 2015;’’ and (3) ‘‘[i]n collaboration with the Arctic Council, evaluate feasibility of an Arctic-wide telecommunications network and radio frequency spectrum management with the goals of compatible interference-free operations and Arctic-wide communications by end of the U.S. Chairmanship of the Arctic Council.’’ 8 The Implementation Plan states further that ‘‘[s]uccess of this initiative will be the development of a framework, in coordination with Federal, State, local, tribal, native governments and the commercial enterprise, to prioritize investments in new facility and equipment installations such as highpowered high frequency radio stations, satellite ground stations, fixed microwave radio stations, public safety radio facilities, mobile cellular base stations, and fiber optic cable installations that enhance security and safety in the Arctic.’’ 9 NTIA and its Federal partners will leverage information currently available from government, commercial, nonprofit, and academic entities. For example, NTIA’s State Broadband Initiative funded a comprehensive assessment of broadband infrastructure across Alaska, which resulted in an August 2013 report entitled A Blueprint for Alaska’s Broadband Future (Blueprint Report).10 We will also utilize data from the National Broadband Map and the Alaska Emergency Response Guide for Small Communities.11 II. Objectives of This Notice Effective communications services are critical to accommodate the increase in commercial, residential, governmental, and other critical economic and social activities across Arctic Alaskan 8 Id. at 6–7. at 7. 10 A Blueprint for Alaska’s Broadband Future, Statewide Broadband Task Force (August 2013), available at http://www.alaska.edu/files/oit/ bbtaskforce/2013-08-AK-Broadband-Task-ForceReport%7CA-Blueprint-for-Alaska’s-BroadbandFuture.pdf. 11 Alaska Emergency Response Guide for Small Communities, State of Alaska Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security & Emergency Management (March 2013), available at http://ready.alaska.gov. 9 Id. E:\FR\FM\03OCN1.SGM 03OCN1 59748 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 192 / Friday, October 3, 2014 / Notices mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES communities, as well as the pan-Arctic region in general. A robust communications infrastructure is a critical tool in economic development, and it is expected that communications networks will contribute to small business development, economic growth, and corresponding employment increases. Accurate and reliable networks and services, such as radionavigation, are critical to the safety and security of the region. This Notice offers an opportunity for all interested parties to provide information regarding existing and potential communications technologies, services and applications for the Arctic region. We invite input from communication service providers that currently serve, or plan to serve, Arctic Alaska and the pan-Arctic region. We also seek comment from subject matter experts on the questions below. We further invite feedback from all user segments (e.g., residential, business, government, or community organizations) residing within the Alaskan portion of the Arctic and all users whose activities may require communications access across any portion of the Arctic. For purposes of this Notice, the Arctic Region of Alaska is defined as the geographic region north of the Arctic Circle, which is at 66° 33′ 39″ North latitude. The area includes offshore areas such as the Chukchi Sea and the Beaufort Sea. However, parties may submit information and data outside of this geographic area if its inclusion is relevant to the questions that follow. III. Request for Comments on Available and Planned Communications Services The Implementation Plan specifies a number of existing and potential services for NTIA to assess, including: Local and long-distance terrestrial, commercial mobile cellular, public safety services, emergency services, navigational safety, satellite voice, and broadband services. These services reflect a variety of network technologies. We seek comment on the availability of all network technologies, general communications services, and dedicated networks and special services targeted for specific user segments in Arctic Alaska. Interested parties should, therefore, provide information on the availability and adequacy of networks and services listed below, and any others that support the safety and security, economic development, and other objectives in Arctic Alaska that were noted in the National Strategy. • General Network Technologies: Wireline networks (copper, cable, optical fiber, or hybrid networks), fixed VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:08 Oct 02, 2014 Jkt 235001 wireless networks (point-to-point, pointto-multipoint), mobile wireless networks, Wi-Fi networks, fiber and microwave-based middle-mile networks, satellite systems, submarine cable networks, terrestrial broadcast networks, high frequency (HF) radio networks, very high frequency (VHF), unlicensed systems, and any forms of hybrid networks. • General Communications Services: Voice, data, and video services that can be delivered to fixed or mobile devices. • Dedicated Networks and/or Special Communications Services: Public safety, emergency, search and rescue services, radionavigation, aeronautical, maritime communications, weather services, or other categories for specific user segments. We seek information about the location and the adequacy of existent networks owned and managed by commercial service providers, government entities, non-profits, research and education entities, or any other ownership and management models. Many of these networks and services target terrestrial-based users (e.g., mobile cellular, terrestrial fiber, fixed wireless). Input should pertain to the network infrastructure and services within the Arctic portion of Alaska. Other services may address the needs of both Alaskan-based and pan-Arctic users (e.g., satellite, maritime communications). To help guide commenters, we seek information about the availability and adequacy of telecommunications services in the following Arctic Alaskan communities and key geographic locations: Alatna, Allakaket, Ambler, Anaktuvuk Pass, Arctic Village, Atqasuk, Barrow (including Point Barrow), Beaufort Sea area, Beechey Point, Bettles, Cape Blossom, Cape Lisburne, Chalkyitsik, Chandalar, Chuckchi Sea area, Coldfoot, Deadhorse, Evansville, Fort Yukon, Kaktovik, Kiana, Kivalina, Kobuk, Kotzebue, New Allakaket, Noatak, Northstar Island, Noorvik, Nuiqsut, Point Hope, Point Lay, Prudhoe Bay/Prudhoe Bay Oil Field, Red Dog Mine, Selawik, Sheshalik, Shungnak, Umiat, Venetie, Wainwright, and Wiseman. This list should not be considered all-inclusive, and absence from the list should not preclude responses on other Arctic locations. We encourage a broad response in order to assist our efforts to develop a comprehensive assessment that considers all service providers, user segments, stakeholders, and other interested parties. We welcome responses and comments covering the following areas: (a) Available networks PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 and services; (b) potential networks and services; (c) recommendations to foster the deployment of advanced communication networks and services; and (d) adoption barriers. Please send links to relevant documents, such as studies and reports. IV. Questions About Telecommunications Services and Technologies in Arctic Alaskan Communities and the Pan-Arctic Region (1) Existing and Potential Networks and Services in Arctic Alaska: Which Arctic Alaskan communities have access to, or lack access to, the network technologies and communications services that enable local residents, businesses, community institutions, local authorities, and other user groups to effectively meet their communications requirements? What network technologies and services are being planned to address both current and emerging user needs? (2) Wireline-Based Broadband Services: Which Arctic Alaskan communities have access to fixed wireline services that offer a minimum broadband speed of 4 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload? 12 For such communities, is access available to all homes, businesses, and community anchor institutions? For communities with fiber, what factors enable the business case for such deployment? For communities that have advanced speeds via copper-based plant, please cite the types of upgrades undertaken (e.g., copper-bonding, hybrid fiber systems, or middle-mile upgrades to central offices). For communities with microwave or fiber backhaul, what key enablers led to such deployment (e.g., federal or state subsidy, public-private partnerships, innovative business models)? (3) Fixed Wireless Broadband Services: Which Arctic Alaskan communities have access to fixed wireless broadband with minimum broadband speeds of 4 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload? What are the key advantages and limitations of these networks? What best practices and lessons can be applied to expand fixed wireless solutions to other underserved Arctic Alaskan communities? (4) Mobile Wireless: Which Arctic Alaskan communities have access to mobile wireless broadband services that 12 Federal Communications Commission, Tenth Broadband Progress Notice of Inquiry (August 2014), available at http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_ Releases/Daily_Business/2014/db0805/FCC-14113A1.pdf. The Commission applies this benchmark to assess the pace of broadband deployment, and has asked in the cited Notice whether it should modify this threshold. E:\FR\FM\03OCN1.SGM 03OCN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 192 / Friday, October 3, 2014 / Notices offer at least 4 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload speeds? What percentage of households has replaced wireline services with mobile wireless services? Under what circumstances are mobile wireless services considered the most effective broadband solution for Arctic Alaskan communities, taking into account pricing, coverage, service quality, scale, and other key factors? What are the key barriers (e.g., economic, technology, regulatory, or spectrum availability) preventing widescale deployment of third and fourth generation (3G and 4G) technologies in the Arctic Alaskan region? To what extent is the lack of middle-mile fiber or other broadband backhaul to base stations a key barrier to higher speed deployments? (5) Public Safety Services: Which Arctic Alaskan communities have access to, or lack access to, wire and wireless public safety communications systems used by law enforcement, fire emergency, and emergency medical first responders? Are there plans to extend the Alaska Land Mobile Radio network (ALMR) and the State of Alaska Telecommunications System (SATS) to any Arctic Alaskan communities? What are the benefits and limitations of extending the ALMR and SATS networks to these communities and first responders and what key barriers may limit this extension? Which other network technologies and services are used by public safety professionals (e.g., dispatch land mobile radio systems, commercial mobile radio, mobile satellite services, high-frequency), and what are the key strengths and limitations of these networks and services? How is communications interoperability achieved among various first responders, and among federal, state, and local agencies? What network technologies and services are being planned for public safety communications, and what are the key enablers and challenges with regard to the rollout of these networks? (6) Emergency Communications and Search and Rescue: What are the emergency wired and wireless communications services available within the listed Arctic Alaska communities, and other communities and locations, and near and far offshore areas? How would these communities connect into the overall Alaskan communications backbone network in case of a major emergency? To what extent are there areas without any emergency communications services? What communications services are used for search and rescue operations and what is their availability and reliability? Are the existing communications VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:08 Oct 02, 2014 Jkt 235001 services used for search and rescue operations adequate or are additional services necessary? (7) Satellite Communications Services: What specific satellite-based services are widely used by Arctic Alaskan communities and users across the pan-Arctic region? What are the strengths and limitations of using satellites generally and for specific communications services? What key dependencies and factors impact the likelihood of these planned systems being launched in a timely manner? Which specific user segments are being targeted and what services will be offered? Do existing and planned satellite systems target the broader panArctic footprint and provide 24/7 availability? For areas where satellites constitute the only form of communications, what ensures reasonable pricing and service quality? In regard to older satellites that were formerly in the geostationary orbit and are now operating in an inclined orbit, how many hours of operation and what quality of service do they offer in the Arctic Alaskan and in the pan-Arctic area? (8) Broadcasting and BroadcastingSatellite Services: What methods are used to receive radio and television broadcast signals in Arctic Alaskan areas? What improvements can be made if such signals are not readily available? Does the Alaska Rural Communications System (ARCS) provide adequate broadcasting coverage in the Arctic Alaskan communities? To what extent do the broadband speeds of other terrestrial and satellite networks enable the delivery of high-quality video? (9) Submarine Cable Networks: How do existing submarine cable networks currently support the delivery of communications services in Arctic Alaskan communities and the panArctic region? What are the advantages and limitations of these networks? How will new submarine cable facilities being planned for this region contribute to the performance, economics, and overall network access for the previously mentioned services? What is the timetable for building and operating these planned facilities and what key risks could impact their timing, scale, availability, and overall sustainability? (10) Aeronautical and Maritime Communications: What communications systems and technologies support aircraft and maritime voice and data communications? What are the key strengths and limitations of these networks? What new systems are being planned to address aviation and maritime user needs? PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 59749 (11) Aeronautical and Maritime Radionavigation: What radionavigation systems are currently used by commercial ships and aircrafts in the Arctic region? What are the key strengths and limitations of these systems, especially with regard to location reliability? What new satellitebased navigation systems are being planned, and what are their comparative advantages relative to current systems? What key dependencies and factors impact the likelihood of these systems being launched in a timely manner? (12) Weather and Other Information Services: How effectively do broadcast and other networks support the delivery of weather monitoring alerts (including warnings, watches, and forecasts) and non-weather hazard alerts across Arctic Alaska and the pan-Arctic region, especially with regard to speed of delivery and service reliability? How do Arctic broadcasts and other information reports for weather monitoring compare to those services in other parts of Alaska? What initiatives are underway, or can be recommended, to improve the delivery and receipt of weather information and other critical alerts, including system upgrades and/or new infrastructure deployments? What innovations across satellite imaging and other technology developments offer the greatest potential? (13) High Frequency Radio Communications (3–30 MHz): How do high frequency (HF) radio systems serve Arctic Alaskan end-users and to what degree are they used especially for emergency and search and rescue communications? What are the comparative advantages and limitations of HF radio relative to other technologies, especially with regard to reliability, privacy, and degree of availability after considering seasonal and temporal variances? Which frequencies are currently used and which ones offer the highest quality of service? What improvements have been made, or are planned, on HF radios to improve communications? (14) Very High Frequency Radio Communications (30–300 MHz): How do Arctic Alaskan residents use VHF radios to communicate? (15) Unlicensed (License-Exempt) Systems: What applications and services utilizing unlicensed spectrum bands are used across the Arctic region and to what extent? To what extent is unlicensed spectrum used for providing broadband for residential and business users? What speeds are available to these users? To what extent do power limits and other technical restrictions in unlicensed spectrum bands impede the E:\FR\FM\03OCN1.SGM 03OCN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 59750 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 192 / Friday, October 3, 2014 / Notices ability to deliver services to more homes and businesses? (16) Existing and Potential Networks and Services Across the Pan-Arctic Region: Which pan-Arctic regions have access to, or lack access to, network technologies and communications services critical to the safety and security of the pan-Arctic region, and the increasing activity across commercial, maritime, research, tourism, and other growing sectors? What network technologies and services are being planned across the pan-Arctic region to address both current and emerging user needs? (17) Fostering the Deployment of Advanced Communications Networks and Services in Arctic Alaskan Communities: What strategies are recommended to facilitate the deployment of additional communications capabilities across Arctic Alaska? These recommendations may involve commercial or public investment, new business models, policy and regulatory changes (federal, state, or local), public-private partnerships, research and innovation developments, or other suggestions. Please comment on best practices in other Alaskan communities and other rural and remote areas. (18) Fostering the Deployment of Advanced Communication Networks and Services in the Pan-Arctic Region: What would facilitate the deployment of advanced networks to ensure the safety, security, and the commercial interests of the United States and other international users in the pan-Arctic region? These recommendations may involve commercial or public investment, new business models, policy and regulatory changes (federal or international), international agreements, public-private partnerships, research and innovation developments, or other suggestions. We seek comment on best practices from other pan-Arctic locations, and other rural and remote areas. (19) Adoption Barriers: What key barriers limit the adoption of existing services for users across both Arctic Alaska and the broader pan-Arctic region? How can these adoption barriers be addressed? Dated: September 29, 2014. Lawrence E. Strickling, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information. [FR Doc. 2014–23517 Filed 10–2–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–60–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:08 Oct 02, 2014 Jkt 235001 COMMITTEE FOR PURCHASE FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE BLIND OR SEVERELY DISABLED Procurement List; Proposed Additions and Deletion Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled. ACTION: Proposed additions to and deletions from the Procurement List. AGENCY: The Committee is proposing to add products and services to the Procurement List that will be furnished by nonprofit agencies employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities and, deletes a service previously provided by such agency. DATES: Comments Must Be Received On Or Before: 11/3/2014. ADDRESSES: Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, 1401 S. Clark Street, Suite 10800, Arlington, Virginia, 22202–4149. SUMMARY: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION OR TO SUBMIT COMMENTS CONTACT: Barry S. Lineback, Telephone: (703) 603–7740, Fax: (703) 603–0655, or email CMTEFedReg@ AbilityOne.gov. This notice is published pursuant to 41 U.S.C. 8503(a)(2) and 41 CFR 51–2.3. Its purpose is to provide interested persons an opportunity to submit comments on the proposed actions. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Additions If the Committee approves the proposed additions, the entities of the Federal Government identified in this notice will be required to procure the products and services listed below from nonprofit agencies employing persons who are blind or have other severe disabilities. The following products and services are proposed for addition to the Procurement List for production by the nonprofit agencies listed: Products Sweatshirt, Physical Fitness, USMC, Unisex, Long Sleeve NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3800—Black, Size XLarge NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3801—Black, Size Small NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3802—Black, Size Medium NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3803—Black, Size Large NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3804—Black, Size XLarge NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3805—Maroon, Size Small NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3806—Maroon, Size Medium NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3807—Blue, Size PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Medium NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3808—Yellow, Size Medium NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3809—Yellow, Size Small NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3810—Yellow, Size Large NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3811—Green, Size Medium NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3812—Red, Size Small NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3813—Red, Size Medium NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3814—Red, Size Large NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3815—Blue, Size Small T-Shirt, Mesh, Physical Fitness, USMC, Unisex, Short Sleeve NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3771 —, Gold, Size Small NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3772—Gold, Size Medium NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3773—Gold, Size Large NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3774—Gold, Size XLarge NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3775—Blue, Size Small NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3776—Blue, Size Medium NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3777—Blue, Size Large NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3778—Blue, Size XLarge NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3779—Maroon, Size XSmall NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3780—Maroon, Size Small NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3781—Maroon, Size Medium NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3782—Red, Size Small NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3783—Red, Size Medium NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3784—Red, Size Large NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3785—Red, Size XLarge NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3786—Gray, Size Small NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3787—Gray, Size Medium NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3788—Gray, Size Large NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3789—Green, Size XSmall NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3790—Green, Size Small NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3791—Green, Size Medium NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3792—Green, Size Large NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3793—Black W/ Weapons Logo, Size Small NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3794—Black W/ Weapons Logo, Size Medium NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3795—Black W/ Weapons Logo, Size Large NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3796—Gray, Size XSmall NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3797—Black W/Drill Instructor Logo, Small NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3798—Black W/Drill Instructor Logo, Medium NSN: 8415–00–SAM–3799—Black W/Drill Instructor Logo, Large NPA: Beaufort Vocational Rehabilitation Center, Beaufort, SC Contracting Activity: Dept of the Navy, Commanding General, MCRD, Parris Island, SC Coverage: C-List for 100% of the requirement of the U.S. Marine Corps Parris Island Recruiting Depot, as aggregated by the Commanding General, U.S. Marine Corps E:\FR\FM\03OCN1.SGM 03OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 192 (Friday, October 3, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 59746-59750]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-23517]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Telecommunications and Information Administration

[Docket No. 140925800-4800-01]
RIN 0660-XC013


Telecommunications Assessment of the Arctic Region

AGENCY: National Telecommunications and Information Administration, 
U.S. Department of Commerce.

ACTION: Notice of Inquiry.

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SUMMARY: Consistent with the Implementation Plan for the National 
Strategy for the Arctic Region, the National Telecommunications and 
Information Administration (NTIA) issues this Notice of Inquiry 
(Notice) to seek public comment on the current and potential 
availability of communications services in the Arctic region.

DATES: Comments must be received no later than November 3, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Comments may be submitted by email to

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arcticnoi@ntia.doc.gov. Comments also may be submitted by mail to: 
National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. 
Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Room 4898, Attn: 
Arctic NOI, Washington, DC 20230. Responders should include the name of 
the person or the organization, as well as a page number on each page 
of their submissions. Paper submissions should also include a CD or DVD 
with an electronic version of the document, which should be labeled 
with the name and organization of the filer. All email messages and 
comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be 
posted without change to the NTIA Web site at http://www.ntia.doc.gov/federal-register-notice/2014/comments-arctic-noi. All personal 
identifying information (e.g., name, address) voluntarily submitted by 
the commenter may be publicly accessible. Please do not submit any 
confidential or business sensitive information. NTIA intends to use the 
information provided in response to this Notice about potential future 
plans for communications networks in Arctic Alaska only in the 
aggregate, excluding companies' names and customer information. 
Additionally, this information will be used to describe potential 
future communications developments to fill the gaps where services are 
not currently provided.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Helen Shaw, National 
Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of 
Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Room 4874, Washington, DC 
20230; telephone: (202) 482-1157; email ntia.doc.gov">hshaw@ntia.doc.gov. Please 
direct media inquiries to NTIA's Office of Public Affairs, (202) 482-
7002.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    On May 10, 2013, President Obama issued the National Strategy for 
the Arctic Region (National Strategy) to articulate strategic 
priorities to enable the United States to ``respond effectively to 
challenges and emerging opportunities arising from significant 
increases in Arctic activity due to the diminishment of sea ice and the 
emergence of a new Arctic environment.'' \1\ The National Strategy 
includes: (1) Advancing U.S. security interests; (2) pursuing 
responsible Arctic Region stewardship; and (3) strengthening 
international cooperation. The National Strategy states that these 
efforts will be guided by: ``Providing for the security of the United 
States; protecting the free flow of resources and commerce; protecting 
the environment; addressing the needs of indigenous communities; and 
enabling scientific research.'' \2\ The United States is a member of an 
eight nation Arctic Council, also consisting of Canada, the Russian 
Federation, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Sweden, and Norway.\3\
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    \1\ National Strategy for the Arctic Region, The White House 
(May 10, 2013), available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/nat_arctic_strategy.pdf. For purposes of this 
Notice, the Arctic Region is defined as the geographic region north 
of the Arctic Circle, which is at 66[deg] 33' 39'' North latitude. 
The area includes offshore areas such as the Chukchi Sea and the 
Beaufort Sea.
    \2\ Id. at 4.
    \3\ For purposes of this Notice, the ``pan Arctic'' region is 
defined as the region above the Arctic Circle that includes the 
areas of all eight Arctic Council member nations.
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    The White House issued the Implementation Plan for the National 
Strategy for the Arctic Region (Implementation Plan) in January 2014, 
setting forth the methodology, process, and approach for executing the 
National Strategy.\4\ The Implementation Plan provides four guiding 
principles: (1) Safeguard peace and stability; (2) make decisions using 
the best available information; (3) pursue innovative arrangements; and 
(4) consult and coordinate with Alaska Natives.\5\ Furthermore, the 
Implementation Plan emphasizes that the successful implementation of 
the National Strategy will depend upon the active engagement and 
coordination with Alaska Natives and the State of Alaska.\6\
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    \4\ Implementation Plan for the National Strategy for the Arctic 
Region, The White House, January 2014, available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/implementation_plan_for_the_national_strategy_for_the_arctic_region_-_fi....pdf.
    \5\ Id. at 4.
    \6\ Press Release, White House Releases Implementation Plan for 
the National Strategy for the Arctic Region, National Security 
Council (Jan. 30, 2014), available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/01/30/white-house-releases-implementation-plan-national-strategy-arctic-region.
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    The Implementation Plan calls on NTIA, with support from the 
Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security (U.S. Coast 
Guard), Department of Transportation, and the Federal Communications 
Commission (FCC), to ``assess the telecommunication infrastructure in 
the Arctic and use new technology to support improved communications in 
the region, including in areas of sparse population to facilitate 
emergency response.'' \7\ The Implementation Plan outlines three 
distinct deliverables: (1) ``[a]ssess current and potential 
availability of telecommunications services in the Arctic region, 
including local and long-distance terrestrial, commercial mobile 
cellular, public safety services, emergency services, navigational 
safety and satellite voice, and broadband channel availability by the 
end of 2014;'' (2) ``[d]evelop a framework that lists and prioritizes 
opportunities for investment in telecom capacity and capability, with a 
strong emphasis on innovative technologies with Federal, State, and 
international public-private partnerships by the end of 2015;'' and (3) 
``[i]n collaboration with the Arctic Council, evaluate feasibility of 
an Arctic-wide telecommunications network and radio frequency spectrum 
management with the goals of compatible interference-free operations 
and Arctic-wide communications by end of the U.S. Chairmanship of the 
Arctic Council.'' \8\
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    \7\ Implementation Plan at 6.
    \8\ Id. at 6-7.
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    The Implementation Plan states further that ``[s]uccess of this 
initiative will be the development of a framework, in coordination with 
Federal, State, local, tribal, native governments and the commercial 
enterprise, to prioritize investments in new facility and equipment 
installations such as high-powered high frequency radio stations, 
satellite ground stations, fixed microwave radio stations, public 
safety radio facilities, mobile cellular base stations, and fiber optic 
cable installations that enhance security and safety in the Arctic.'' 
\9\
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    \9\ Id. at 7.
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    NTIA and its Federal partners will leverage information currently 
available from government, commercial, non-profit, and academic 
entities. For example, NTIA's State Broadband Initiative funded a 
comprehensive assessment of broadband infrastructure across Alaska, 
which resulted in an August 2013 report entitled A Blueprint for 
Alaska's Broadband Future (Blueprint Report).\10\ We will also utilize 
data from the National Broadband Map and the Alaska Emergency Response 
Guide for Small Communities.\11\
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    \10\ A Blueprint for Alaska's Broadband Future, Statewide 
Broadband Task Force (August 2013), available at http://www.alaska.edu/files/oit/bbtaskforce/2013-08-AK-Broadband-Task-Force-Report%7CA-Blueprint-for-Alaska's-Broadband-Future.pdf.
    \11\ Alaska Emergency Response Guide for Small Communities, 
State of Alaska Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and 
Homeland Security & Emergency Management (March 2013), available at 
http://ready.alaska.gov.
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II. Objectives of This Notice

    Effective communications services are critical to accommodate the 
increase in commercial, residential, governmental, and other critical 
economic and social activities across Arctic Alaskan

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communities, as well as the pan-Arctic region in general. A robust 
communications infrastructure is a critical tool in economic 
development, and it is expected that communications networks will 
contribute to small business development, economic growth, and 
corresponding employment increases. Accurate and reliable networks and 
services, such as radionavigation, are critical to the safety and 
security of the region.
    This Notice offers an opportunity for all interested parties to 
provide information regarding existing and potential communications 
technologies, services and applications for the Arctic region. We 
invite input from communication service providers that currently serve, 
or plan to serve, Arctic Alaska and the pan-Arctic region. We also seek 
comment from subject matter experts on the questions below. We further 
invite feedback from all user segments (e.g., residential, business, 
government, or community organizations) residing within the Alaskan 
portion of the Arctic and all users whose activities may require 
communications access across any portion of the Arctic.
    For purposes of this Notice, the Arctic Region of Alaska is defined 
as the geographic region north of the Arctic Circle, which is at 
66[deg] 33' 39'' North latitude. The area includes offshore areas such 
as the Chukchi Sea and the Beaufort Sea. However, parties may submit 
information and data outside of this geographic area if its inclusion 
is relevant to the questions that follow.

III. Request for Comments on Available and Planned Communications 
Services

    The Implementation Plan specifies a number of existing and 
potential services for NTIA to assess, including: Local and long-
distance terrestrial, commercial mobile cellular, public safety 
services, emergency services, navigational safety, satellite voice, and 
broadband services. These services reflect a variety of network 
technologies. We seek comment on the availability of all network 
technologies, general communications services, and dedicated networks 
and special services targeted for specific user segments in Arctic 
Alaska. Interested parties should, therefore, provide information on 
the availability and adequacy of networks and services listed below, 
and any others that support the safety and security, economic 
development, and other objectives in Arctic Alaska that were noted in 
the National Strategy.
     General Network Technologies: Wireline networks (copper, 
cable, optical fiber, or hybrid networks), fixed wireless networks 
(point-to-point, point-to-multipoint), mobile wireless networks, Wi-Fi 
networks, fiber and microwave-based middle-mile networks, satellite 
systems, submarine cable networks, terrestrial broadcast networks, high 
frequency (HF) radio networks, very high frequency (VHF), unlicensed 
systems, and any forms of hybrid networks.
     General Communications Services: Voice, data, and video 
services that can be delivered to fixed or mobile devices.
     Dedicated Networks and/or Special Communications Services: 
Public safety, emergency, search and rescue services, radionavigation, 
aeronautical, maritime communications, weather services, or other 
categories for specific user segments.
    We seek information about the location and the adequacy of existent 
networks owned and managed by commercial service providers, government 
entities, non-profits, research and education entities, or any other 
ownership and management models. Many of these networks and services 
target terrestrial-based users (e.g., mobile cellular, terrestrial 
fiber, fixed wireless). Input should pertain to the network 
infrastructure and services within the Arctic portion of Alaska. Other 
services may address the needs of both Alaskan-based and pan-Arctic 
users (e.g., satellite, maritime communications).
    To help guide commenters, we seek information about the 
availability and adequacy of telecommunications services in the 
following Arctic Alaskan communities and key geographic locations: 
Alatna, Allakaket, Ambler, Anaktuvuk Pass, Arctic Village, Atqasuk, 
Barrow (including Point Barrow), Beaufort Sea area, Beechey Point, 
Bettles, Cape Blossom, Cape Lisburne, Chalkyitsik, Chandalar, Chuckchi 
Sea area, Coldfoot, Deadhorse, Evansville, Fort Yukon, Kaktovik, Kiana, 
Kivalina, Kobuk, Kotzebue, New Allakaket, Noatak, Northstar Island, 
Noorvik, Nuiqsut, Point Hope, Point Lay, Prudhoe Bay/Prudhoe Bay Oil 
Field, Red Dog Mine, Selawik, Sheshalik, Shungnak, Umiat, Venetie, 
Wainwright, and Wiseman. This list should not be considered all-
inclusive, and absence from the list should not preclude responses on 
other Arctic locations.
    We encourage a broad response in order to assist our efforts to 
develop a comprehensive assessment that considers all service 
providers, user segments, stakeholders, and other interested parties. 
We welcome responses and comments covering the following areas: (a) 
Available networks and services; (b) potential networks and services; 
(c) recommendations to foster the deployment of advanced communication 
networks and services; and (d) adoption barriers. Please send links to 
relevant documents, such as studies and reports.

IV. Questions About Telecommunications Services and Technologies in 
Arctic Alaskan Communities and the Pan-Arctic Region

    (1) Existing and Potential Networks and Services in Arctic Alaska: 
Which Arctic Alaskan communities have access to, or lack access to, the 
network technologies and communications services that enable local 
residents, businesses, community institutions, local authorities, and 
other user groups to effectively meet their communications 
requirements? What network technologies and services are being planned 
to address both current and emerging user needs?
    (2) Wireline-Based Broadband Services: Which Arctic Alaskan 
communities have access to fixed wireline services that offer a minimum 
broadband speed of 4 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload? \12\ For such 
communities, is access available to all homes, businesses, and 
community anchor institutions? For communities with fiber, what factors 
enable the business case for such deployment? For communities that have 
advanced speeds via copper-based plant, please cite the types of 
upgrades undertaken (e.g., copper-bonding, hybrid fiber systems, or 
middle-mile upgrades to central offices). For communities with 
microwave or fiber backhaul, what key enablers led to such deployment 
(e.g., federal or state subsidy, public-private partnerships, 
innovative business models)?
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    \12\ Federal Communications Commission, Tenth Broadband Progress 
Notice of Inquiry (August 2014), available at http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2014/db0805/FCC-14-113A1.pdf. The Commission applies this benchmark to assess the pace 
of broadband deployment, and has asked in the cited Notice whether 
it should modify this threshold.
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    (3) Fixed Wireless Broadband Services: Which Arctic Alaskan 
communities have access to fixed wireless broadband with minimum 
broadband speeds of 4 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload? What are the key 
advantages and limitations of these networks? What best practices and 
lessons can be applied to expand fixed wireless solutions to other 
underserved Arctic Alaskan communities?
    (4) Mobile Wireless: Which Arctic Alaskan communities have access 
to mobile wireless broadband services that

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offer at least 4 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload speeds? What 
percentage of households has replaced wireline services with mobile 
wireless services? Under what circumstances are mobile wireless 
services considered the most effective broadband solution for Arctic 
Alaskan communities, taking into account pricing, coverage, service 
quality, scale, and other key factors? What are the key barriers (e.g., 
economic, technology, regulatory, or spectrum availability) preventing 
wide-scale deployment of third and fourth generation (3G and 4G) 
technologies in the Arctic Alaskan region? To what extent is the lack 
of middle-mile fiber or other broadband backhaul to base stations a key 
barrier to higher speed deployments?
    (5) Public Safety Services: Which Arctic Alaskan communities have 
access to, or lack access to, wire and wireless public safety 
communications systems used by law enforcement, fire emergency, and 
emergency medical first responders? Are there plans to extend the 
Alaska Land Mobile Radio network (ALMR) and the State of Alaska 
Telecommunications System (SATS) to any Arctic Alaskan communities? 
What are the benefits and limitations of extending the ALMR and SATS 
networks to these communities and first responders and what key 
barriers may limit this extension? Which other network technologies and 
services are used by public safety professionals (e.g., dispatch land 
mobile radio systems, commercial mobile radio, mobile satellite 
services, high-frequency), and what are the key strengths and 
limitations of these networks and services? How is communications 
interoperability achieved among various first responders, and among 
federal, state, and local agencies? What network technologies and 
services are being planned for public safety communications, and what 
are the key enablers and challenges with regard to the rollout of these 
networks?
    (6) Emergency Communications and Search and Rescue: What are the 
emergency wired and wireless communications services available within 
the listed Arctic Alaska communities, and other communities and 
locations, and near and far offshore areas? How would these communities 
connect into the overall Alaskan communications backbone network in 
case of a major emergency? To what extent are there areas without any 
emergency communications services? What communications services are 
used for search and rescue operations and what is their availability 
and reliability? Are the existing communications services used for 
search and rescue operations adequate or are additional services 
necessary?
    (7) Satellite Communications Services: What specific satellite-
based services are widely used by Arctic Alaskan communities and users 
across the pan-Arctic region? What are the strengths and limitations of 
using satellites generally and for specific communications services? 
What key dependencies and factors impact the likelihood of these 
planned systems being launched in a timely manner? Which specific user 
segments are being targeted and what services will be offered? Do 
existing and planned satellite systems target the broader pan-Arctic 
footprint and provide 24/7 availability? For areas where satellites 
constitute the only form of communications, what ensures reasonable 
pricing and service quality? In regard to older satellites that were 
formerly in the geostationary orbit and are now operating in an 
inclined orbit, how many hours of operation and what quality of service 
do they offer in the Arctic Alaskan and in the pan-Arctic area?
    (8) Broadcasting and Broadcasting-Satellite Services: What methods 
are used to receive radio and television broadcast signals in Arctic 
Alaskan areas? What improvements can be made if such signals are not 
readily available? Does the Alaska Rural Communications System (ARCS) 
provide adequate broadcasting coverage in the Arctic Alaskan 
communities? To what extent do the broadband speeds of other 
terrestrial and satellite networks enable the delivery of high-quality 
video?
    (9) Submarine Cable Networks: How do existing submarine cable 
networks currently support the delivery of communications services in 
Arctic Alaskan communities and the pan-Arctic region? What are the 
advantages and limitations of these networks? How will new submarine 
cable facilities being planned for this region contribute to the 
performance, economics, and overall network access for the previously 
mentioned services? What is the timetable for building and operating 
these planned facilities and what key risks could impact their timing, 
scale, availability, and overall sustainability?
    (10) Aeronautical and Maritime Communications: What communications 
systems and technologies support aircraft and maritime voice and data 
communications? What are the key strengths and limitations of these 
networks? What new systems are being planned to address aviation and 
maritime user needs?
    (11) Aeronautical and Maritime Radionavigation: What 
radionavigation systems are currently used by commercial ships and 
aircrafts in the Arctic region? What are the key strengths and 
limitations of these systems, especially with regard to location 
reliability? What new satellite-based navigation systems are being 
planned, and what are their comparative advantages relative to current 
systems? What key dependencies and factors impact the likelihood of 
these systems being launched in a timely manner?
    (12) Weather and Other Information Services: How effectively do 
broadcast and other networks support the delivery of weather monitoring 
alerts (including warnings, watches, and forecasts) and non-weather 
hazard alerts across Arctic Alaska and the pan-Arctic region, 
especially with regard to speed of delivery and service reliability? 
How do Arctic broadcasts and other information reports for weather 
monitoring compare to those services in other parts of Alaska? What 
initiatives are underway, or can be recommended, to improve the 
delivery and receipt of weather information and other critical alerts, 
including system upgrades and/or new infrastructure deployments? What 
innovations across satellite imaging and other technology developments 
offer the greatest potential?
    (13) High Frequency Radio Communications (3-30 MHz): How do high 
frequency (HF) radio systems serve Arctic Alaskan end-users and to what 
degree are they used especially for emergency and search and rescue 
communications? What are the comparative advantages and limitations of 
HF radio relative to other technologies, especially with regard to 
reliability, privacy, and degree of availability after considering 
seasonal and temporal variances? Which frequencies are currently used 
and which ones offer the highest quality of service? What improvements 
have been made, or are planned, on HF radios to improve communications?
    (14) Very High Frequency Radio Communications (30-300 MHz): How do 
Arctic Alaskan residents use VHF radios to communicate?
    (15) Unlicensed (License-Exempt) Systems: What applications and 
services utilizing unlicensed spectrum bands are used across the Arctic 
region and to what extent? To what extent is unlicensed spectrum used 
for providing broadband for residential and business users? What speeds 
are available to these users? To what extent do power limits and other 
technical restrictions in unlicensed spectrum bands impede the

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ability to deliver services to more homes and businesses?
    (16) Existing and Potential Networks and Services Across the Pan-
Arctic Region: Which pan-Arctic regions have access to, or lack access 
to, network technologies and communications services critical to the 
safety and security of the pan-Arctic region, and the increasing 
activity across commercial, maritime, research, tourism, and other 
growing sectors? What network technologies and services are being 
planned across the pan-Arctic region to address both current and 
emerging user needs?
    (17) Fostering the Deployment of Advanced Communications Networks 
and Services in Arctic Alaskan Communities: What strategies are 
recommended to facilitate the deployment of additional communications 
capabilities across Arctic Alaska? These recommendations may involve 
commercial or public investment, new business models, policy and 
regulatory changes (federal, state, or local), public-private 
partnerships, research and innovation developments, or other 
suggestions. Please comment on best practices in other Alaskan 
communities and other rural and remote areas.
    (18) Fostering the Deployment of Advanced Communication Networks 
and Services in the Pan-Arctic Region: What would facilitate the 
deployment of advanced networks to ensure the safety, security, and the 
commercial interests of the United States and other international users 
in the pan-Arctic region? These recommendations may involve commercial 
or public investment, new business models, policy and regulatory 
changes (federal or international), international agreements, public-
private partnerships, research and innovation developments, or other 
suggestions. We seek comment on best practices from other pan-Arctic 
locations, and other rural and remote areas.
    (19) Adoption Barriers: What key barriers limit the adoption of 
existing services for users across both Arctic Alaska and the broader 
pan-Arctic region? How can these adoption barriers be addressed?

    Dated: September 29, 2014.
Lawrence E. Strickling,
Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information.
[FR Doc. 2014-23517 Filed 10-2-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-60-P