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    June

    June 24, 2019 - REGScan

    • The FCC released a tentative agenda for its July 10, 2019 Open Meeting. The FCC will consider eight items, including: a Report and Order on Remand that would grant price cap carriers relief from ex ante pricing regulation of their lower speed TDM transport BDS nationwide and would partially grant USTelecom’s request for forbearance from DS1 and DS3 transport unbundling obligations for price cap carriers; an NPRM that would propose a connected care pilot; and an NPRM and Declaratory Ruling to promote facilities-based broadband deployment and competition in multiple tenant environments.  
    • The Wireline Competition Bureau issued a Public Notice seeking comment on Northeast Iowa Telephone and Western Iowa Telephone’s Petition for Clarification or Declaratory Ruling on the definition of locations under the A-CAM for residences that also serve as businesses. Comments are due July 10, 2019; reply comments are due July 25, 2019.  
    • NTCA discussed inaccuracies in cost model identification of serviceable locations, broadband availability reporting, and the need for the Commission to address the potential for increasing standalone broadband conversions to reintroduce the effects of the USF budget control mechanism.  
    • USTelecom discussed the importance of its proposed Broadband Mapping Initiative for an effective and efficient reverse auction for the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. ACA Connects also discussed the RDOF.  
    • Cascade Utilities, Trans-Cascade Telephone, and Rio Virgin Telephone filed a Petition for Waiver of the March 1, 2018 deadline for certification of HUBB filings and requested the FCC order USAC to rescind the support reduction penalties it has imposed.  
    • CLECs responded to filings made by Aureon Network Services, Sprint, AT&T Services, and NTCA on access stimulation, and claimed these filings continue to present proposals that are not supported by the necessary data and evidence and that are premised on mischaracterizations and generalized assumptions.  
    • The FCC announced the formation of a new federal advisory committee, the Task Force for Reviewing Connectivity and Technology Needs of Precision Agriculture in the United States. The FCC seeks nominations for membership on the Task Force and a Chairperson. Nominations are due July 17, 2019. Chairman Pai issued a statement.  
    • Comments are due July 24, 2019 on the Robocalls FNPRM proposing revisions to FCC rules implementing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and on issues pertaining to implementation of SHAKEN/STIR. Replies are due August 23, 2019. The Declaratory Ruling clarifying voice service providers may offer consumers programs to block unwanted calls on an informed opt-out basis and may block calls from numbers not in a consumer’s contact list is effective June 7, 2019.

    June 17, 2019 - REGScan

    • Comments are due July 15, 2019, on the NPRM seeking comment on establishing an $11.42 billion cap on the Universal Service Fund. Replies are due August 12, 2019.  
    • The FCC announced the proposed universal service contribution factor for the third quarter of 2019 will be 24.4 percent, up from the previous quarter’s 18.8 percent.  
    • The Wireline Competition Bureau announced 37 rate-of-return carriers notified the Bureau of their intention to elect incentive regulation beginning July 1, 2019, for their business data services.  
    • The FCC authorized CAF Phase II Auction 903 support for the winning bids identified in Attachment A of this Public Notice. The FCC announced this authorization is $166.8 million in funding to expand broadband to 60,850 unserved rural homes and businesses over ten years in 22 states.  
    • The amendment to section 54.313(f)(4) (reporting cost consultants on Form 481) that was contained in the March 2018 RoR Reform Order, is effective June 17, 2019.  
    • USTelecom discussed the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, and said USTelecom’s proposed Broadband Mapping Initiative will allow the Commission to target support to all unserved locations.  
    • ITTA discussed the Iowa companies’ Petition for Clarification or Declaratory Ruling that requested the FCC address discrepancies between Commission rules and releases defining the scope of “locations” for purposes of fulfilling A-CAM deployment obligations and contradictory guidance issued by USAC.  
    • Six RLECs and JSI filed an emergency Petition seeking an expedited waiver of section 54.316(c)(1), which requires RoR carriers to submit location information, including geocodes, into USAC’s HUBB by March 1 each year. Olin Telephone filed a Petition for Waiver seeking an expedited waiver of the requirement for the withholding of all USF support for late certification to the HUBB in 2018  
    • NTCA asked the FCC to adopt both prongs of its proposal to curb terminating access arbitrage.  
    • The FCC granted NANC’s request for an extension of time to present the FCC with a Technical Requirements Document containing the NANC’s recommendations on certain technical aspects of the establishment, operation, and funding for the re-assigned numbers database.  

    June 10, 2019 - REGScan

    • The FCC adopted three items at its June 6, 2019 Open Meeting, including a Declaratory Ruling and Third FNPRM clarifying that voice service providers may block illegal and unwanted calls as the default before they reach consumers’ phones, and proposing a safe harbor for providers who block calls that fail call authentication, while ensuring that emergency and other critical calls reach consumers.  
    • The Wireline Competition Bureau issued a Public Notice making corrected A-CAM II offers for 37 study areas, which are identified in the Appendix. The Bureau also extended the election deadline for all A-CAM II offers until July 17, 2019. The Bureau seeks comment on supported location adjustment procedures. Comments are due 14 days after Federal Register publication.  
    • The FCC announced it is ready to authorize CAF Phase II Auction support for the Auction 903 winning bids identified in Attachment A of this Public Notice. Applicants are required to submit irrevocable standby letter(s) of credit and Bankruptcy Code opinion letter(s) by June 21, 2019.  
    • An FCC Notice was published in the Federal Register seeking PRA comments on a new information collection pursuant to the requirement that high-cost USF recipients test their broadband networks for compliance with speed and latency metrics and certify to and report the results to USAC on an annual basis. PRA comments are due July 8, 2019.  
    • An FCC Notice was published in the Federal Register seeking PRA comments on a revised information collection pursuant to the requirement that certain carriers with high-cost reporting obligations must file information about their locations that meet their broadband deployment obligations via USAC’s HUBB. PRA comments are due August 5, 2019.  
    • NTCA discussed identification and reporting of locations where voice and broadband services are made available for purposes of compliance with deployment obligations.  
    • ITTA, WISPA, USTelecom, et al. discussed the endpoints for network testing of speed and latency.  
    • The Fourth Report and Order on rural call completion is effective July 5, 2019. The Order implemented the Improving Rural Call Quality and Reliability Act of 2017, which establishes service quality standards for intermediate providers, sets forth procedures to enforce intermediate provider requirements, and sunsets the rural call completion data recording and record retention requirements.  
    • ITTA and USTelecom urged the FCC to grant electing rate-of-return carriers nationwide relief from ex ante pricing regulation of their TDM transport services.  
    • The FCC issued a Public Notice on the process for carriers to obtain access to confidential information provided with 2019 annual access charge tariff filings in support of a carrier’s tariff review plan.  
    • NTCA urged the FCC to adopt both prongs of its proposal to curb terminating access arbitrage, and encouraged the FCC to retain revenue sharing as a component of the definition of access stimulation.  


    June 3, 2019 - REGScan

    • The FCC issued the agenda for its June 6, 2019 Open Meeting. The FCC will consider three items, including a Declaratory Ruling and Third FNPRM clarifying that voice service providers may block illegal and unwanted calls as the default before they reach consumers’ phones, and proposing a safe harbor for providers who block calls that fail call authentication, while ensuring that emergency and other critical calls reach consumers.  
    • The FCC released an NPRM proposing to establish an $11.42 billion cap on the Universal Service Fund, which is the sum of the authorized budgets for the four USF programs in 2018. Comments are due 30 days after publication in the Federal Register; replies due 60 days after FR.  
    • The Wireline Competition Bureau announced a delay in the requirement to begin testing and reporting of broadband speed and latency results until the first quarter of 2020.  
    • The Wireline Competition Bureau announced it is ready to authorize CAF Phase II support for certain New York winning bidders identified in Attachment A of its Public Notice. Applicants listed in the attachment must file letters of credit and Bankruptcy Code opinion letters by June 11, 2019.  
    • The Wireline Competition Bureau issued an Order granting petitions filed by Cass Telephone and Magna5 RTC d/b/a Richmond Telephone for waiver of the rule requiring rate-of-return carriers to notify the Bureau by May 1, 2019, of their intention to elect incentive regulation for their business data services.  
    • The FCC released its 2019 Broadband Deployment Report finding the digital divide has narrowed substantially and finding for a second consecutive year that advanced telecommunications capability is being deployed on a reasonable and timely basis. News release  
    • USTelecom, AT&T, et al. discussed the FCC Form 477 proceeding and the Broadband Mapping Consortium’s broadband fabric mapping proposal.  
    • ATIS announced its selection of iconectiv as Policy Administrator of the SHAKEN/STIR call authentication framework. Chairman Pai issued a statement.  
    • Numerous ex partes were filed on the draft Declaratory Ruling on robocall blocking. NTCA suggested edits to the draft. 

    • The FCC released its 21st Universal Service Monitoring Report