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February

February 21, 2017 - REGScan

  • The FCC released the agenda for its February 23, 2017 Open Meeting, and will consider, among other things: a Report and Order on the Mobility Fund; a Report and Order and Order on Reconsideration that resolves a number of issues raised in the CAF Phase II Auction Order FNPRM, including the adoption of weights; an Order granting a five-year waiver to BIAS providers with 250,000 or fewer broadband connections from the enhanced reporting requirements adopted in the 2015 Title II Open Internet Order; and a Report and Order that would streamline and eliminate Part 32 accounting rules.  
  • The FCC announced the 2017 local voice service rate floor for incumbent ETCs is $22.49, the reasonable comparability benchmark for voice services is $49.51, and the reasonable comparability benchmarks for broadband services range from $76.47 for 10/1 Mbps (100 GB usage allowance) through $90.76 for 25/5 Mbps (unlimited usage).  
  • Comments were filed on the FNPRM asking whether to expand the A-CAM budget for rate-of-return carriers to provide additional funding with an associated increase in broadband deployment obligations. Replies are due February 27. FR Notice  
  • WTA seeks a waiver or extension of the March 31, 2017 deadline until December 31, 2017, for recipients of CAF A-CAM and CAF BLS support to file deployment data in the High Cost Universal Service Broadband portal.  
  • WTA, et al. support full funding for both the A-CAM Path and the RoR Path.  
  • Oppositions are due March 6, 2017, to Adak Eagle Enterprise’s Petition for Reconsideration of the FCC’s decision to deny Adak Eagle a second offer of A-CAM support. Replies are due March 14, 2017.  
  • NTCA said a paper prepared by Vantage Point Solutions shows 5G networks will continue to have technical shortcomings that will render them very useful complements, but poor substitutes, for wireline broadband.  
  • Numerous ex partes were filed on the CAF Phase II auction and the Mobility Fund II.    
  • Allband discussed its Petition for interim partial waiver of the $250 per line cap on high-cost support and for increased per line support above the cap.  
  • Comments are due March 16, 2017, on why the FCC should not initiate proceedings to revoke the Commission authorizations granted to SIC. Replies are due March 31, 2017.  
  • USTelecom filed an opposition to SIC’s Petition for Reconsideration of the Order that found SIC improperly received payments in the amount of $27,270,390 from the federal high-cost support mechanisms from 2002 to June 2015. Replies are due February 27. FR

  • Hawaiian Telcom and Crown Castle filed comments on the DHHL’s request for guidance on whether SIC’s exclusive license to provide telecommunications services to the Hawaiian home lands conflicts with section 253(a) of the Act. Replies are due February 27. Public Notice

February 13, 2017 - REGScan

  • Chairman Pai pledged his office will share with the Commissioners every item that will be considered at an Open Meeting before anyone in his office discusses the content of those items publicly or the FCC releases the text of those documents. Chairman Pai announced when the FCC releases the text of meeting items, it will also release a one-page fact sheet summarizing the proposal, and any substantive edits made to an item between the time it is circulated and the meeting at which the Commissioners vote on it should have to be proposed by a Commissioner, rather than staff. Chairman Pai announced changes to the process of granting editorial privileges to the staff of the relevant Bureaus and Offices after an item is adopted at the FCC’s Open Meetings. Chairman Pai instructed the Enforcement Bureau that any consent decree settling a Notice of Apparent Liability or Forfeiture Order issued by the full Commission must now be approved by a vote of the full Commission.  
  • Cambridge Telephone, Direct Communications, MTE Communications, and WTA discussed full funding of both the A-CAM Path and the RoR Path for USF high cost support.
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  • The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will hold a hearing on March 8, 2017, on FCC oversight. Chairman Pai and Commissioners Clyburn and O’Rielly will be witnesses.  
  • Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) sent a letter to Chairman Pai, to express concerns with the Commission’s decision to retract the E-rate Modernization Progress Report. Fifteen Democratic Senators sent a letter to Chairman Pai, expressing concern with the FCC’s action revoking the Lifeline Broadband Provider status of nine providers.  
  • The WCB seeks comment on NECA’s 2017 proposed modification of average schedule formulas. Comments are due March 13; replies due March 28.  
  • Organizations representing rural America asked President Trump to designate a senior member of the White House staff and/or create an Office of Rural Policy within the Executive Office of the President to focus specifically on rural issues.  
  • The FCC clarified the means by which ILECs may provide interconnecting entities and governmental authorities with copies of copper retirement notices and granted Verizon’s request for clarification that a carrier provide a hyperlink to a searchable online list of addresses or locations where copper is to be retired.   
  • Comments were filed on the continued applicability of the study area waiver granted to SIC in 2005, which provided it ILEC status for purposes of receiving high-cost support. Comments were also filed on the NAL for Forfeiture that proposed a fine of $49M on SIC, Waimana Enterprises, and its former controlling owner.  
  • The WCB seeks comment on the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands’ request for guidance on whether SIC’s license to provide telecommunications services to the Hawaiian home lands conflicts with section 253(a). Comments are due February 20; replies due February 27.  

February 6, 2017 - REGScan

  • The FCC will consider six items at its February 23, 2017 Open Meeting, including: a Report and Order on the Mobility Fund; a Report and Order and Order on Reconsideration of the CAF Phase II Auction Order FNPRM; an Order granting a five-year waiver of the enhanced transparency requirements to small BIAS providers; and a Report and Order that would streamline and eliminate outdated Part 32 accounting rules.
  • The FCC announced Chairman Pai has launched a pilot program designed to increase the transparency of Commission rulemakings by publicly releasing the text of all agenda items for monthly Commission meetings in advance of the meeting. Chairman Pai and Commissioner O’Rielly issued statements.   
  • Chairman Pai announced the formation of the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee to explore ways to accelerate deployment of broadband and close the digital divide. (News) Nominations are due February 15, 2017.  
  • Chairman Pai circulated an Order appointing Commissioner O’Rielly to serve as the Chairman of the joints boards on Universal Service, Separations, and Advanced Services. Commissioner O’Rielly issued a statement.  
  • The FCC asked the D.C. Circuit Court to hold in abeyance the proceeding seeking review of the Lifeline Reform Order because of recent changes in the membership and leadership of the Commission. The FCC also retracted the staff report that examined the progress of E-rate modernization, and reconsidered prior Orders designating certain carriers as Lifeline Broadband Providers. Commissioner Clyburn issued a statement.  
  • NTCA filed a Petition for Temporary Limited Waiver/Extension of Time of the March 1, 2017 filing deadlines for RLECs electing either A-CAM support or CAF BLS support to geocode and report on locations “newly served.”  

  • NECA addressed methods for assigning broadband-only loop costs in existing Parts 36 and 69 rules.  
  • ACA, CCA, CTIA, ITTA, NCTA, NTCA, USTelecom, WISPA, and WTA filed a Petition asking the FCC to stay the broadband privacy rules while the FCC addresses the petitions for reconsideration.  
  • The Congressional Budget Office issued a report on Senate bill S. 96, the Improving Rural Call Quality and Reliability Act of 2017, estimating it will cost $4 million to implement over the 2017-2022. It said since the FCC is authorized to collect fees sufficient to offset the costs of its regulatory activities, however, the net cost is negligible.  
  • The FCC will hold a webinar on robocalls on February 16.

  • Comments are due May 4, 2017, on the Public Notice seeking comment on whether certain rules in Parts 32, 51, 52, 54, 61, 64, and 69 should be continued without change or be amended or rescinded. Comments are due March 6, 2017, on the Public Notice seeking comment on whether certain docketed proceedings listed in the attachment to the Public Notice should be terminated as dormant. Replies due March 20