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June

June 19, 2017 - REGSCan

  • The FCC issued the agenda for its June 22, 2017 Open Meeting. The FCC will consider, among other things; an NPRM that would amend the Caller ID rules to allow disclosure of blocked Caller ID information to aid law enforcement in investigating threatening calls and an NOI that seeks comment on ways to facilitate greater consumer choice and enhance broadband deployment in multiple tenant environments.  
  • NTCA and USTelecom filed a Petition for Forbearance from USF contribution requirements on RLEC-provided broadband internet access transmission services, whether tariffed or offered on a de-tariffed basis, until completion of comprehensive USF contributions reform.  
  • The Small Company Coalition filed a white paper on the need to fully fund the USF programs applicable to RoR carriers, and claimed artificial constraints placed on RoR high cost mechanisms are needlessly harming the ability of carriers to deploy broadband, noting the maintenance of significant CAF reserves. It also urged the FCC to review and revise the OIG and USAC audit and review process.  
  • Golden West Telecommunications and the SDTA discussed concerns about the sufficiency of the USF budget for RoR carriers that remained on legacy support and the effect of the budget controls on the standalone broadband rates for rural consumers and investment incentives for rural carriers.  
  • Grand River Mutual Telephone, Vantage Point Solutions, and JSI urged the FCC to consider, in coordination with fully funding original A-CAM model offers, a way to deploy broadband by making offers of model funding to RLECs whose model eligibility or funding was affected by clerical oversights.  
  • NTCA discussed its proposal for the Mobility Fund Phase II challenge process, stating its proposal is less burdensome on small providers than other proposals.  
  • The FCC is circulating an item on protecting the privacy of customers of broadband and other telecommunications services, and telecommunications carriers' use of CPNI and other customer information.  

June 12, 2017 - REGSCan

  • Comments are due July 10, 2017, on the NPRM that asks whether the Commission should change the current local service rate floor methodology or eliminate the rate floor and its accompanying reporting obligation. Replies are due July 24, 2017.  
  • Comments are due July 6, 2017, on ITTA and USTelecom’s Petition for Rulemaking to review rate regulation of business data services offered by model-based rate-of-return carrier. Replies are due July 21, 2017.  
  • The Wireline Competition Bureau announced the release of an updated list of census blocks eligible for CAF Phase II support in states where price cap carriers accepted the statewide offers of CAF Phase II support. The Bureau seeks feedback on certain categories of census blocks. Comments are due on July 7, 2017.  
  • The Wireline Competition Bureau announced June 30, 2017, is the filing deadline for the biennial recertification of study area boundary data.  
  • The Wireline Competition Bureau announced it released updated data on fixed broadband deployment as of June 30, 2016, collected through FCC Form 477.  
  • TDS asked the FCC to provide the USF funding necessary to maximize broadband deployment to rural areas, and expressed support for the Petition for Rulemaking filed by ITTA and USTelecom.  
  • NTTA asked the FCC to vote on the Order circulated in February 2017 that would revise the FCC’s operating expense limitation rule for rate-of-return carriers serving tribal areas.  
  • The FCC issued a Public Notice on the process for carriers to obtain access to confidential information provided with 2017 annual access charge tariff filings in support of a carrier’s tariff review plan.  
  • The LEC Coalition discussed their Petition seeking a declaration that the intraMTA rule does not apply to LEC charges billed to an IXC when the IXC terminates traffic to or receives traffic from a LEC via tariffed switched access services. 

  • Teliax asserted the movement of terminating end office charges towards bill and keep has likely fueled major increases in robocall volumes and elimination of terminating tandem switching rates would likely contribute to an even greater number of robocalls 

June 5, 2017 - REGSCan

  • The Commission released the tentative agenda for its June 22, 2017 Open Meeting, and will consider, among other things: an NPRM that would amend the Caller ID rules to allow disclosure of blocked Caller ID information to aid law enforcement in investigating threatening calls; an NOI that seeks comment on ways to facilitate greater consumer choice and enhance broadband deployment in multiple tenant environments; and an NPRM and Order that proposes to eliminate the requirement that payphone operators conduct annual audits.  
  • NTCA discussed the USF budget for carriers that did not elect model-based support, including concerns about sufficiency of that budget and the effect of the budget control mechanism on standalone broadband rates for rural consumers and on investment incentives for rural carriers.  
  • NTCA discussed implications of RLECs electing private carriage treatment of broadband transmission facilities for purposes of availing themselves of relief from USF contribution obligations.  
  • The FCC announced the Report and Order that extended the existing freeze of jurisdictional separations rules is effective June 2, 2017.  
  • Commissioners O’Rielly and Clyburn wrote a blog proposing a “means test” for the USF high-cost program and sought comments.  
  • The FCC announced effective dates for the rules adopted in the Business Data Services Report and Order. The new rules are effective August 1, 2017, except for amendments to sections 1.776, 61.45, 61.201, 61.203, and 69.701, which are subject to OMB approval. The FCC released an Erratum on June 1, 2017, making a number of minor corrections to Appendix A – Final Rules in the Business Data Services Report and Order.  
  • The FCC filed a Motion with the D.C. Circuit Court to dismiss a Petition for Review of its Business Data Services Order filed by Sprint and Windstream.

May

May 30, 2017 - REGSCan

  • The FCC released the Open Internet NPRM proposing: to return internet broadband access service to the classification of Title I information service; to return mobile broadband internet access service to the classification of private mobile service; and seeks comment on the existing rules governing ISPs’ practices. Comments are due July 17, 2017; replies are due August 16, 2017.  
  • ITTA and USTelecom filed a Petition for Rulemaking requesting that model-based RoR carriers be permitted to opt into existing price cap regulation for their provision of BDS, subject to certain conditions.  
  • NTCA discussed the implications of RLECs electing private carriage treatment of broadband transmission facilities to avail themselves of relief from USF contribution obligations. NTCA also discussed operating expense cap revisions, ARC imputation, competitive overlap policy implementation, and expenses recoverable via regulated cost recovery mechanisms.   
  • USTelecom, Windstream, Verizon, Frontier, CenturyLink, and AT&T discussed a proposal for a policy framework for broadband measurement reporting and compliance under the CAF program.  
  • The Wireline Competition Bureau issued an Order granting in part Windstream’s Petition for Waiver of the ICC recovery rules to allow it to include in its ICC recovery calculations certain funds that it was unable to collect from Halo Wireless.  
  • USTelecom provided a list of census blocks it claimed have been improperly assigned to various price cap carriers for the CAF Phase II auction.  
  • Comments were filed on May 24, 2017, on actions to accelerate adoption and accessibility of broadband-enabled health care solutions and advanced technologies. Replies are due June 8. Public Notice

  • Professor Christopher Yoo and Timothy Pfenninger released a study of the financial viability of America’s municipal fiber networks, finding 11 out of the 20 fiber networks assessed do not generate enough cash to cover their current operating costs, and only two out of the 20 are on track to recover their total project costs during their 30-40 years of expected useful life

May 22, 2017 - REGSCan

  • The FCC adopted at its May 18, 2017 Open Meeting an NPRM that proposes: to return Internet broadband access service to the classification of Title I information service; to return to the FCC’s original classification of mobile broadband Internet access service as a private mobile service; and seeks comment on the existing rules governing ISPs’ practices. The NPRM is not yet released.  
  • The FCC issued a Report and Order extending through December 31, 2018, the existing freeze of the rules on jurisdictional separations.  
  • The FCC released the NPRM and Order that freezes the current local service rate floor at $18, which was adopted at its May 18, 2017 Open Meeting. The NPRM seeks comments on a proposal to eliminate the local service rate floor rule. Comments are due 30 days after Federal Register publication; replies are due 45 days after FR. News  
  • The FCC announced June 19, 2017 is the effective date for revised rules governing the average per-location, per-project construction limitation on USF support, adopted in the April 21, 2017 Order. This Order granted NTCA’s May 25, 2016 Petition for Reconsideration.  
  • NTCA discussed ways of addressing other questions raised by its May 25, 2016 Petition for Reconsideration regarding imputation of Access Recovery Charges on standalone broadband lines.  
  • FairPoint filed replies on its Petition for Waiver of section 54.312(c) to permit it to submit the locations and census blocks in which FairPoint deployed broadband, but for which FairPoint was not authorized, in order to meet the requirements for receipt of CAF Phase I Round 2 support.  
  • Chairman Pai appointed members to serve on two Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee working groups; Competitive Access to Broadband Infrastructure and Removing State and Local Regulatory Barriers.  
  • Comments are due June 16, 2017, on NCTA and USTelecom’s Petition for Declaratory Ruling to confirm and clarify aspects of the federal regulatory regime governing broadband speed disclosures. Replies due July 3, 2017.  
  • The FCC released the list of counties where lower speed TDM-based business data services are deemed competitive, non-competitive or grandfathered pursuant to the BDS Report and Order

  • Comments are due July 3, 2017, on the NPRM and NOI on ways to eliminate unlawful robocalls. Replies due July 31, 2017.


May 15, 2017 - REGSCan

  • The FCC issued the agenda for its May 18, 2017 Open Meeting, and will consider, among other things: an NPRM and Order that proposes to eliminate the local service rate floor rule. The Order would freeze the current rate floor at $18 pending further action. The FCC will also consider an NPRM that proposes to return internet broadband access service to the classification of Title I information service and seeks comment on the existing rules governing ISPs’ practices.  
  • The FCC provided guidance on rules that prohibit presentations to FCC decision-makers following release of a meeting agenda. The sunshine period for the May 18 meeting began May 12, 2017.  
  • Democratic Senators sent a letter to Chairman Pai to express opposition to the Open Internet NPRM. Press release.  
  • NTCA and WTA urged the FCC to: address NTCA’s Petition for Reconsideration of the requirement that carriers impute Access Recovery Charges to standalone broadband connections; resolve how competitive overlaps will be validated; and provide certainty on expense recovery via high-cost USF support. NTCA discussed similar issues in a separate meeting.  
  • Reply comments were filed on CenturyLink’s Petition for Limited Stay of years six and seven of the ICC transition in the 2011 Transformation Order as it impacts tandem switching and transport charges.  
  • Reply comments were filed on the challenge process for areas that will be eligible for Mobility Fund Phase II support.  
  • Comments are due June 12, 2017, on the NPRM, NOI, and Request for Comment on whether the FCC should enact rules to promote the deployment of broadband infrastructure by preempting state and local laws. Replies are due July 10, 2017. FR  
  • Comments are due June 9, 2017, on the NPRM and NOI on regulatory impediments to wireless network infrastructure investment and deployment. Replies are due July 10, 2017. FR  
  • Senators introduced the Rural Wireless Access Act of 2017, which would require the FCC to collect mobile broadband coverage data that is valid, consistent, and robust. 

May 8, 2017 - REGSCan

  • Chairman Pai gave a speech and issued a statement on FCC actions during his first 100-days as Chairman.  
  • House members requested the FCC ensure sufficient resources are made available to the USF High Cost Program in order to ensure support for broadband deployment in remote and unserved areas.  
  • NTCA and WTA asked the FCC to address certain high-cost USF issues including concerns with the rate floor; structure of the operating expense cap; elimination of the requirement for carriers to impute ARCs for the number of standalone broadband connections, among other things.  
  • Comments were filed on CenturyLink’s Petition for Limited Stay of the six and seven-year ICC transition in the 2011 Transformation Order as it impacts tandem switching and transport charges. Replies are due May 11, 2017. Public Notice  
  • Comments were filed on whether rules adopted in 2001 – 2004 should be continued without change, or should be amended or rescinded, consistent with section 610 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.  
  • Nine Senators introduced a bill entitled Restoring the Internet Freedom Act, which would nullify the 2015 Open Internet Order and prohibit the FCC from issuing a similar ruling in the future.

 

  • USTelecom member companies sent a letter to Chairman Pai on the digital divide and net neutrality.

 

May 1, 2017 - REGSCan 

  • The FCC issued a tentative agenda for its May 18, 2017 Open Meeting, and will consider, among other things: an NPRM and Order that proposes to eliminate the local service rate floor rule and freezes the current rate at $18 pending further action; and an NPRM that proposes to return Internet broadband access service to the classification of Title I information service and seeks comment on the existing rules governing ISPs’ practices.  
  • Chairman Pai announced circulation of the draft NPRM on reclassifying internet access services. The FCC also issued twofact sheets, opened a new docket entitled “Restoring Internet Freedom,” and provided guidance on filing comments. Commissioner O’Rielly discussed Open Internet issues and Chairman Pai’s proposal. Commissioner Clyburn and FTC Chairman Terrell McSweeny issued a joint statement claiming the proposal would harm competition and innovation and leave consumers without any real oversight by the FTC or FCC.  
  • The FCC released the BDS Report and Order adopted at its April 20, 2017 Open Meeting. The Wireline Competition Bureau announced the process to request an unredacted version Order and proposed to release the list of counties where lower speed business data services will be deemed competitive, non-competitive, or grandfathered. Affected parties have until May 11, 2017, to object to the release of their data.  
  • The Federal-State Joint Board on Jurisdictional Separations seeks comments to refresh the record in the separations reform proceeding. The Joint Board also seeks comments on how reforms adopted in the February 24, 2017 Part 32 Report and Order impact Part 36 rules. Comments on both are due May 24, 2017; replies due June 8, 2017.  
  • The FCC issued an Order setting forth Tariff Review Plans for the 2017 annual access filings.  
  • The FCC seeks comments on CenturyLink’s Petition for Limited Stay of years six and seven of the ICC transition as it impacts tandem switching and transport charges. Comments are due May 4, 2017; replies due May 11, 2017.  
  • The FCC is circulating an item addressing Petitions for Waiver of section 51.917 (access revenue recovery).  
  • The FCC issued an Order granting Westelcom’s Petition for a limited and temporary conditional waiver of section 61.26(a)(6)(ii) to allow Westelcom to transition from maximum rural CLEC access rates to non-rural rates.  
  • Sprint, Level 3, and Verizon discussed the pending Petition for Declaratory Ruling filed by Bright House Networks, et al. on the intraMTA rule. They asked the FCC to declare intraMTA calls are subject to reciprocal compensation.  
  • The Robocall Strike Force issued a second report on the progress on addressing the robocall problem.  
  • The Senate will hold a hearing on May 3, 2017 on broadband deployment and infrastructure in rural areas.