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    December

    December 10, 2018 - REGScan

    • The FCC issued the agenda for its December 12, 2018 Open Meeting. The FCC will consider a Report and Order that would offer additional funding to carriers that currently receive A-CAM support in exchange for deploying broadband at increased speeds, provide an opportunity for legacy carriers to transition to model-based support, and authorize additional support for carriers remaining on the legacy RoR support mechanism in exchange for targeting higher broadband speeds. The accompanying FNPRM would seek comment on implementing an auction mechanism for support in legacy areas that are overlapped by an unsubsidized competitor and on addressing budgetary impacts as carriers transition to broadband-only lines. The FCC will also consider, among other things: a Second Report and Order establishing a reassigned numbers database and a Declaratory Ruling that would classify SMS and MMS messaging as information services to address robotexting.  
    • The FCC announced it launched an investigation into whether one or more major carriers violated the Mobility Fund Phase II reverse auction’s mapping rules and submitted incorrect coverage maps.  
    • Numerous ex partes filed on the draft RoR USF Reform Order, including: NTCA expressed support for the draft RoR USF Reform Order and discussed verification of Form 477 data to accurately confirm any competitive overlap and the operation of budget controls over time; WTA discussed the draft RoR USF Reform Order and also noted the current freeze of the rate floor is scheduled to end in July 2019; USTelecom expressed support for the draft RoR USF Reform Order, and discussed the potential impacts of a second A-CAM offer and the use of FCC Form 477 data to determine competitive overlap; ITTA supported the draft RoR USF Reform Order and suggested a clarification to state that existing A-CAM glide path carriers will be offered a revised offer of A-CAM support with increased deployment obligations.  
    • The Eighth Circuit Court denied the Minnesota PUC’s Petition for Rehearing of its decision affirming the Minnesota district court’s ruling that Charter’s VoIP service is an information service.  
    • State Members of the Federal-State Joint Board on Separations suggested the FCC extend the separations freeze rules for up to six years and permit carriers to “unfreeze” the category relationship freeze.  
    • Verizon discussed support for the steps the FCC has proposed in the proceedings on access arbitrage and 8YY access charge reform. Verizon also urged the FCC to deny CenturyLink’s Petition asking that over-the-top VoIP providers and their LEC partners may collect end office local switching access reciprocal compensation.

    • Oral argument in the case addressing Petitions for Review of the Restoring Internet Freedom Order is set for February 1, 2019.

    December 3, 20187 - REGScan 

    • Comments are due January 14, 2019, on the FNPRMs attached to the Rate-of-Return BDS Report and Order. Replies are due February 12, 2019.  
    • USAC filed its 2018 Rate Floor Data Report, providing local voice service rate floor information for all carriers that are below the local urban rate floor benchmark of $25.50.  
    • NTCA expressed support for the draft RoR USF Reform Order that will be voted on at the December Open Meeting. NTCA also discussed verification of Form 477 data to accurately confirm the extent of any competitive overlap, changes to the BCM calculation, pending petitions for reconsideration regarding model-based support, and other issues. ITTA expressed support for the draft RoR USF Reform Order’s provisions on: increased funding for A-CAM carriers and attendant commitments to buildout to additional locations at speeds of 25/3 Mbps; ensuring sufficient and predictable support for legacy RoR carriers; a new model offer for legacy carriers; and separate budgets for the model-based and legacy programs. USTelecom discussed the draft RoR USF Order and FNPRM and how it compares with the proposals in the October 1, 2018 association letter. USTelecom addressed the potential impacts of a second A-CAM offer and the lack of a challenge process in determining competitive overlap. Great Plains, et al. expressed support for adoption of a voluntary offer of additional funding up to $200/month per location for existing A-CAM recipients, with modified deployment obligations.  
    • CenturyLink filed a letter in support of its Petition for a Declaratory Ruling that over-the-top VoIP providers and their LEC partners perform the functional equivalent of end office switching and, accordingly, may collect end office local switching access reciprocal compensation.  
    • The FCC addressed AT&T’s petitions for reconsideration regarding Aureon’s tariffs: an Order on Reconsideration denied AT&T’s request that the FCC calculate the CLEC benchmark rate for Aureon’s CEA service using the mileage that AT&T alleges CenturyLink would charge for the competitive service; and a Second Order on Reconsideration denying AT&T’s request for the FCC to find that Aureon’s 2012 tariff lost its deemed lawful status over time.