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February

February 19, 2019 - REGScan

  • The FCC adopted five items at its February 14, 2019 Open Meeting, including a Report and Order establishing a schedule to end CAF Phase I support in price cap areas where winning bidders in the CAF Phase II auction will begin receiving Phase II support and in areas that were not eligible for the auction, while providing interim support in areas that did not receive any bids, and an NPRM proposing to amend the Truth in Caller ID rules to implement the anti-spoofing provisions of the RAY BAUM’S Act.  
  • The December 2018 RoR USF Reform Report and Order is effective March 21, 2019, except for the amendments to sections 54.313 and 54.316, which require OMB approval. Amendments to certain Part 32 rules and sections 54.643 and 65.450 are effective January 1, 2020.  
  • The December 2018 Part 36 Order that extended for up to six years the freeze of separations category relationships and allocation factors and allowed carriers that elected to freeze their separations category relationships in 2001 a one-time opportunity to unfreeze and update those relationships is effective February 15, 2019, except for the amendment to section 36.3(b), which is delayed.  
  • Chairman Pai sent letters to members of Congress saying he plans to protect rural Americans from local service rate increases by taking action in the coming months on the rate floor rule.  
  • NTCA suggested the FCC eliminate the local service rate floor policy, recommended delaying Implementation of the network performance testing requirements for recipients of high-cost USF fund support, and discussed ICC issues. NTCA, et al. discussed the Network Testing Order and recommended delaying the effective date of implementation of performance measurement obligations. ITTA, Cincinnati Bell, and TDS Telecom suggested the FCC delay the implementation date of the Network Testing Order’s requirements until a reasonable amount of time after it has resolved all of the issues subject to the petitions for reconsideration and applications for review.  
  • Comments were filed on the FNPRMs attached to the Report and Order that allowed certain RLECs that receive fixed high-cost support to transition from RoR regulation to incentive regulation for their business data services. Reply comments are due March 11, 2019.  
  • NTIA announced it is collaborating with California, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia to broaden and update the national broadband availability map.

  • The FCC extended by 90 days, until August 2, 2019, the date by which USTelecom’s Petition for Forbearance from certain regulatory obligations imposed on ILECs shall be deemed granted in the absence of a Commission denial.

  • The FCC released its first report on illegal robocalls. Chairman Pai reiterated his call for a robust caller ID authentication system to combat illegal caller ID spoofing


    February 11, 2019 - REGScan

    • The FCC issued the agenda for its February 14, 2019 Open Meeting. It will consider five items, including a Report and Order establishing a schedule to end CAF Phase I support in price cap areas where winning bidders in the CAF Phase II auction will begin receiving Phase II support and in areas that were not eligible for the auction, while providing interim support in areas that did not receive any bids, and an NPRM proposing to amend the Truth in Caller ID rules to implement the anti-spoofing provisions of the RAY BAUM’S Act.  
    • Comments are due March 8, 2019, on the FNPRM that was attached to the December 2018 RoR USF Reform Report and Order. The FNPRM seeks comment on an auction mechanism for support in legacy areas that are overlapped by an unsubsidized competitor, budgetary impacts as carriers transition to broadband-only lines, and applying the Tribal Broadband Factor from the A-CAM II offer to legacy carriers. Replies are due April 8, 2019.  
    • NTCA and member companies discussed their support for the December 2018 RoR USF Reform Order, and discussed the importance of future-proof fiber networks, concerns about the processes by which USF performance testing requirements will be implemented, and the negative consumer impacts anticipated by the prospect of the USF local rate floor policy.  
    • USTelecom, AT&T, et al. discussed the draft Order that would phase down legacy voice support, saying the FCC should provide adequate support to price cap ILECs that are mandated to provide voice services in extremely high cost areas that are not funded as part of the CAF II program.  
    • Comments were filed on the FNPRMs attached to the Report and Order that allows certain RLECs that receive fixed high-cost support to transition from RoR regulation to incentive regulation for their business data services. Replies are due March 11, 2019. FR  
    • Comments are due March 8, 2019, on NECA’s December 2018 proposed revisions to formulas used for average schedule interstate settlement disbursements. Replies are due March 25, 2019.  
    • The FCC created a division within its Enforcement Bureau to investigate and prosecute fraud in the USF.  
    • PRA comments are due April 8, 2019, on an extension of the information collection associated with section 69.605, Reporting and Distribution of Pool Access Revenues. 

    February 4, 2019 - REGScan

    • The FCC issued a tentative agenda for its February Open Meeting, which has been rescheduled to February 14, 2019. The FCC will consider five items that were originally circulated for the January meeting, including a Report and Order establishing a schedule to end CAF Phase I support in price cap areas where CAF Phase II auction winning bidders will begin receiving Phase II support and in areas that were not eligible for the auction, while providing interim support in areas that did not receive any bids, and an NPRM proposing to amend its Truth in Caller ID rules to implement the anti-spoofing provisions of the RAY BAUM’s Act.  
    • Chairman Pai responded to a letter from members of Congress on the local service rate floor rule, indicating he plans to take action to protect rural Americans from rate increases in the coming months.  
    • WTA discussed the current status of the local service rate floor and the performance testing requirements for RLECs and other small carriers. WTA said it would prefer elimination of the rate floor, but said it is critical the Commission rule on the issue much earlier than July 1. WTA also discussed its Application for Review of the Network Performance Testing Order.    
    • The FCC issued a Public Notice announcing that the filing deadline for FCC Form 477 data as of December 31, 2018, has been extended to March 8, 2019.  
    • Commissioner Starks issued a statement on the February 1, 2019 oral argument in the Restoring Internet Freedom appeal. Starks supported the Open Internet framework established in 2015.  
    • Chairman Pai responded to a letter from Reps. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Rohit Khanna (D-Pa.) et al., that alleged Verizon throttled certain video services and asked the FCC to investigate. Pai said he forwarded their letter to the Enforcement Bureau and shared the letter with the FTC as they have jurisdiction to police these issues.  
    • Companies responded to Commissioner Rosenworcel’s request to provide a description of any tools they offer to combat robocalls, including a description of the costs charged, if any, to consumers.  
    • The FCC issued a Public Notice further revising deadlines for submitting FCC filings as a result of the government shutdown.