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Deadline Set for Open Internet Appeals

Posted on April 15, 2015

The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC or Commission) Open Internet decision was published in the Federal Register on April 13, triggering the deadline for petitions for review. Petitions for judicial review must be filed within 60 days of the release of the agency decision – June 12, 2015. AT&T, CTIA, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, and the American Cable Association have all filed petitions for review in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

For additional information, please contact Erin Fitzgerald.

2015 Tariff Review Plans Now Available For Download

Posted on April 15, 2015

The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) has released the Tariff Review Plans (TRPs) that incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) must file in 2015. Among other things, the 2015 TRPs will be used by ILECs to revise intrastate and interstate rates, revise intercarrier compensation rates, calculate Eligible Recovery and make necessary true-ups, calculate reciprocal compensation rates, and calculate access recovery charges. Price cap and rate-of-return ILECs can download their TRPs from the FCC’s 2015 TRP resource page. Procedures and deadlines for filing TRPS and annual access charge tariffs were recently announced by the Bureau: TRPs and tariffs for 2015 must be filed with an effective date of July 1, 2015.

For additional information, please contact Tony Veach.

Freedom from Internet Tax Act Introduced

Posted on April 15, 2015

Representative Alex Mooney (R-WV) has introduced the Freedom from Internet Tax Act (H.R. 1712) in the U.S. House of Representatives. If passed, the bill would amend the Communications Act of 1934 to exempt providers of broadband Internet access service from Federal universal service fund contributions. It has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

For additional information, please contact Tony Veach.

Citizens Broadband Radio Service and Competitive Bidding On FCC April Open Meeting Agenda

Posted on April 15, 2015

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) has released the agenda for its April open meeting, scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on April 17, 2015. It contains the following items.

Citizens Broadband Radio Service: The Commission will consider a Report and Order and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would leverage innovative spectrum sharing technologies to make 150 megahertz of contiguous spectrum available in the 3550-3700 MHz band for wireless broadband and other uses.

Competitive Bidding: The Commission will consider a Public Notice requesting additional comment on how to ensure that small businesses, rural telephone companies, and businesses owned by members of minority groups and women have an opportunity to participate in the provision of spectrum-based services, while ensuring that there are adequate safeguards to protect against unjust enrichment to ineligible entities.

The meeting is scheduled to start at 10:30 am, and will be shown online at www.fcc.gov/live.

For additional information, please contact Erin Fitzgerald.

Bureau Corrects Phase II Challenge Process Resolution Order

Posted on April 15, 2015

The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau has released an Erratum that amends the Connect America Fund Phase II Challenge Resolution Order. Among other things, the Erratum changes the eligibility status of 746 census blocks. Consequently, the Order now shows that 57,288 census blocks should be treated as unserved and 36,700 census blocks should be treated as served (for purposes of calculating the Phase II offer of model-based support to price cap carriers). An updated list showing the designation of served or unserved for each challenged census block is available in Microsoft Excel format at http://www.fcc.gov/wcb/CAF II Challenge App A.zip.

For additional information, please contact Tony Veach.

Bureau Releases A-CAM Rate-of-Return Service Area Map

Posted on April 13, 2015

The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) has released an online, publicly-accessible map of rate-of-return study area boundaries and related geographical information that will be incorporated into the next version of the Alternative Connect America Cost Model (A-CAM). The A-CAM – currently in version 1.0.1 – is a cost model that is being developed for use by rate-of-return carriers that voluntarily elect to transition to a system in which they receive model-based high-cost universal service fund (USF) support, if the FCC ultimately adopts such a process. The A-CAM models forward-looking economic costs of deploying and operating a fiber-to-the-premise (FTTP) network, and is fundamentally the same cost model as CAM 4.2 – the model that will be used to distribute USF support to price cap carriers in Phase II of the Connect America Fund. The recently released service area map is based on study area and boundary exchange data that were submitted by rate-of-return local exchange carriers and certain state utility commissions. A number of modifications were made to the data in order to ready it for use in the A-CAM modeling process. The A-CAM service area map is available at http://www.fcc.gov/maps/acam-ror-sa-map. A copy of the Bureau’s “A-CAM Service Area Development Process” white paper is available from the FCC’s rate-of-return carrier resource page.

For additional information, please contact Tony Veach.

Petition Seeks N11 Code for Suicide and Crisis Hotlines

Posted on April 10, 2015

Care2, Inc. has filed a Petition for Rulemaking with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) seeking the assignment of an “N11″ code or other abbreviated dialing code for nationwide suicide prevention. Petitioner notes that, while all N11 numbers are in use to some degree, 611 or 811 have not been officially assigned. More than 30,000 individuals have signed the Care2 petition. Statements opposing or supporting the petition are requested within 30 days, by May 11, 2015.

For additional information, please contact Erin Fitzgerald.

AT&T Settles After Huge Customer Privacy Breach

Posted on April 10, 2015

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) has entered into a $25 million settlement with AT&T Services, Inc. to resolve an investigation into consumer privacy violations at AT&T call centers in Mexico, Colombia, and the Philippines. The data breaches involved the unauthorized disclosure of almost 280,000 U.S. customers’ names, full or partial Social Security numbers, and unauthorized access to protected account-related data, known as customer proprietary network information (CPNI). These employees accessed CPNI while obtaining other personal information that was used to request handset unlock codes for AT&T mobile phones, and then provided that information to unauthorized third parties who appear to have been trafficking in stolen cell phones or secondary market phones that they wanted to unlock. The Commission’s Enforcement Bureau launched its investigation in May 2014, and this is the FCC’s largest privacy and data security enforcement action to date. In addition to the $25 million civil penalty, the company will also notify all customers whose accounts were improperly accessed. AT&T will pay for credit monitoring services for all consumers affected by the breaches in Colombia and the Philippines.

 

For additional information, please contact Erin Fitzgerald.

FiberTower Earns Small Victory in License Cancellation Appeal

Posted on April 9, 2015

The DC Circuit appeals court has given FiberTower a small but meaningful victory in FiberTower’s appeal of the FCC wireless bureau’s cancellation of several hundred 24 GHz and 39 GHz licenses. In 2012, the bureau denied the “substantial service” construction notifications for 689 of FiberTower’s licenses. FiberTower challenged, among other things, the bureau’s cancellation of 42 of these licenses that FibertTower claimed had been constructed but for which the bureau had not reviewed the individual substantial service showings. The bureau’s prior substantial service analysis had been predicated on the umbrella finding that there was no “construction of any facilities whatsoever” in any of FiberTower’s terminated license areas. This decision by the DC Circuit does not mean that FiberTower’s 42 licenses are in the clear, as the bureau must still determine upon remand whether the construction for those licenses satisfies the FCC’s substantial service standard.

For additional information, please contact Bob Silverman.

USF Exemption Bill Introduced

Posted on April 7, 2015

Congressman Alexander Mooney (R-WV) has introduced the Freedom from Internet Tax Act (H.R.1712). H.R. 1712 would amend the Communications Act of 1934 (the Act) to exempt providers of broadband Internet access service from federal universal service contributions.  The Federal Communications Commission’s recent reclassification of broadband from an information service to a telecommunications service under Title II of the Act has prompted debate regarding whether or not broadband Internet service providers should eventually be required to contribute to the Universal Service Fund.  H.R. 1712 would prevent this from occurring.  H.R. 1712 has been referred to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce for consideration.

For additional information, please contact Erin Fitzgerald.