Selected portions of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, and/or the BloostonLaw Private Users Update — newsletters from the Law Offices of Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy & Prendergast, LLP — are reproduced in this section with the firm’s permission.
|BloostonLaw Telecom Update||Vol. 18, No. 25||June 17, 2015|
REMINDER: FCC Form 481 Due in Two Weeks
The FCC’s Form 481, which collects the information required by Section 54.313 of the FCC’s Rules, is due July 1. As with previous years, the Form must be filed with the FCC, USAC, and the relevant state commission or tribal government (as appropriate). BloostonLaw is prepared to assist carriers in preparing and filing the Form, as well as obtaining confidential treatment with the FCC for sensitive responses.
Comment Deadline Established for Part 4 Outage Reporting NPRM
On June 16, the FCC published its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding its Part 4 outage reporting rules, which require certain providers of communications to electronically file reports of network outages that exceed specified thresholds of magnitude and duration, in the Federal Register. Comments are due July 16, and reply comments are due July 31.
As we reported in the April 1 edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, the FCC seeks comment on proposals to improve the Commission’s Part 4 rules. According to the NPRM, the proposals are based largely on the FCC’s experience with the Network Outage Reporting System (NORS) program. The FCC emphasized that it is seeking to determine the most cost-effective approach to revising the rules, and so specifically seeks comment on the costs and benefits associated with the proposals, which include:
- revising Section 4.5(e)(1) to clarify that any network malfunction or higher-level issue that significantly degrades or prevents 911 calls from being completed constitutes a “loss of communications to PSAP(s),” regardless of whether the PSAP is rendered completely unable to receive 911 calls;
- amending Part 4 to require the reporting of systemic wireless call failures that result from radio access network (RAN) overloading;
- redefining the reporting threshold, which is currently defined in terms of impact on DS3 circuits, in terms of “OC3 minutes” instead (i.e., based on impact on OC3 circuits or other circuits or aggregations of circuits that provide equal or greater capacity);
- shortening the reporting timeframe for simplex outage events from five days to 48 hours;
- adopting a more standardized, technology neutral method for calculating the number of users “potentially affected” by a wireless network outage, such as multiplying the number of cell sites disabled as part of the outage by the average number of users it serves per site or the actual number of users that were being served at each affected cell site when the outage commenced (using the Visitor Location Register);
- classifying as “special offices and facilities” those facilities enrolled in or eligible for the Telecommunications Service Priority (TSP) program, which prioritizes the restoration and provisioning of circuits used by entities with National Security/Emergency Preparedness (NS/EP) responsibilities and duties;
- amending the definition of “special offices and facilities” to exclude all airports other than those designated “primary commercial service” airports in the NPIAS; and
- granting states read-only access to those portions of the NORS database that pertain to communications outages in their respective states, and entertaining requests from other federal agencies for access to NORS data, but acting upon such requests on a case-by-case basis.
Carriers interested in participating in this proceeding should contact the firm.
D.C. Circuit Court Denies Motion to Stay Open Internet Order
Last week, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued an Order denying the Motion for Stay of the FCC’s Open Internet Order filed by USTelecom, NCTA, CTIA, AT&T, ACA, CenturyLink, and WISPA. According to the Court, the petitioners “have not satisfied the stringent requirements for a stay pending court review.” However, the Court did grant the Petitioners’ Motion for Expedition, and directed them to file a proposed briefing format and schedule within 14 days. The Court also ordered that the FCC’s Motion to Dismiss the case be referred to the merits panel for which the petitions for review are assigned.
“This is a huge victory for Internet consumers and innovators! Starting Friday, there will be a referee on the field to keep the Internet fast, fair and open. Blocking, throttling, pay-for-priority fast lanes and other efforts to come between consumers and the Internet are now things of the past. The rules also give broadband providers the certainty and economic incentive to build fast and competitive broadband networks,” said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler of the denial.
Commissioners Pai and O’Rielly, who have opposed the Open Internet Order, expressed their disappointment.
DC Circuit Upholds Key Elements of Incentive Auction; 600 MHz Auction on Track for Spring of 2016
In a major victory for the FCC, a three-judge panel of the DC Circuit Court last week unanimously upheld key elements of the FCC’s incentive auction framework that had been the subject of a judicial appeal from the National Association of Broadcasters and Sinclair Broadcast Group. The decision removes a major hurdle to the Commission’s plans to hold the incentive auction in early 2016.
A written statement from FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler confirmed that the schedule for the incentive auction remains on track.
“We are gratified that the Court agrees with the Commission’s balanced, market-based approach to freeing up more valuable spectrum for innovative wireless broadband services,” wrote Wheeler. “This decision provides the Commission and all stakeholders with the certainty necessary to proceed apace toward a successful auction in the first quarter of next year.”
The NAB filed its petition for review of the FCC’s Incentive Auction Order ( FCC 14-50 ) last August, arguing that the Commission’s incentive auction framework improperly diminishes key broadcaster protections embodied in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (“Spectrum Act”). In particular, the NAB took exception to the methodology used by the Commission to predict local television coverage areas and population served, which it argued could result in significant loss of viewership of broadcast TV stations after the FCC "repacks" TV stations into a shrunken TV band.
The NAB claim also argued that the FCC erred in failing to ensure proper protections for broadcast translators, which are transmitters that help boost the coverage of broadcast TV programming to more rural and remote viewers.”
The Court rejected the appellants’ arguments on all counts, stating in its opinion “[i]t is self-evident that the accuracy of the commission’s determinations would be improved by its use of more recent population data, more precise terrain calculations, and more exact technical information.” It also found that the Commission’s decision not to offer protection to low-power translator facilities was a proper interpretation of the Spectrum Act’s broadcast service preservation mandate, because translator facilities are licensed separately but, unlike low-power Class A TV stations, are afforded only secondary status.
Sinclair raised two additional challenges to the Incentive Auction Order that were not raised by the NAB. First, Sinclair took issue with the Commission’s establishment of a 39-month construction period for broadcasters to transition their services to new channels, known as the “go-dark” deadline. Sinclair also challenged the Commission’s interpretation of the Spectrum Act’s requirement that “at least two competing licensees participate in the reverse auction” before the Commission accepts a broadcaster’s relinquished spectrum. The Court held that the FCC’s decision to establish a 39-month “go-dark” period was neither arbitrary nor capricious, and that the FCC’s interpretation of the term “competing” as to broadcast licensees was logical.
“To require the Commission to forgo the spectrum merely because no other broadcaster in the same geographic market wishes to sell ‘would limit the Commission’s ability to allow market forces to determine the highest and best use of spectrum’ and prevent acquisition of adequate spectrum to allow the auction to close,” wrote the Court.
An NAB statement expressed disappointment with the DC Circuit ruling, but confirmed that the association was “committed to working with policymakers to ensure a successful auction that protects the interests of broadcasters, whether they participate or not, and does not disenfranchise our tens of millions of viewers."
As a related matter, the FCC last week adopted an Order which will allow full power and Class A broadcast television stations to negotiate deals to share channels after the incentive auction, not just before. The FCC believes that providing greater flexibility and certainty regarding channel sharing arrangements will encourage voluntary participation by broadcasters in the incentive auction.
Frontier Communications Accepts Over $283 Million Connect America Fund Offer
The FCC has announced that Frontier Communications Inc. has accepted $283.4 million from the Connect America Fund (CAF) Phase II to expand and support broadband to over 1.3 million rural customers (and over 650,000 homes and businesses) in 28 states. The CAF Phase II funding will provide ongoing support for rural broadband networks capable of delivering broadband at speeds of at least 10 Mbps for downloads and 1 Mbps uploads. Carriers receiving CAF support must build out broadband to 40% of funded locations by the end 2017, 60% by end of 2018, and 100% by the end of 2020. The states in which Frontier will receive the most funding, and with the largest number of rural customers affected, include Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Wisconsin and West Virginia.
By Public Notice, the FCC authorized and directed the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) to disburse from the Universal Service Fund the support amounts for each state where Frontier has accepted support. Consistent with Frontier’s election, USAC was directed to disburse from the broadband reserve account a lump sum payment associated with January through June 2015 for those states where model-based support is greater than Phase I support.
Frontier previously received $133 million in CAF Phase I support, out of a total of $438 million in Phase I support provided.
According to the FCC, over the next six years, “Phase II of Connect America will provide more than $10 billion to expand broadband-capable networks throughout rural America nationwide, all without increasing the cost of the program to ratepayers.”
A spreadsheet listing all counties by state where Frontier will receive funding is available at https://transition.fcc.gov/wcb/CAM43_County_FINAL_052115.xlsx .
FCC Strictly Applies Rural Broadband Experiment Requirements and Denies Waivers
The Wireline Competition Bureau (WCB) has denied a number of petitions seeking waiver of various requirements in connection with the Connect America rural broadband experiments. (WC Docket No. 10-90, 14-259) The waivers included a request by LTD Broadband for an extension of time to obtain a commitment letter for a Letter of Credit (LOC) and separate petitions by Aristotle Telecom and Worldcall Interconnect, Inc. for waivers or extensions of deadlines relating to submissions of the required financial information. The WCB also removed Halstad as a provisionally selected bidder from further consideration for failing to file a LOC commitment letter from a top 100 bank. All of these actions, at least in part, were based on the WCB's strict enforcement of the established deadlines, filing requirements and rules. Accordingly, carriers seeking such funding now and in the future (if available) should be prepared to strictly follow the established rules before submitting applications.
CTIA Sues City of Berkeley CA over RF Radiation Warning Requirement
CTIA, on behalf of the cellular industry, has sued the City of Berkeley, California in US District Court for Northern California to block an ordinance requiring the inclusion of an additional warning label with wireless handset sales. The warning rule includes a requirement that the service provider include the statement: “If you carry or use your phone in a pants or shirt pocket or tucked into a bra when the phone is ON and connected to a wireless network, you may exceed the federal guidelines for exposure to RF radiation. This potential risk is greater for children.” CTIA argues that the Berkeley warning is contrary to Federal studies finding no evidence linking cell phone use to cancer or other health issues, and that Berkeley is violating the free speech requirements of the First Amendment to the Constitution. Berkeley indicates that the ordinance merely recites information contained in the manufacturer’s product manuals.
The City of San Francisco had adopted a similar ordinance, only to revoke it in 2013 after CTIA took the city to court. But the San Francisco ordinance required the warning to disclose the emissions coming from the device. CTIA indicates in its court filing that the FCC’s standard already sets a protection standard well above what is necessary; and that consumer wireless devices meet the relevant standard regardless of how they are worn. The cellular industry is concerned that if the Berkeley ordinance stands, it will spawn a myriad of similar but different (and in some cases conflicting) requirements from other state and local governments, creating an unreasonable and expensive compliance burden on cellular providers and retailers.
Law & Regulation
FCC Issues Proposed Forfeiture of $100,000,000 in Connection with Open Internet Rule Violation
The FCC has issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture and Order finding that AT&T Mobility, LLC (AT&T) "apparently willfully and repeatedly violated" the Commission’s 2010 Open Internet Transparency Rule by: "(1) using the misleading and inaccurate term “unlimited” to label a data plan that was in fact subject to prolonged speed reductions after a customer used a set amount of data; and (2) failing to disclose the express speed reductions that it applied to “unlimited” data plan customers once they hit a specified data threshold." According to the FCC, "AT&T’s practices deprived consumers of sufficient information to make informed choices about their broadband service and thereby impeded competition in the marketplace for such services." The FCC proposed a forfeiture of $100,000,000 and a set of requirements to bring AT&T into compliance with the Transparency Rule.
The FCC's Open Internet Transparency Rule requires a person engaged in the provision of broadband Internet access service to "publicly disclose accurate information regarding the network management practices, performance, and commercial terms of its broadband Internet access services sufficient for consumers to make informed choices regarding use of such services and for content, application, service, and device providers to develop, market, and maintain Internet offerings." The FCC's action is brought under the 2010 Open Internet Order because the enhanced rule adopted in the 2015 Open Internet Order did not become effective until June 12, 2015.
According to the FCC, AT&T ran afoul of the transparency rule in connection with its unlimited data plan when it implemented its Maximum Bit Rate (MBR) policy "under which the Company capped the maximum speed throughput that unlimited data plan customers experienced once they used a set amount of data in a billing cycle." Prior to this, AT&T's unlimited data plan "allowed customers to use unrestricted amounts of data, with no high-speed data caps or automatic speed restrictions." According to the FCC, "[t]he capped speeds that unlimited data plan customers experienced under the MBR policy were orders of magnitude slower than the normal network speeds AT&T advertises." The FCC also asserts that the reduced speeds "significantly impaired the ability of AT&T’s customers to use their data service." The FCC states that it has received thousands of complaints from unlimited data plan customers "alleging that they have had their speeds intentionally reduced, and who claim that they purchased an unlimited data plan and are not getting the services that they paid for."
The FCC finds that "AT&T apparently willfully and repeatedly violated Section 8.3 of the Commission’s Rules by: (1) using the term “unlimited” in a misleading and inaccurate way to label a data plan that was in fact subject to prolonged speed reductions after a customer used a set amount of data; and (2) failing to disclose the data throughput speed caps it imposed on customers under the MBR policy." The FCC further finds that AT&T must take a number of steps to come in to compliance with the rule. According to the FCC, 1)AT&T must correct any misleading and inaccurate statements about its unlimited data plan; 2) AT&T must individually inform all of its unlimited data plan customers, via bill insert or other similar method, that AT&T’s disclosures were in violation of the Transparency Rule, and that AT&T is correcting, or has corrected, its violation of the rule with a revised disclosure statement; 3) the revised disclosure statement must provide those customers with enough information to allow them to make informed choices about the purchase and use of their unlimited data plan, and must inform them that those unlimited data plan customers who choose to cancel their unlimited data plans after the revised disclosure is provided may do so without penalty; 4) the revised disclosure statement must include the maximum speeds to which AT&T limits unlimited data plan customers’ service when applying the MBR policy, to the extent that any such maximum speeds remain in effect; and 5) AT&T must file a report with the Commission within thirty (30) days of the release of the Notice of Apparent Liability regarding its progress, if any, in implementing these measures.
In establishing the proposed forfeiture of $100,000,000, the FCC finds that AT&T knew that its disclosures were misleading from the time it implemented the MBR policy. According to the FCC, "prior to implementing its MBR policy in 2011, AT&T engaged a focus group to conduct studies about its plan to intentionally slow unlimited plan customers." The FCC also finds that AT&T apparently has committed multiple violations of the Transparency Rule. However, the FCC states that it is not imposing the statutory amount of $16,000 per violation because to do so would lead to an astronomical figure. In addition, the FCC states that it has moderated its penalty because "this is the first Commission NAL finding an apparent violation of the Transparency Rule.
"AT&T has 30 days to either pay the $100,000,000 forfeiture and comply with the FCC's requirements or file a written statement seeking a reduction or cancellation of the forfeiture and requirements.
Appropriations Bill Targeting Net Neutrality Rules Gains Subcommittee Approval
On June 11, the House Financial Services Subcommittee Thursday voted to approve an appropriations bill that would cut the FCC’s funding by $25 million from last year’s funding, as well as prohibiting the FCC from implementing net neutrality until certain court cases are resolved. The appropriations bill also requires newly proposed regulations to be made publicly available for 21 days before the Commission votes on them, and prohibits the FCC from regulating rates for either wireline or wireless Internet service.
Broadcasting & Cable reports that Rep. Jose Serrano (D-NY) called the rider among the most excessive, and House Energy and Commerce Committee ranking member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-N.J.) and Communications Subcommittee Ranking Member Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) called it a reckless, politically motivated decision. Even if the bill were to pass these dissenters, however, it must still be signed by President Obama before becoming law — a very unlikely possibility given the President’s vocal support for Net Neutrality.
FCC Issues Agenda for June 18 Open Meeting
On June 11, the FCC issued the official agenda for its June 18, 2015 Open Meeting. At the meeting, the FCC will consider:
- a Report ad Order that will facilitate innovative technologies and services by establishing a process to authorize interconnected VoIP providers to obtain telephone numbers directly from the Numbering Administrators, rather than through intermediaries;
- a Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Order on Reconsideration, Second Report and Order, and Memorandum Opinion and Order in order to comprehensively restructure and modernize the Lifeline program to efficiently and effectively connect low-income Americans to broadband, strengthen program oversight and administration, and take additional measures to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse;
- a Declaratory Ruling and Order reaffirming the Telephone Consumer Protection Act's protections against unwanted robocalls, encouraging pro-consumer uses of robocall technology, and responding to a number; and
- a Second Order on Reconsideration that resolves petitions for reconsideration of the Commission’s Order adopting rules to implement the Broadcast Television Spectrum Incentive Auction, providing parties with additional certainty ahead of the auction.
As always, audio/video coverage of the meeting will be broadcast live with open captioning over the Internet from the FCC Live web page at www.fcc.gov/live at 10:30 a.m.
Illinois Representative Introduces One-Sentence No Rate Regulation of Broadband Internet Access Act
Earlier this month, Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) introduced the No Rate Regulation of Broadband Internet Access Act, the most direct piece of legislation the BloostonLaw Telecom Update editors have ever encountered. It states, in its entirety:
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Federal Communications Commission may not regulate the rates charged for broadband Internet access service (as defined in the rules adopted in the Report and Order on Remand, Declaratory Ruling, and Order that was adopted by the Commission on February 26, 2015 (FCC 15–24)).
According to a press release on the bill, the No Rate Regulation of Broadband Internet Access Act is cosponsored by Committee on Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (MI), Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (OR), as well as Representatives Bob Latta (OH), John Shimkus (IL), Marsha Blackburn (TN), Steve Scalise (LA), Leonard Lance (NJ), Brett Guthrie (KY), Pete Olson (TX), Mike Pompeo (KS), Gus Bilirakis (FL), Bill Johnson (OH), Billy Long (MO), Renee Ellmers (NC), Chris Collins (NY), Kevin Cramer (ND), and Joe Barton (TX).
“While Chairman Wheeler has stated that the FCC does not intend to regulate broadband internet access rates under his leadership, future Commissions still have the authority to insert their own mandates on rates,” said Kinzinger. “If we are to ensure that the government is not setting the rates we pay to use the internet, we must once and for all take that option off the table. Given no objection from Chairman Wheeler to such legislation, I have introduced the No Rate Regulation of Broadband Internet Access Act. ”
FCC Announces Proposed Third Quarter 2015 USF Contribution Factor
The Office of Managing Director (OMD) has announced that the proposed universal service contribution factor for the third quarter of 2015 will be 0.171 or 17.1 percent. According to the FCC, during the third quarter of 2015, carriers may not recover through a federal universal service line item on customer bills an amount that exceeds 17.1 percent of the interstate telecommunications charges on a customer’s bill.
The proposed contribution factor will be deemed approved if the Commission takes no action regarding the projections of demand and administrative expenses and the proposed contribution factor.
USAC shall use the contribution factor to calculate universal service contributions for the third quarter of 2015. Each provider’s contribution obligation will be reduced by a circularity discount approximating the provider’s contributions in the upcoming quarter. The proposed circularity factor for the third quarter of 2015 is 0.14773.
The FCC reminds contributors that failing to pay contributions in a timely fashion may be subject to the enforcement provisions of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended and any other applicable law. In addition, contributors may be billed by USAC for reasonable costs of collecting overdue contributions.
Finally, the FCC states that under the limited international revenues exception (LIRE) in section 54.706(c) of the Commission’s rules, “a contributor to the universal service fund whose projected collected interstate end- user telecommunications revenues comprise less than 12 percent of its combined projected collected interstate and international end-user telecommunications revenues shall contribute based only on projected collected interstate end-user telecommunications revenues, net of projected contributions.” According to the FCC, “[t]he rule is intended to exclude from the contribution base the international end-user telecommunications revenues of any entity whose annual contribution, based on the provider’s interstate and international end-user telecommunications revenues, would exceed the amount of its interstate end-user revenues.” Because the proposed contribution factor exceeds 12 percent, however, the FCC states that a contributor may be required to contribute to the universal service fund an amount that exceeds its interstate end-user telecommunications revenue. If a contributor is in this situation, the FCC states that a contributor may seek a waiver of the LIRE threshold.
Maryland County Challenges FCC Regulations on Wireless Infrastructure Modifications
Montgomery County, Maryland, an affluent suburb of Washington, DC, has sued in federal court to overturn regulations the FCC adopted in 2014 to speed up the deployment of wireless infrastructure.
In 2012, Congress passed Section 6409(a) of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act that empowers the FCC to adopt regulations to reduce delays pertaining to wireless facilities modifications. Section 6409(a) provides that a State or local government may not deny any eligible facilities request for modification of an existing wireless tower or base station that does not substantially change the physical dimensions of such tower or base station. Then, last October, the FCC implemented the legislation by adopting rules interpreting key terms in the statute — including “substantially change” and “base station.” The not-in-my-backyard attitude of some homeowners had prompted some municipalities to attempt to deny or delay certain wireless infrastructure modifications deemed unsafe or unsightly as a concession to the pressures being exerted by those unhappy homeowners. Thus, in the October 2014 regulations, the FCC also established a 60-day period of review after which facilities applications that had not been acted upon by the municipalities would be deemed granted.
Montgomery County urges the federal court to set aside the FCC’s actions. The County claims the FCC’s interpretations of “substantially change” and “base station” are inconsistent with the statute; and that Section 6409(a) and the regulations adopted by the FCC last October violate the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution – the states’ rights amendment. An issue also to be decided by the court is whether the FCC’s interpretation of a statute is entitled to the deference normally granted to federal agencies to interpret statutory provisions when conducting rulemaking proceedings.
In a joint intervention filing with the court, CTIA — The Wireless Association and PCIA — The Wireless Infrastructure Association said that the FCC was within its legal authority to streamline the deployment of wireless infrastructure. They argue that in the quickly evolving world of wireless service, providers must frequently upgrade their facilities to increase network capacity, expand coverage, and make new communications technologies available to consumers. The delays imposed by some municipalities to frustrate the deployment of new wireless technologies, claim CTIA and PCIA, are an inconvenience to consumers and expensive for carriers, as well as costly to our national economy. They argue that the FCC’s regulation are critical to achieving the national policy goals established by Congress in Section 6409(a) and that the Commission’s interpretations of undefined statutory terms provide certainty and ensure that reluctant State and local jurisdictions cannot thwart federal law through imposing endless delay.
A decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit is expected later this year.
Los Angeles City Council Initiates Free Internet Access Request for Participation
Last week, the Lost Angeles City Council voted to solicit bids from companies interested in taking part in an effort to spread 1 Gigabit speed broadband across the city, as part of the CityLinkLA program.
The city is essentially looking to trade public infrastructure, providing access to bulk lease rates on the Department of Water and Power’s fiber network, street lights and poles, access to storm water drainage systems, and a streamlined permit process, for a reduced-rate wired service for low-income communities and a free wireless Internet service throughout the city. City Councilman Bob Blumenfeld said providers would also be able to offer higher tiers of service to make money.
“Making us the most connected city in the nation is an important priority, and this effort today takes a giant leap in that direction,” Blumenfield said. “What we’re doing today is, we’re trying to make Los Angeles more connected. We’re trying to say . . . information is no longer just a privilege — it is a right for everybody.”
A mandatory proposers' conference will be held July 16, and responses to the Request For Participation are due to City Hall by Nov. 12.
Elon Musk’s SpaceX Files for Permission to Begin Testing Satellite Broadband Service
According to The Washington Post , last week Elon Musk’s SpaceX company filed with the FCC for permission to begin testing its satellite broadband project, which the Post calls “a significant step forward for an initiative that could create another major competitor to Comcast, AT&T and other telecom companies.”
According to the article, the company’s plan calls for the launch of some 4,000 small, inexpensive satellites rather than a few big devices that may be hard to replace. Unlike traditional satellites, SpaceX’s satellites would hang in low orbit, trading Internet signals to make connections more reliable and to cover more area. Readers may recall the previous efforts of LightSquared, Inc. to use satellites to provide internet access, which ultimately fell apart over interference concerns — problems the Post suggests Musk won’t have.
With a recent $1 billion investment by Google and Fidelity to help support the project, SpaceX has proposed tests starting next year.
JULY 1: FCC FORM 481 (CARRIER ANNUAL REPORTING DATA COLLECTION FORM). All eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) must report the information required by Section 54.313, which includes outage, unfulfilled service request, and complaint data, broken out separately for voice and broadband services, information on the ETC’s holding company, operating companies, ETC affiliates and any branding in response to section 54.313(a)(8); its CAF-ICC certification, if applicable; its financial information, if a privately held rate-of-return carrier; and its satellite backhaul certification, if applicable. Form 481 must not only be filed with USAC, but also with the FCC and the relevant state commission and tribal authority, as appropriate. Although USAC treats the filing as confidential, filers must seek confidential treatment separately with the FCC and the relevant state commission and tribal authority if confidential treatment is desired. BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Sal Taillefer.
JULY 1: MOBILITY FUND PHASE I ANNUAL REPORT. Winning bidders in Auction 901 that are authorized to receive Mobility Fund Phase I support are required to submit to the Commission an annual report each year on July 1 for the five years following authorization. Each annual report must be submitted to the Office of the Secretary of the Commission, clearly referencing WT Docket No. 10-208; the Universal Service Administrator; and the relevant state commissions, relevant authority in a U.S. Territory, or Tribal governments, as appropriate. The information and certifications required to be included in the annual report are described in Section 54.1009 of the Commission’s rules.
JULY 31: FCC FORM 507, UNIVERSAL SERVICE QUARTERLY LINE COUNT UPDATE. Line count updates are required to recalculate a carrier's per line universal service support, and is filed with the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC). This information must be submitted on July 31 each year by all rate-of-return incumbent carriers, and on a quarterly basis if a competitive eligible telecommunications carrier (CETC) has initiated service in the rate-of-return incumbent carrier’s service area and reported line count data to USAC in the rate-of-return incumbent carrier’s service area, in order for the incumbent carrier to be eligible to receive Interstate Common Line Support (ICLS). This quarterly filing is due July 31 and covers lines served as of December 31, 2014. Incumbent carriers filing on a quarterly basis must also file on September 30 (for lines served as of March 31, 2015); December 30 (for lines served as of June 30, 2015), and March 31, 2016, for lines served as of September 30, 2015).
JULY 31: CARRIER IDENTIFICATION CODE (CIC) REPORTS. Carrier Identification Code (CIC) Reports must be filed by the last business day of July (this year, July 31). These reports are required of all carriers who have been assigned a CIC code by NANPA. Failure to file could result in an effort by NANPA to reclaim it, although according to the Guidelines this process is initiated with a letter from NANPA regarding the apparent non-use of the CIC code. The assignee can then respond with an explanation. (Guidelines Section 6.2). The CIC Reporting Requirement is included in the CIC Assignment Guidelines, produced by ATIS. According to section 1.4 of that document: At the direction of the NANPA, the access providers and the entities who are assigned CICs will be requested to provide access and usage information to the NANPA, on a semi-annual basis to ensure effective management of the CIC resource. (Holders of codes may respond to the request at their own election). Access provider and entity reports shall be submitted to NANPA no later than January 31 for the period ending December 31, and no later than July 31 for the period ending June 30. It is also referenced in the NANPA Technical Requirements Document, which states at 7.18.6: CIC holders shall provide a usage report to the NANPA per the industry CIC guidelines. . . The NAS shall be capable of accepting CIC usage reports per guideline requirements on January 31 for the period ending December 31 and no later than July 31 for the period ending June 30. These reports may also be mailed and accepted by the NANPA in paper form. Finally, according to the NANPA website, if no local exchange carrier reports access or usage for a given CIC, NANPA is obliged to reclaim it. The semi-annual utilization and access reporting mechanism is described at length in the guidelines.
AUGUST 1: FCC FORM 499-Q, TELECOMMUNICATIONS REPORTING WORKSHEET. All telecommunications common carriers that expect to contribute more than $10,000 to federal Universal Service Fund (USF) support mechanisms must file this quarterly form. The FCC has modified this form in light of its recent decision to establish interim measures for USF contribution assessments. The form contains revenue information from the prior quarter plus projections for the next quarter. Form 499-Q relates only to USF contributions. It does not relate to the cost recovery mechanisms for the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Fund, the North American Numbering Plan Administration (NANPA), and the shared costs of local number portability (LNP), which are covered in the annual form (Form 499-A) that was due April 1.
AUGUST 1: FCC FORM 502, NUMBER UTILIZATION AND FORECAST REPORT: Any wireless or wireline carrier (including paging companies) that have received number blocks—including 100, 1,000, or 10,000 number blocks—from the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA), a Pooling Administrator, or from another carrier, must file Form 502 by August 1. Carriers porting numbers for the purpose of transferring an established customer’s service to another service provider must also report, but the carrier receiving numbers through porting does not. Resold services should also be treated like ported numbers, meaning the carrier transferring the resold service to another carrier is required to report those numbers but the carrier receiving such numbers should not report them. Reporting carriers file utilization and forecast reports semiannually on or before February 1 for the preceding six-month reporting period ending December 31, and on or before August 1 for the preceding six-month reporting period ending June 30.
AUGUST 29: COPYRIGHT STATEMENT OF ACCOUNTS. The Copyright Statement of Accounts form plus royalty payment for the first half of calendar year 2014 is due to be filed August 29 at the Library of Congress’ Copyright Office by cable TV service providers.
Calendar At A Glance
Jun. 22 – Comments are due on Eligible Services List for E-Rate 2016.
Jun. 23 – Petitions to Suspend or Reject Tariffs filed on 15 days’ notice are due.
Jun. 24 – Tariffs filed on 7 days’ notice are due.
Jun. 26 – Replies to Petitions to Suspend or Reject Tariffs filed on 15 days’ notice are due.
Jun. 26 – Petitions to Suspend or Reject Tariffs filed on 7 days’ notice are due by noon Eastern Time.
Jun. 29 – Replies to Petitions to Suspend or Reject Tariffs filed on 7 days’ notice due by noon Eastern Time.
Jun. 29 – Comments are due on the FCC’s Mobile Competition Report.
Jul. 1 – FCC Form 481 (Carrier Annual Reporting Data Collection Form) is due.
Jul. 1 – FCC Form 690 (Mobility Fund Phase I Auction Winner Annual Report) is due.
Jul. 6 – Reply comments are due on the 9-1-1 Non-Service Initialized Device NPRM.
Jul. 6 – Reply comments are due on Eligible Services List for E-Rate 2016.
Jul. 9 – Deadline to Certify Accuracy of Authorization and Database Technical Information for Full Power and Class A Stations.
Jul. 9 – Deadline for Petitions for Eligible Entity Status for Full Power and Class A Stations.
Jul. 14 – Reply comments are due on the FCC’s Mobile Competition Report.
Jul. 16 – Comments are due on Part 4 Outage Reporting NPRM.
Jul. 20 – PRA comments are due on the Open Internet Order.
Jul. 27 – Comments are due on FirstNet Draft RFP.
Jul. 31 – Reply comments are due on Part 4 Outage Reporting NPRM.
Jul. 31 – FCC Form 507 (Universal Service Quarterly Line Count Update) is due.
Jul. 31 – Carrier Identification Code (CIC) Report is due.
Aug. 1 – FCC Form 502 due (North American Numbering Plan Utilization and Forecast Report).
Aug. 1 – FCC Form 499-Q (Quarterly Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet) is due.
Aug. 29 – Copyright Statement of Accounts is due.