Public Interest Advocates Discuss IP Transition with FCC

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Eleven public interest advocates (including the Benton Foundation) filed a letter on July 7, 2016, to express concern with a draft order that will streamline the framework for Federal Communications Commission evaluation of requests to discontinue legacy voice service. The groups urged the FCC to include affordability in the criteria to evaluate a discontinuance application and require consumer education in languages other than English and in a manner that can be used by people with disabilities. The FCC must ensure that discontinuance of service does not result in the loss of Lifeline discounts to low-income households, including both voice and the recently adopted Broadband Internet Access Service Lifeline program. The availability of Lifeline discounts should be included in the adequate replacement criteria. The FCC must ensure that discontinuance of service does not leave any consumers without access to the Internet at a reasonably comparable price. The ability to connect to the Internet at a reasonably comparable price should be included in the adequate replacement criteria.

Public Knowledge and the Communication Workers of America met with Commissioner O’Reilly’s Legal Advisor on July 5, 2016, to express support for FCC action to clarify the process and criteria the FCC will use to evaluate a streamlined discontinuance request from a legacy voice TDM provider. They said, however, the FCC should require carriers to certify there is a broadband provider in the service area prior to discontinuing service and ensure that there is an adequate public comment period for a 214(a) discontinuance. They also met with Legal Advisors to Commissioners Clyburn and Rosenworcel to discuss the same issues.


Public Interest Advocates Discuss IP Transition with FCC Ex parte (Public Knowledge)