Public Notice

FCC Seeks Comment on Post-Incentive Auction Transition Scheduling Plan

The Federal Communications Commission delegated authority to its Media Bureau to establish construction deadlines within the 39-month post-auction transition period for television stations that are assigned to new channels in the incentive auction repacking process. Pursuant to the FCC’s direction, the Bureau, in consultation with the Incentive Auction Task Force (IATF), the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB), and the Office of Engineering and Technology (OET), is developing a plan for a “phased” transition schedule. This Public Notice invites comment on the proposed plan.

Comments are due Oct 31; reply comments are due Nov 15.

[MB Docket No. 16-306 GN Docket No. 12-268]

FCC Announces Reauthorization of its Intergovernmental Advisory Committee and Solicits Nominations for Membership on the Committee

The Federal Communications Commission announces the reauthorization of the Intergovernmental Advisory Committee (“IAC”) and solicits nominations for membership on the IAC.

The current term of the IAC expired on July 14, 2016. The term of operations for the reauthorized IAC will be limited to two years, with an option for reauthorization at the end of the two-year period, and will commence with its first meeting. Nominations for membership are due by December 5, 2016.

The mission of the IAC is to provide advice to the FCC on the many telecommunications issues affecting local, state and Tribal governments that are within the jurisdiction of the FCC. These issues can range from major FCC policy priorities such as broadband adoption and deployment, especially in unserved and underserved rural areas and Tribal lands, strengthening public safety communications infrastructure and emergency response capabilities, streamlining facilities siting, while respecting public rights-of-way, monitoring the transition from “legacy” telecommunications services to emerging wireline networks and wireless networks, and ensuring the effectiveness and efficiency of the universal service programs.

FCC Confirms Sept 29 Meeting Agenda

The Federal Communications Commission will hold an Open Meeting on Thursday, September 29, 2016. The FCC will consider:

  • A Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would leverage advancements in technology to improve wireless emergency alert content, delivery and testing, while seeking comment on further measures to ensure effective alerts.
  • A Report and Order that extends to broadcast licensees the same streamlined rules and procedures that common carrier wireless licensees use to seek approval for foreign ownership, with appropriate broadcast-specific modifications. The item also establishes a framework for a publicly traded common carrier or broadcast licensee or controlling U.S. parent to ascertain its foreign ownership levels.
  • A NPRM that proposes steps the Commission can take to promote the distribution of independent and diverse programming to consumers. A Report and Order that modernizes the Commission’s rules to allow consumers to use a device of their choosing to access multichannel video programming instead of leasing devices from their cable or satellite providers.
  • A seven-item consent agenda.
  • Six personnel actions.

FCC Announces Timeline for Completion of 2017 Urban Rate Survey

The Federal Communications Commission’s Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) will shortly be initiating the urban rate survey for 2017. The information collected in this survey will be used, among other things, to develop voice and broadband reasonable comparability benchmarks that will be in place in 2017. To obtain statistically valid samples, the Bureau will be collecting the rates offered by providers of fixed services identified using FCC Form 477 data (as of June 30, 2015). There will be separate samples for fixed voice and fixed broadband services with up to 500 urban Census tracts in each. Completed surveys will be due on October 25, 2016. (WC Docket No. 10-90)

FCC Seeks Comments on Petitions Regarding Off-Campus Use of Existing E-Rate Supported Connectivity

The Federal Communications Commission seeks comment on two petitions, one filed by Microsoft Corporation, Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation (MBC) and other petitioners, and the other filed by the Samuelson-Glushko Technology Law & Policy Clinic on behalf of the Boulder Valley School District. The petitions request that the FCC allow E-rate-subsidized broadband networks to be accessed by students at home for educational purposes, without an obligation on the E-rate applicant to cost allocate the portion of the traffic attributable to off-campus use.

In the petition filed by Microsoft Corporation, Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation, Charlotte County Public Schools, Halifax County Public Schools, GCR Company, and Kinex Telecom, petitioners seek clarification that if they use TV White Spaces (“TVWS”) technology to extend an eligible school’s E-rate-covered Internet access service to the homes of students in and around those schools for educational purposes, they do not have to cost allocate out of their requests for E-rate support the traffic that originates off-campus. In the alternative, petitioners seek a waiver of the FCC’s rules to permit them to implement a pilot project as described in the petition. In the petition for waiver filed by Samuelson-Glushko Technology Law & Policy Clinic on behalf of Boulder Valley School District (Boulder Valley), the petitioner seeks a waiver of the cost allocation rule in order to allow students at neighboring housing authorities to get Internet access through Boulder Valley’s E-rate subsidized, self-provisioned fiber network after school hours, without Boulder Valley having to cost allocate for the amount of service attributable to off-campus use. According to the petition, local housing authorities or other entities would pay the cost of connecting the affordable housing complexes to Boulder Valley’s network. The Boulder Valley Petition takes the position that the E-rate supported network and Internet access costs for after-hours use are minimal and arguably immaterial because providing access to the district’s broadband network after-hours will not incur an additional charge. They explain that because the school district’s network is designed to ensure that students and teachers have enough bandwidth during school hours, there will be enough bandwidth afterhours to meet students’ needs without incurring additional cost.

Comments in the proceeding are due November 3, 2016; reply comments are due December 5. (CC Docket No. 02-6; WC Docket 10-90; WC Docket No. 13-184)

Proposed Fourth Quarter 2016 Universal Service Contribution Factor is 17.4 Percent

In this Public Notice, the Office of Managing Director (OMD) announces that the proposed universal service contribution factor for the fourth quarter of 2016 will be 0.174 or 17.4 percent. Contributions to the federal universal service support mechanisms are determined using a quarterly contribution factor calculated by the Federal Communications Commission (Commission). The Commission calculates the quarterly contribution factor based on the ratio of total projected quarterly costs of the universal service support mechanisms to contributors’ total projected collected end-user interstate and international telecommunications revenues, net of projected contributions. USAC submitted projected collected end-user telecommunications revenues for October through December 2016 based on information contained in the Fourth Quarter 2016 Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet (FCC Form 499-Q).

The amount is as follows: Total Projected Collected Interstate and International End-User Telecommunications Revenues for Fourth Quarter 2016: $14.215126 billion. To determine the quarterly contribution base, we decrease the fourth quarter 2016 estimate of projected collected interstate and international end-user telecommunications revenues by the projected revenue requirement to account for circularity, and decrease the result by one percent to account for uncollectible contributions. Accordingly, the quarterly contribution base for the fourth quarter of 2016 is as follows: Adjusted Quarterly Contribution Base for Universal Service Support Mechanism Fourth Quarter 2016 Revenues - Projected Revenue Requirement - 1% ($14.218126 billion – $2.083590 billion) * 0.99 $12.013191 billion.

Modernizing the E-rate Program for Schools and Libraries

In this Order, the Wireline Competition Bureau adopts the proposals we made in the ESL Public Notice and releases the eligible services list (ESL) for funding year 2017 for the schools and libraries universal service support program (more commonly referred to as the E-rate program). We also authorize the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) to open the annual application filing window no earlier than 60 days after release of this Order.

FCC Seeks USAC Board Nominations

The Federal Communications Commission seeks nominations for board member positions on the Board of Directions of the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) for a three-year term:

  • Representative for incumbent local exchange carriers (Bell Operating Companies), (position currently held by Joel Lubin, Consultant, AT&T);
  • Representative for libraries that are eligible to receive discounts pursuant to section 54.501 of the Commission’s rules (position currently held by Robert Bocher, Consultant, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction);
  • Representative for state consumer advocates (position currently held by Wayne Jortner);
  • Representative for commercial mobile radio service (CMRS) providers (position currently held by Matt Gerst, Director for Regulatory Affairs, CTIA – The Wireless Association);
  • Representative for cable operators (position currently held by Jose Jimenez, Executive Director, Cox Communications, Inc.); and
  • Representative for schools that are eligible to receive discounts pursuant to section 54.501 of the Commission’s rules (position currently held by Dr. Daniel A. Domenech, Executive Director, American Association of School Administrators).

All nominations must be filed with the Office of the Secretary by October 21, 2016.

FCC Announces Anticipated Renewal of Its Disability Advisory Committee and Solicits Applications for Membership

By this Public Notice, the Federal Communications Commission announces the anticipated renewal of its Disability Advisory Committee and solicits applications for membership on the Committee, subject to renewal of the Committee’s charter. It is expected that the two-year membership term on the Committee, if renewed, would commence on December 30, 2016. Applications for membership are due by 11:59 P.M. on October 20, 2016. The Committee, which was created under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, provides a vehicle for consumers and other stakeholders to provide feedback and recommendations to the Commission on a wide array of disability issues within the FCC’s jurisdiction.

FCC adopts an integrated plan to address both fixed and mobile voice and broadband service in high-cost areas of the state of Alaska

Given the unique climate and geographic conditions of Alaska, the Federal Communications Commission finds that it is in the public interest to provide Alaskan carriers with the option of receiving fixed amounts of support over the next ten years to deploy and maintain their fixed and mobile networks. If each of the Alaska carriers elects this option, we expect this plan to bring broadband to as many as 111,302 fixed locations and 133,788 mobile consumers at the end of this 10-year term.