Federal Communications Commission

FCC Confirms Agenda for July 2016 Meeting

The Federal Communications Commission will hold an Open Meeting on the subjects listed below on Thursday, July 14, 2016:
Spectrum Frontiers: The Commission will consider a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would make spectrum in bands above 24 GHz available for flexible use wireless services, including for next-generation, or 5G, networks and technologies.
Advancing Technology Transitions: The Commission will consider a Declaratory Ruling, Second Report and Order, and Order on Reconsideration that adopts a framework to guide transitions to next-generation communications technologies while protecting the interests of consumers and competition.

FCC Commissioner Pai Sends Letters to State Commissioners

Federal Communications Commission member Ajit Pai sent letters to commissioners at Public Utility Commissions of Oregon, Texas, and California as well as the Vermont Public Service Department. The states each run their own Lifeline accountability databases. Commissioner Pai said he is seeking their aid in “combating the waste, fraud, and abuse that has riddled the Universal Service Fund’s Lifeline program since wireless resellers began participating in this program.” He asks several questions about how the states run their databases. He asks for a reply by August 2, 2016.

FCC Seeks Comment On The Accessibility Of Communications Technologies

This Public Notice seeks comment on tentative findings for the 2014 Biennial Report to Congress on the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA).

Public comment will assist the Federal Communications Commission in assessing the following: (1) the level of compliance with the CVAA’s mandates requiring telecommunications and advanced communications services and equipment to be accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities; (2) the effect of related recordkeeping and enforcement obligations; and (3) the extent to which accessibility barriers still exist with respect to new communications technologies.

The FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau will submit the final Report to Congress by October 8, 2014. Interested parties may file comments on or before September 11, 2014.

Request for Comment on Petition Filed by Sprint Corporation Regarding Access to the Internet-based Telecommunications Relay Service Numbering Directory

On January 16, 2014, Sprint filed a petition requesting a limited waiver of the Federal Communications Commission’s rule that restricts access to the Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) Numbering Directory to the TRS Numbering Administrator and Internet-based TRS providers.

Specifically, Sprint requests a waiver of this rule to allow Sprint, as a provider of Federal Relay services, to load telephone numbers for its federal video relay service (VRS), including “front door” toll-free numbers and ten-digit numbers into the TRS Numbering Directory.

Sprint asserts that, because these numbers are not currently in the TRS Numbering Directory, federal employees who are deaf or hard-of-hearing and have been assigned a Federal VRS number are unable to make point-to point video calls to other deaf or hard-of-hearing federal employees.

Sprint further asserts that permitting these “front door” toll-free numbers and ten-digit numbers into the database will allow deaf and hard-of-hearing federal employees to make point-to-point video calls, increase the ability of deaf and hard-of-hearing Americans to reach federal employees, and reduce the number of calls that must be supported by the Interstate TRS Fund.

The FCC invites interested parties to file comments on the Sprint petition within by Sept 8, 2014 and to file reply comments no later Sept 18, 2014.

FCC Requests Additional Information from Charter in Comcast/Time Warner Cable Review

On August 21, 2014, the Federal Communications Commission sent Charter Communications a request for information and data with respect to the applications for transfer of control of certain licenses that the company filed on June 4, 2014. Now, the FCC asks that Charter provide additional written responses and supporting documentation for each request listed below:

Describe in detail Charter’s plans to migrate subscribers acquired as a result of the proposed divestiture transactions, including but not limited to:
a projected timeline for the transition of all the acquired customers;

  • any plans for relevant services and devices necessary to access the services to be offered to the acquired subscribers;
  • any plans for the acquired customers to retain their current service plans and if so, the length of time the acquired customers may remain enrolled under their existing service plans;
  • the features and services accessible from each device that will be offered to acquired customers;
  • any services or features that an acquired subscriber received from its previous provider that it will not be able to obtain from the Company after the consummation of the proposed the proposed divestiture transactions, and plans to introduce that lost service or otherwise compensate the subscriber; and
  • all documents discussing customer migration and transition of the acquired customers to the Company.

For the proposed divestiture transactions, provide: (i) a timetable for each transaction, a description of all actions that must be taken prior to consummation of each transaction, and any harm that will result if the transactions are not consummated; and (ii) a description of any other terms or conditions of the transactions that are not reflected in the transaction agreements between the parties.

The FCC requested responses no later than September 11, 2014.

[Lake is Chief, FCC Media Bureau]

[MB Docket No. 14-57]

T-Mobile USA Forfeiture Order Concerning Hearing Aid-Compatible Handsets

Although the Federal Communications Commission’s wireless hearing aid compatibility rules have been in place for nearly a decade, T-Mobile USA failed to provide the minimum number of hearing aid-compatible handset models required under the rules during calendar years 2009 and 2010.

To that end, the FCC imposes a penalty of $819,000 against T-Mobile, for failing to offer to consumers the required number of hearing aid-compatible digital wireless handset models for nearly two years.

Chris Henderson Named USAC CEO

Chris Henderson is an outstanding choice to lead USAC. His selection reflects the extensive and thorough search process conducted by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) Board.

Chris’s background and qualifications will be invaluable as we work together to implement the FCC’s modernization and reform of the Universal Service Fund programs.

Scott Jordan Named FCC’s Chief Technology Officer

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler appointed Scott Jordan as Chief Technology Officer. Jordan succeeds Henning Schulzrinne, who will return to Columbia University and continue to serve the FCC in a part-time capacity as a Technology Advisor.

In his role as Chief Technology Officer, Jordan will serve as the senior advisor on technical matters across the agency. Jordan will engage with technology experts outside the agency and promote technical excellence among agency staff.

Jordan will be based in the FCC’s Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis. He joins the FCC from the University of California, Irvine, where he is a Professor of Computer Science. Jordan is widely known for his research on communications platforms, pricing, and differentiated services on the Internet. In the technology arena, Jordan works to further integrate voice, data, and video on the Internet and on wireless networks.

Time Warner Cable Failed to Comply with Network Outage Reporting Requirements

The Federal Communications Commission’s Enforcement Bureau has resolved its investigation into whether Time Warner Cable complied with the FCC’s network outage reporting requirements.

TWC has failed to file a substantial number of reports with respect to a series of reportable wireline and Voice over Internet Protocol network outages. TWC admits that its failure to timely file the required network outage reports violated the FCC’s rules.

To resolve the investigation, TWC will pay a civil penalty of $1.1 million and implement a three-year compliance plan to ensure future compliance with the FCC’s network outage reporting rules.

FAQs for Rural Broadband Experiments

Starting from general questions regarding how rural broadband experiments relate to Connect America Phase II to whether an entity that wins support for the rural broadband experiments is then unable to bid in the Phase II competitive bidding process, the Federal Communications has provided communities with a list of frequently asked questions for its pending rural broadband experiments.