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Below is Kelley Drye’s preview of the items under consideration at the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC’s) upcoming monthly Open Meeting, to be held on July 13, 2017.  Consistent with the trend since he took over the Commission, Chairman Ajit Pai continues to schedule a large number of items.  Indeed, for the sixth month in a row, the Commission has six or more items on its agenda.  This month, the agenda consists of eight items, two Notices of Proposed Rulemaking, two Notices of Inquiry, two Reports and Orders, and one Order on Reconsideration.

Each agenda item is summarized below.  Note: these brief summaries are based on draft items, which may differ from the final items released following the Open Meeting.  Please check with Kelley Drye after the meeting for more information on the items below.


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As part of its continued focus on accelerating broadband deployment, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) eased restrictions on its universal service support for deployments by rate-of-return carriers in rural and other high-cost areas.  In a unanimous Order on Reconsideration issued at its April meeting, the FCC found that the restrictions drove providers to exclude high-cost areas from planned deployments, “stranding” communities without broadband.  Rate-of-return carriers will be able to receive support for broadband deployments up to certain thresholds, so long as they cover any additional expenses themselves.  Rate-of-return carriers should factor in this potential support when assessing broadband deployment plans or expanding existing buildouts.  As for providing support in areas served by price cap incumbent carriers, the FCC faces challenges to its recent order on instituting the Connect America Fund (CAF) Phase II auction, under which it will provide support to deploy broadband in unserved areas where the price cap carriers did not elect receive support.  Comments on the CAF challenges are due on May 18, 2017, with replies due on May 29, 2017.

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Last week, the Enforcement Bureau (“EB”) of the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commision”) reached a $ 100 million Consent Decree with Straight Path Communications Inc (“Straight Path” or “The Company”) for fraudulently violating FCC buildout and discontinuance rules with respect to their licenses in the 28 GHz and 39 GHz spectrum bands.  Under

stock_02012007_0098On March 12th, the FCC released its long-awaited 2015 Open Internet Order. In brief, the order reclassifies broadband Internet access service (BIAS) as a “telecommunications service” under Title II of the Communications Act, imposes three bright-line “Open Internet” rules, enhances the transparency rule, adopts a forward-looking reasonable conduct standard for service provider conduct, and forbears from applying a number of provisions of Title II. The rules apply equally to fixed and mobile BIAS providers, including resellers (e.g., MVNOs). The order is undoubtedly a landmark decision that changes dramatically, the FCC’s role with respect to consumer protection, the Internet, and the many business models that utilize the Internet in one way or another.
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On July 23rd, the FCC issued an important Enforcement Advisory about compliance with the Open Internet Transparency Rule, which sets forth the information broadband Internet access service providers must disclose.  If you provide fixed or mobile broadband Internet access service — which is defined as service to mass market retail customers, including small

Today, the FCC adopted a series of steps intended to solicit proposals from communications providers to conduct service-based experiments to explore the transition to all-Internet Protocol (“IP”) networks. Chairman Wheeler described today’s actions as “a big deal” and “an important moment.” He and the other Commissioners emphasized that the experiments would be completely voluntary, will

Josh Guyan contributed to this post.

The FCC’s November 18, 2011 USF/ICC Transformation Order established the Connect America Fund (CAF) and provided for two phases of funding for expanding broadband coverage to unserved locations. The Commission allocated $300 million for CAF Phase I support that was offered to price cap local exchange carriers (LECs) to deploy broadband to locations unserved by fixed, terrestrial Internet access with speeds at a minimum of 768 kbps downstream and 200 kbps upstream. In July 2012 the price cap LECs accepted only $115 million of the $300 million allocated. On May 22, the FCC released an order offering the price cap LECs another $300 million for 2013, as well as the $185 million that was left on the table last year. Carrier elections are due within 75 days of the order, or by August 5, 2013. There are, however, a few key differences in this year’s proposal:


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