On April 25, 2023, the Federal Communications Commission “(FCC” or Commission”) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) that foreshadows a potentially radical revision to the regulatory framework governing the provision of international telecommunications services. Such services are regulated under Section 214 of the Communications Act of 1934 (“Section 214”), and the FCC’s rulemaking is considering changes to almost every aspect of the authorization lifecycle. If the proposed rules are largely adopted, following public comment and follow-on lobbying in the coming months, the result will be a substantially increased compliance burden for international telecommunications carriers which may complicate their investment and transactional strategies. Right now, this is a situation of a few “knowns” and a lot of open questions. (Note that the NPRM generally does not propose rule changes with regard to domestic (i.e., interstate) Section 214 authority obligations.)
Accompanying the NPRM was an Order that mandates a one-time data request for ownership information to all holders of international Section 214 authority. See our FAQs document describing the Order. The response deadline is not yet known as the Office of Management and Budget must first complete a review of the Order’s information collection obligations. The response deadline will be at least thirty days after the OMB review is completed as announced in the Federal Register.
Continue Reading FCC Considering Major Changes to Section 214 Application and Authorization Rules