The FCC is moving full steam ahead this summer with a jam-packed agenda for its next open meeting, scheduled for July 16, 2020. Headlining the meeting is the creation of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, establishing 988 as the 3-digit dialing code for the suicide and mental health crisis hotline. All telecommunications carriers and VoIP providers would be required to implement 988 on their networks by July 16, 2022. The FCC continues to move forward on eliminating unwanted and illegal robocalls, planning to carve out safe harbors from liability for call blocking based on reasonable analytics and seeking comment on any additional obligations for blocking providers. The supply chain rulemaking would adopt the Commission’s prohibition on using universal service funds to support equipment or services provided by identified companies posing a national security threat, and propose further requirements for securing communications networks. The agency also plans to affirm and build upon vertical location requirements for enhanced 911 location accuracy and to establish procedures for enhanced broadband mapping and data collection. In addition, the agenda includes items to modernize the leased access rate formula and streamline and update the priority service program rules for emergency workers.

While FCC action historically dwindles going into an election year, the July agenda shows no signs of slowing down on the Commission’s main priorities. You will find more details on the most significant July meeting items after the break:


Continue Reading FCC Previews a Jam-Packed July Open Meeting with National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Call Blocking, and Supply Chain Items Leading the Agenda

On February 28, 2020, at its Open Meeting, the FCC voted to commence a rulemaking to examine the rebalancing of many technical rules governing the deployment of fixed and certain mobile, unlicensed white space devices in the television bands (in and around the 600 MHz range) to increase opportunities for relatively long-distance connectivity in rural and underserved areas, such as for wireless broadband solutions or applications associated with the Internet of Things (“IoT”), although there are no application restrictions on white space devices per se. The rule changes are proposed only in those frequencies below TV channel 35, and so exclude the 600 MHz duplex gap and the 600 MHz service band. The text of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) was promptly released on March 2. Comments are due 30 days after Federal Register publication with replies due sixty days after publication, which has not yet occurred.

Continue Reading FCC Opens Proceeding to Reinvigorate Opportunities for TV White Space Devices

flowshcartThe Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) has just announced in a Public Notice that Interstate Telecommunications Service Providers (ITSP) and Commercial Mobile Radio Service (CMRS) providers can now log into the FCC’s Fee Filer system to preview the provider’s FY2016 regulatory fee data.  ITSPs and CMRS providers are encouraged to review their proposed fee

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Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced in the Federal Register that July 7, 2015, is the effective date for new consumer booster marketing and labelling rules adopted in its September 2014 reconsideration order which had to first undergo review and approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).  The remaining rules modified in the reconsideration order, which we covered in an earlier blog post, became effective on December 28, 2014.
Continue Reading Rules Impacting Marketing, Packaging, and Labelling of Consumer Boosters Clear OMB Hurdle

On October 3rd, the FCC announced a settlement with Marriott International, Inc. and Marriott Hotel Services, Inc. to resolve an investigation into the hotel operator’s use of a Wi-Fi monitoring and blocking system.  In the investigation, the Commission concluded that an operator cannot use such a system to prevent users from connecting to the Internet via their own personal Wi-Fi networks, rather than being limited to the hotel’s own Wi-Fi network, when these users did not pose a threat to the security of the hotel operator or its guests.  This consent decree reminds hotel operators and property owners, as well as other property owners that, while they may control the deployment of fixed radio stations on their property, they may not interfere with communications, including Internet wireless access, that occur on their property using mobile devices.  As part of the consent decree, the hotel operator agreed to pay $600,000 in “civil penalties” and to implement an extensive three-year compliance plan, with quarterly reporting, focusing on the hotel operator’s access point containment features at all of its U.S. properties, including properties owned and/or operated by the company.
Continue Reading More Enforcement Action at the FCC: Enforcement Bureau issues $600,000 Penalty for Wi-Fi Blocking

On Tuesday, September 23, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) released an Order reconsidering certain provisions of its February 2013 order adopting a new regulatory framework for consumer and industry use of wireless signal boosters.  A companion Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“FNPRM”) seeks comment on whether to remove a “personal use” restriction on

As a result of the Federal Communications Commission ‘s Regulatory Fees Order released last Friday, submarine cable licensees will see a welcome decline in fees for fiscal year 2014 due to a reallocation among International Bureau regulatees, and Responsible Organizations (“RespOrgs”) will begin paying regulatory fees on toll free numbers in fiscal year 2015.  However, among other decisions, the FCC declined to adopt its proposal to pool the revenues to be collected from payers of the Interstate Telecommunications Service Provider (“ITSP”) fee and Commercial Mobile Radio Service (“CMRS”) providers.

Because the Regulatory Fee Order for FY 2014 came out later than in years past, the FCC indicated the decision would become effective upon publication in the Federal Register, rather than thirty days thereafter.  The FY 2014 regulatory fees are due September 23 (by 11:59 PM, Eastern Daylight Time), and Fee Filer, the Commission’s automated filing and payment system for FY 2014 regulatory fees, is now open.
Continue Reading Regulatory Fees Order for FY 2014 Released; September 23 Payment Deadline Set

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced that Interstate Telecommunication Service Provider (ITSP) and Commercial Mobile Radio Service (CMRS)  data, on which FY2014 regulatory fees will be based, is now available on Fee Filer – the FCC’s electronic filing and payment system. The FCC has not yet released its FY2014 Regulatory Fees Report and Order