The FCC adopted an Order on Reconsideration at its October 25, 2019 meeting modifying the broadband performance testing requirements for service providers receiving Connect America Fund (“CAF”) high-cost support. Under the Order, the FCC will delay the start of testing for many CAF recipients to better align with network deployment deadlines. The FCC also will create a “pre-testing” period to allow CAF support recipients time to assess how their networks and testing equipment perform without penalty before official testing begins. In addition, the FCC will provide more flexibility for certain testing procedures to reduce the burden on smaller service providers. The Order impacts every CAF program and deserves a close look, not only by service providers that currently receive CAF support but also by those that plan to seek such support through future programs like the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. The Order is just the latest in a long line of reforms to the CAF since its creation nearly a decade ago and shows that the FCC still is willing to tinker with its high-cost programs to meet its broadband deployment goals.
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Late last week, the FCC released a Second Report and Order and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking imposing additional emergency alert accessibility obligations on both device manufacturers and multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) pursuant to the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA).  The new requirements are designed to make access to emergency information easier for individuals who are blind or visually impaired.  The initial obligations will be effective at the end of 2016, and comments will be due on the FNPRM 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

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March 1st is the deadline for submission to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) of annual facility reports under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (“EPCRA”).  EPCRA requires companies to notify state and local planning and emergency response authorities, and local fire departments, of the presence of certain chemicals at their facilities. These

Josh Guyan contributed to this post.

In the latest of its orders to implement the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (“CVAA”), the FCC released a Second Report and Order addressing the accessibility requirements of Internet browsers on mobile phones for the blind and visually impaired. This order adopted requirements for which it sought further comment in January 2012 when it released a Report and Order implementing provisions of the CVAA to ensure that people with disabilities have access to advanced communications services (“ACS”). The substantive obligations for mobile phones will go into effect at the same time as the CVAA’s substantive obligations for ACS services take effect, on October 8, 2013. The recordkeeping obligations, however, went into effect on January 30, 2013.


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What:   FCC Form 502: North American Numbering Plan Numbering Resource Utilization/Forecast Report

When:  Due on February 1, 2010

Who must file:

Required if carrier has received numbers from NANPA, a pooling administrator or other carrier.  Subscriber toll-free numbers are not reported.  Filers include ILECs, CLECs, 500-service providers, paging companies, wireless carriers, STS providers, satellite service

What:   FCC Form 499Q: Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet – Quarterly Filing for Universal Service Contributors.  Contributors must project 2Q telecommunications revenues and report actual telecommunications revenues for 4Q 2009.

When:  Due on February 1, 2010

Who must file:  All carriers that are required to contribute to the maintenance of universal support mechanisms.  De minimis contributors