As Kelley Drye reported in an earlier post, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is moving quickly on efforts to expedite review of certain FCC applications, including, but not limited to, Section 214 and submarine cable-related applications, by the Executive Branch agencies known as Team Telecom. In a May 2016 request to the FCC, the
The Federal Communications Commission (“Commission” or “FCC”) is looking to jump start the initial steps of the Executive Branch process of reviewing certain applications, including Section 214 and submarine cable-related applications. In a May 2016 request from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (“NTIA”), NTIA proposed rule changes designed to facilitate more rapid opening stage review by the Executive Branch agencies known as Team Telecom (which includes the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, Defense, Commerce, State, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and United States Trade Representative) of certain applications. Toward that end, last Friday, the FCC adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) soliciting comments on rules to expand the information required when certain applications are filed. The proposed rules would potentially have broad applicability, including some rules extending to applications lacking traditional levels of reportable foreign ownership. Both domestic and international carriers and submarine cable operators should review the NPRM to determine if participation in the proceeding would advance their interests. Comments and reply comments will be due, respectively, within 30 and 45 days of NPRM publication in the Federal Register.