Continuing its focus on broadband infrastructure deployment for 5G technologies, the FCC announced that it plans to eliminate regulatory impediments that delay and increase the cost of wireless deployments at its next meeting, scheduled for September 26, 2018. The item would alter the balance of power between wireless broadband providers and state/local governments concerning control over rights of way and deployment fees. The FCC also anticipates initiating a rulemaking aimed at improving 911 dialing and location accuracy for multi-line telephone systems (“MLTS”), potentially imposing new compliance obligations on office building, hotel, and other large facility managers. Rounding out the major actions, the FCC released draft items that would:  (1) permit toll free numbers to be auctioned and sold on the secondary market and (2) consolidate rules and expand the spectrum available for so-called Earth Stations in Motion (“ESIMs”) that provide high-speed broadband service to vehicles, aircraft, and vessels. The proposed items will generate input from all corners of the communications industry as well as real estate interests. You will find more details on the significant September FCC items after the jump:

Continue Reading FCC Plans Major Wireless Deployment and 911 Actions at September Meeting

The FCC will focus on 5G spectrum and the infrastructure supporting next-generation broadband services at its meeting planned for August 2, 2018. Continuing its push to make more spectrum available for flexible wireless use to support 5G technologies, the FCC teed up two major spectrum-related items for its August Open Meeting, which comes hot on the heels of its July 12 meeting. The items would open up 1.55 GHz of spectrum for commercial use through two auctions, with the first auction set to begin later this year. The FCC also plans to take a major step forward in supporting broadband deployment by adopting a long-anticipated “one-touch make-ready” regime for pole attachments, while taking aim at deployment moratoria. Rounding out the major items, the FCC will seek comment on launching a $100 million Connected Care Pilot Program. The proposed items maintain the trend of jam-packed Summer FCC meetings (which will then take a break until September 26) and will be sure to generate input from all communications industry sectors. You will find more details on the significant August FCC items after the jump:

Continue Reading 5G and Broadband Infrastructure in the Spotlight at August FCC Meeting

In a move that surprised almost no one, the FCC extended its discontinuance of service rules to providers of interconnected VoIP services.  When this latest action becomes effective, interconnected VoIP providers will be required to give customers advance notice of plans to discontinue service and will have to file for FCC approval of such actions.  FCC approval is automatic 30 days after the Commission issues public notice, unless it issues an order denying the discontinuance within that time.  Curiously, although the Vonage order preempts state regulation of interconnected VoIP entry or exit, the discontinuance rules require interconnected VoIP providers to notify the relevant state commissions in addition to the FCC.  

More broadly, as it has before, the FCC refused to classify interconnected VoIP service as either a telecommunications service or an information service.  So, while we still don’t know what it is, exactly, interconnected VoIP has yet another of the obligations traditionally associated with POTS service.  


Kelley Drye Client Advisory – FCC Releases Order Extending Discontinuance of Service
Requirements to Providers of Interconnected VoIP Service 

 

 

Late last night, the FCC announced its agenda for its May 13 Open Meeting. Highlighting the agenda are items relating to VoIP provider discontinuance obligations and LNP deadlines.

VoIP

The FCC announced that it plans to “consider a Report and Order concerning the requirements of interconnected VoIP providers when discontinuing service.”  This is sort of a stealth item on the agenda, as there has been virtually no discussion in the docket on this issue in the most recent months.

We hear that the FCC is likely to impose notice requirements similar to those that apply for traditional telecommunications carriers. This will continue a trend for interconnected VoIP where the FCC has imposed, one-by-one, obligations traditionally held by telecommunications carriers while steadfastly refusing to classify interconnected VoIP services. In today’s state of affairs, interconnected VoIP has nearly all of the burdens of regulation but few of the benefits. The most significant outstanding issue continues to be the application of access charges to interconnected VoIP. This topic has been a subject of litigation for some time.

Number Porting

The FCC will address porting intervals and related standards for the transfer of telephone numbers between carriers when a customer switches service providers. Cable providers in particular are pushing for a maximum interval of one-day for simple wireline to wireline and intermodal porting requests. The Order could also further address the information that carriers may require in order to implement a porting request, response intervals for customer service requests (CSRs) and other concerns raised regarding fair competition among providers.