In a move affecting nearly every type of dispute brought to the agency, the FCC adopted a Report and Order (“Order”) at its July meeting establishing a streamlined set of formal complaint rules. The new rules cover complaints against common carriers, pole attachment complaints, and complaints involving accessibility for people with disabilities. The revised procedures impose a uniform deadline for answering complaints, eliminate a number of procedural requirements, expand the discovery process, and establish a “shot clock” for FCC decisions. The reforms aim to lower the overall burden on complainants, potentially opening the door to the resolution of more disputes with the FCC instead of in court or elsewhere.

Continue Reading FCC Streamlines Formal Complaint Procedures and Establishes Shot Clock for Decisions

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

The FCC took a flurry of actions at yesterday’s monthly open meeting.  Fulfilling this blog’s role as your resource for news and helpful links, below is your guide to yesterday’s actions.

Wireless Market Report:  The  Commission adopted its 14th Annual Report on the state of the wireless market.  Among other things, this report was controversial because it refused to make an "effective competition" judgment on the wireless market.  The report also expands coverage beyond CMRS to address the broader mobile marketplace. 

Number Porting:  The Commission released a Report and Order shortening the time interval for "simple" ports.  This action will particularly affect wireline-to-wireless ports, and might accelerate the trend of "cut the cord" conversions.

Pole Attachments:  The Commission made a number of changes to its rules governing the rights of cable and competitive telecommunications providers to hang facilities on utility poles.  The order also proposes a number of changes to the pole attachment complaint rules.

Universal Service:  The Commission issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to modify its "e-rate" rules, which support discounts for schools and libraries for internet access and other services. 

Broadband Spectrum:  The Commission adopted rules to make available another 25 MHz of spectrum for mobile braodband use. 

REMINDER:  For more information on many of these topics, peruse our links on the right hand side of this page.