Friday, October 28, 2016

October Open Meeting Agenda Released


The FCC has released the following agenda for the October 27th, 2016 Open Commission Meeting:

Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunications Services Alerts (WC Docket No. 16-106): The Commission will consider a Report and Order that applies the privacy requirements of the Communications Act to broadband Internet access service providers and other telecommunications services to provide broadband customers with the tools they need to make informed decisions about the use and sharing of their information by their broadband providers.

Locus Telecommunications, Inc.: The Commission will consider a Memorandum Opinion and Order that dismisses and denies a Petition for Reconsideration of a Forfeiture Order issued by the Commission for the deceptive marketing of prepaid calling cards.

Lyca Tel, LLC: The Commission will consider a Memorandum Opinion and Order that dismisses and denies a Petition for Reconsideration of a Forfeiture Order issued by the Commission for the deceptive marketing of prepaid calling cards.

Touch-Tel USA, LLC: The Commission will consider a Memorandum Opinion and Order that dismisses and denies a Petition for Reconsideration of a Forfeiture Order issued by the Commission for the deceptive marketing of prepaid calling cards.

NobelTel, LLC: The Commission will consider a Memorandum Opinion and Order that dismisses and denies a Petition for Reconsideration of a Forfeiture Order issued by the Commission for the deceptive marketing of prepaid calling cards.

The Commission will also consider a number of consent agenda items and personnel actions. 

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 10:30 am and may be streamed at www.fcc.gov/live.

Please contact us with any questions.  


Clearing Target and Bidding Schedule Set for Stage 3 of Incentive Auction



The Incentive Auction Task Force (“Task Force”) and the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (“Bureau”) released a Public Notice providing details on Stage 3 of the Incentive Auction.  Notably, the Notice announces a 108 MHz spectrum clearing target for Stage 3 and schedules reverse bidding to begin at 10:00 am on November 1.  

Forward Auction Implications:   Under the clearing target of 108 MHz for Stage 3, 80 MHz, or 8 paired blocks, of licensed spectrum will be offered in the forward auction on a near-nationwide basis.  The generic license blocks offered in the forward auction under this band plan will consist of a total of 3,301 Category 1 blocks (zero to 15% impairment) and two Category 2 blocks (greater than 15% and up to 50 % impairment).  Approximately 99.9% of the blocks offered will be Category 1, and 99.9% of Category 1 blocks will be zero percent impaired.  Appendix A to the Public Notice indicates the types of blocks available in each PEA.

The Commission will release the initial bidding schedule for Stage 3 of the forward auction in the PRS on the next business day after Stage 3 of the reverse auction concludes.  Stage 3 bidding in the forward auction will begin no later than three days after that announcement is released.  Any bidder that is eligible to bid in Stage 3 of the forward auction can access the Forward Auction Bidding System beginning at 10:00 a.m. ET on October 31st, 2016, using the same materials received prior to the start of Stage 1.  

Starting in the Round 1 of Stage 3, each bidder must be active on at least 95 percent of its bidding eligibility to maintain its bidding eligibility for the next round.  Any changes to the activity requirement in subsequent rounds will be announced via the Forward Auction Bidding System.  In addition, five percent increments will be used to set clock prices for Round 1 of Stage 3 of the forward auction.

Please contact us if you would like any further information.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Wireless Competition Bureau Releases Lifeline Order Effective Dates


The Wireless Competition Bureau (“Bureau”) released a Public Notice announcing the effective dates, following OMB approval, of the lifeline rules set forth in the Lifeline Modernization Order (“Order”).  The Order was released on April 27, 2016, with the goal of connecting low-income Americans to the Internet and reforming program management to ensure fiscal integrity of the Lifeline program going forward.  

All adopted rules have the following effective dates:

Rules that became effective on June 23, 2016:

  • § 54.201 – State preemption for Lifeline Broadband Provider (LBP) designations
  • § 54.423 – Lifeline Budget

Rules that became effective upon Federal Register announcement of OMB approval on October 3, 2016:

  • § 54.202(a)(6), (d), (e) – LBP designation process
  • § 54.205(c) – LBP relinquishment process
  • § 54.400(l) – Broadband Internet access service definition 

Rules that will become effective on December 2, 2016:
  • § 54.101 – USF supported services
  • § 54.400(f), (j), (m)-(o) – Definitions of “income,” “qualifying assistance program,” “voice telephony service,” “supported services,” and “National Lifeline Eligibility Verifier”
  • § 54.501(a)(2)-(c), (f) – Lifeline defined
  • § 54.403(a) – Lifeline support amount
  • § 54.405(e)(1), (e)(3)-(e)(5) – Lifeline de-enrollment process
  • § 54.407(a), (c)(2), (d) – Reimbursement for offering Lifeline
  • § 54.408 – Minimum service standards
  • § 54.409(a)(2) – Consumer qualification for Lifeline
  • § 54.410(b)-(e), (g)-(h) – Subscriber eligibility determination
  • § 54.411 – Lifeline benefit portability
  • § 54.416(a)(3) – Annual certifications by ETCs
  • § 54.420(b) – Low Income program audits
  • § 54.422(b)(3) – Annual reporting for ETCs
Rules that will become effective on January 1, 2017:
  • § 54.410(f) – Subscriber annual re-certification process

The initial time period for existing ETCs to elect forbearance from offering Lifeline-supported BIAS began on October 3, 2016.  ETCs electing to avail themselves of the forbearance must file notice by December 2, 2016.  ETCs that do not file notices will be required to offer these services pursuant to their existing designations effective December 1, 2016.

Please contact us with any questions.