FCC Seeks Comment on Tech Transition Recon Pleas from NTIA, NASUCA

November 23, 2016–Oppositions to petitions for reconsideration of the FCC’s technology transition second report and order filed by the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates with the Maine Office of the Public Advocate, the Maryland Office of the People’s Counsel, and The Utility Reform Network (TURN) and, separately, by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration are due at the FCC by Dec. 8, according to a notice in today’s “Federal Register.”  Replies to oppositions are due Dec. 19 in Public Safety docket 14-74, General docket 13-5, Wireline Competition dockets 05-25 and 13-3, and Rulemakings 11358 and 10593.

To address the special budget and procurement challenges of federal agencies as users of telecom services, NTIA has asked the FCC to “(1) clarify whether, if at all, or under what circumstances, services such as T1 and Integrated Service Digital Network (ISDN) fall within the meaning of ‘legacy voice service’; (2) reconsider its interoperability protection requirement to define a list of ‘low speed modems’ and create a presumption that devices that use such modems are entitled to interoperability protection; (3) prescribe limited testing requirements for small carriers; and (4) use its ‘public interest’ review of carriers’ section 214 discontinuance applications to promote greater information exchange and more cooperative planning between carriers and their federal customers about network transitions, to reduce the potential impact such transitions may have on critical government operations.”

NASUCA and the other consumer advocates have asked the Commission to reconsider the “technical guidance” in an appendix to the technology transition order it adopted earlier this year, which the consumer advocates say would not “preserve the Quality of Experience (‘QoE’) that consumers have come to expect from the PSTN,” or public switched telephone network (TRDaily, Oct. 11).  —Lynn Stanton, lynn.stanton@woltersluwer.com