March 2, 2017–FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is expanding the process “pilot” he began with the agency’s February meeting by publicly releasing the drafts of two items he planned to seek a vote on three weeks ahead of the meeting. For the March meeting Chairman Pai said that he would release the draft texts of all six items on the tentative agenda (see separate story) and that he expects after the March meeting that the agency will be able to “fully evaluate” the pilot project and to make the procedure for release of draft meeting items permanent, he said in a blog post on medium.com today. He said that the public feedback from the release of the two draft items in February (TRDaily, Feb. 2) was “overwhelmingly positive.”
To facilitate public filings in response to the draft items released for the March 23 meeting, the FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau has opened CG docket 17-59 on advanced methods to target and eliminate unlawful robocalls, and the International Bureau has opened IB docket 17-55 on section 43.62 reporting requirements for U.S. providers of international services. The two bureaus released public notices today announcing the establishment of the dockets.
In the past, new dockets were established without public notices, and the public learned of the docket numbers when they appeared on adopted items, usually notices of inquiry or notices of proposed rulemaking. An FCC spokesman told TRDaily, “It’s a new process required by the public release of items: In order for people to be able to file in new proceedings (like the robocall proceeding) we must officially open it with a public notice.” – Lynn Stanton, email@example.com