DHS Asks FCC to Retain International Circuit Capacity Reports

The Department of Homeland Security has asked the FCC to retain its requirement that providers file international circuit capacity reports for undersea cable operations.

“Regarding the Circuit Capacity Reports, the information contained within the reports about existing and planned capacity, while only provided on an annual basis, is critical to national and homeland security functions central to NPPD’s mission and OCIA’s [Office of Cyber and Infrastructure Analysis’] core functions,” said an ex parte filing in IB dockets 17-55 and 16-131 by DHS’s National Protection and Programs Directorate. “The information from the Circuit Capacity Reports, when combined with data from other sources, provides OCIA a unique and more complete overall communications network picture. DHS uses these data to protect and preserve national security and for emergency response purposes. The resulting analysis is also relied upon in the classified setting to influence key national security decision-making.”

DHS added in the filing that it “does not currently acquire circuit capacity information from commercial sources, as commercial research services are not seen as high confidence sources for this specific subset of telecommunications data. More importantly, the break out of ‘owned,’ ‘IRU,’ and ‘leased’ capacity is not available by any other means, including commercially-available research services. Given these considerations, NPPD recommends that the Commission continue to require the filing of Circuit Capacity Reports for undersea cable operations as the data are important for national security and emergency response purposes regarding this critical infrastructure. NPPD takes no position regarding other streamlining of the Circuit Capacity Reports.”

In March, the FCC adopted a notice of proposed rulemaking proposing to eliminate international traffic and revenue reports and to streamline international circuit capacity reports in the agency’s part 43 rules (TR Daily, March 23). In May, providers expressed support for the proposals (TR Daily, May 22). —Paul Kirby, paul.kirby@wolterskluwer.com

Courtesy TRDaily