FCC Plans to Consider Number Portability, 3.5 GHz Band Items at Oct 24 Meeting

The FCC today released a seven-item agenda for its Oct. 24 meeting that includes a proposal to enable nationwide number portability, a notice of proposed rulemaking exploring changes to its 3.5 gigahertz band rules, and a draft order to enable law enforcement and security personnel to obtain phone numbers for threatening calls made with caller ID blocked. The Commission also plans to consider hearing compatibility orders and an order eliminating its traffic and revenue reports and streamlining its circuit capacity reports. Also on the tentative agenda are items dealing with the broadcast “main studio rule” and reporting obligations.

An NPRM and notice of inquiry in Wireline Competition dockets 17-244 and 13-97 would propose rule changes and seek comment on enabling nationwide number portability (NNP), which the draft item suggests would “promote competition between all service providers, regardless of size or type of service (wireline or wireless).”

The draft item also “explore[s] how technical aspects of our current LNP [local number portability] and dialing parity rules hinder the efficient routing of calls throughout the network, causing inefficiencies and delays.”

The draft item would propose or seek comment on “[r]emoving the Commission’s ‘N-1’ requirement, which requires the second-to-last carrier to perform the number portability database query, to allow carriers flexibility in conducting number portability database queries to promote NNP and efficient network routing,” according to a fact sheet released when the item was circulated (TR Daily, Oct. 3).

The NPRM in General docket 17-258 on the 3.5 GHz band proposes to modify the FCC’s priority access license (PAL) rules “to increase incentives for investment, encourage more efficient spectrum use, and promote faster and more widespread network deployments,” the agenda said. The NPRM seeks opinions on petitions for rulemaking that were filed by CTIA and T-Mobile US, Inc., requesting changes to the rules (TR Daily, June 19 and 20).

Among other things, the trade group and carrier want the FCC to modify the PAL framework so a PAL term will be 10, rather than three, years with an expectation of renewal, and PAL areas will consist of partial economic areas (PEAs) rather than census tracts.

A vote is also planned on a draft report and order in Common Carrier docket 91-281 that would enable law enforcement and private security personnel to obtain the calling party number (CPN) on calls sent with caller ID blocking so that they can investigate threatening calls. FCC rules prohibit terminating carriers from providing the called party with the number from which an interstate call originated if the caller has invoked caller ID blocking for the call or the line.

The Commission also plans, in Consumer and Governmental Affairs docket 13-46 and Wireless Telecommunications dockets 07-250 and 10-254, to consider a HAC report and order and order on reconsideration “that would update the volume control standard for wireline telephones, extend wireline HAC requirements to cover telephones used with advanced communications services, adopt a volume control rule for wireless handsets, and delete from the Commission’s rules an obsolete wireless HAC standard,” according to the agenda.

The FCC also plans to consider a report and order in International Bureau dockets 17-55 and 16-131 concerning its part 43 reporting requirements for U.S. providers of international services. The item follows up on an NPRM adopted in March (TR Daily, March 23).

“The Order would modify this report to reduce the burden on providers by eliminating the requirement that carriers file circuit data for terrestrial and satellite facilities,” a fact sheet notes. “The Order finds it is in the public interest to retain the remainder of the circuit capacity data collection. The data are necessary for the Commission to fulfill its statutory obligations, including those related to national security and public safety, and will continue to play a vital public interest role for other federal agencies.”

Also on the agenda are a draft report and order in Media Bureau docket 17-106 to eliminate the “main studio rule,” which requires AM, FM, and television broadcast stations to maintain a main studio located in or near their communities of license, and a draft NPRM in Media Bureau dockets 17-264 and 17-105 that would seek comment on updating FCC rules governing broadcasters’ reporting obligations for ancillary and supplementary services and requiring the publishing of notices when broadcast applications are filed.

A tentative agenda for the Oct. 24 meeting also included a draft order allowing advances from Connect America Fund for eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) rebuilding and repairing facilities in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands (TR Daily, Oct. 3), but that order was subsequently adopted and released (TR Daily, Oct. 4). —Paul Kirby, paul.kirby@wolterskluwer.com, and Lynn Stanton, lynn.stanton@wolterskluwer.com

Courtesy TRDaily