FCC Releases Nine-Item Agenda for Sept. 26 Meeting

The FCC today released a nine-item agenda for its Sept. 26 meeting, including those streamlining the siting of small cells, proposing ways to enable 911 calls to be made from multi-line telephone systems, consolidating rules for earth stations in motion (ESIMs), and establishing a framework to auction toll-free numbers.

The agency also plans to consider eliminating the filing of Form 325 by cable operators, adopting an item addressing two local franchising issues raised by a court remand, and approving two Enforcement Bureau items.

The “sunshine” notice released today also includes a presentation on the recently completed Connect America Phase II Auction (TR Daily, Aug. 28). The presentation was not on the tentative agenda that was released earlier this month (TR Daily, Sept. 5).

The meeting is scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m.

The draft small cell declaratory ruling and third report and order item in WT docket 17-79 and WC docket 17-84 would bar localities from adopting rules that prohibit the deployment of wireless infrastructure, impose limits on the fees that municipalities can charge for reviewing small cell deployments, and set shot clocks for acting on small cell applications. However, it would not adopt a “deemed granted” remedy sought by the wireless industry but opposed by localities.  The item has drawn widespread criticism from groups representing localities and many localities themselves.

The Commission also plans to consider a notice of proposed rulemaking in PS dockets 18-261 and 17-239 to address “calls to 911 made from multi-line telephone systems, pursuant to Kari’s Law, the conveyance of dispatchable location with 911 calls, as directed by RAY BAUM’S Act, and the consolidation of the Commission’s 911 rules,” today’s agenda said. The item would “[p]ropose rules to implement the direct dial and notification requirements of Kari’s Law. The proposed rules are intended to provide clarity and specificity regarding the statutory requirements and to enable covered entities to meet those requirements cost-effectively,” a fact sheet released when the item was circulated said.

It also would “[p]ropose to apply dispatchable location requirements to MLTS, fixed telephone service, interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, and Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS). It seeks comment on the technical feasibility of providing dispatchable location and the benefits and costs associated with different technical solutions,” the fact sheet noted.

The FCC also plans to consider a report and order and further NPRM in IB docket 17-95 to harmonize three types of fixed-satellite service earth stations that transmit in motion on vessel, vehicles, and aircraft.  The earth stations in motion (ESIMs) order would “[a]dd new rules for the operation of ESIMs in the conventional Ka-band,” a fact sheet noted.

It said it would improve the structure and eliminate redundancy in the FCC’s regulations by (1) “[c]onsolidating the technical and operational rules for C- and Ku-band ESIMs in Part 25 and extending those rules to cover ESIM operations in the conventional Ka-band”; (2) “[c]onsolidating the specific application rules for C- and Ku-band ESIMs into a general Part 25 earth station application rule and adding application provisions for ESIMs operating in the conventional Ka-band”; (3) “[m]erging the blanket licensing provisions for conventional Ka-band GSO FSS earth stations into Part 25 rule sections, which contain similar provisions for GSO FSS earth stations in the conventional and extended C- and Ku-bands, to improve the organizational coherence of Part 25”; and (4) “[e]liminating repetition in certain ESIM rules by referring to existing provisions in other rules that apply to other GSO FSS earth stations.”

The agenda also includes a draft report and order in WC docket 17-192 and CC docket 95-155 that would establish “as an experiment” an auction process for distributing any phone numbers in the 833 toll-free code opened last year that are sought by more than one entity. Insights gained from the 833 auction experiment would be used for future toll-free number assignments. It would also modify FCC rules to allow for a secondary market in toll-free phone numbers.

The agenda also includes two draft items addressing cable system operators.

A draft second FNPRM in MB docket 05-311 would address two issues raised in the remand by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (Cincinnati) last year of FCC order orders treating “in-kind” payments as franchise fees (TR Daily, July 12, 2017).

A draft report and order in MB dockets 17-290 and 17-105 would eliminate the annual FCC Form 325 annual report filing requirement for cable television systems.

The agenda also includes two enforcement items. The Commission does not disclose details on enforcements actions until they are adopted.- Paul Kirby, paul.kirby@wolterskluwer.com; Lynn Stanton, lynn.stanton@wolterskluwer.com

Courtesy TRDaily