FCC to Consider High-Cost, Spectrum, Robocall, Texting Items Dec. 12

The FCC at its Dec. 12 meeting plans to consider items to provide additional high-cost support funding for rate of return (RoR) carriers while encouraging them to deploy faster broadband service and to establish an incentive auction format for allocating licenses next year in the agency’s spectrum frontiers proceeding.

The FCC also plans to vote on items addressing robocalling, the regulatory status of texting, a consolidated communications marketplace report mandated by Congress earlier this year, the agency’s quadrennial review of its media ownership rules, and rules governing the display of broadcast licenses.

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

“Because of the closure of the federal government for a National Day of Mourning for President George H.W. Bush on Wednesday, December 5, the Commission has determined that it is in the public interest to delay the onset of the sunshine period prohibition contained in Section 1.1203 of the Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. § 1.1203,” according to the “sunshine” notice, which was released one day early today because of the FCC’s closure tomorrow. “Accordingly, consistent with Section 1.1200(a) of the Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. § 1.1200(a), the Commission has modified its rules so that the sunshine period prohibition will begin at 11:59 PM on Thursday, December 6, rather than at 11:59 PM on Wednesday, December 5.”

The text of the Connect America Fund (CAF) draft report and order, further notice of proposed rulemaking (FNPRM), and order on reconsideration in WC dockets 10-90, 14-58 and 07-135 and CC docket 01-92 is aimed at addressing “the challenges that rate-of-return carriers face by taking steps to promote broadband deployment, ensure the efficient use of resources, and provide sufficient and predictable support necessary to increase broadband deployment.”

The draft WT docket 08-7 declaratory ruling on the regulatory classification of text messages would declare that “two forms of wireless messaging, Short Message Service (SMS) and Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), are information services, not telecommunications services under the Communications Act, and that they are not commercial mobile services, nor their functional equivalent.”

The CG docket 17-59 draft second report and order to establish a database of reassigned numbers is also aimed at reducing unwanted communications, the FCC said. Telemarketers and others could consult the database to avoid making unwanted robocalls to subscribers who have been assigned a phone number previously used by someone who had consented to receiving robocalls.

The Commission also is scheduled to consider a fourth report and order in GN docket 14-177 in its spectrum frontiers proceeding to adopt a new band plan and service rules for the 37 gigahertz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz bands, which it plans to auction in the second half of next year.

The FCC also plans to consider a communications marketplace report, which would consolidate several reports that were previously completed separately.

The FCC today released a draft of the appendices to the report.—Paul Kirby, paul.kirby@wolterskluwer.com, and Lynn Stanton, lynn.stanton@wolterskluwer.com

Courtesy TRDaily