The Regulatory Mix, TMI’s daily blog of telecom related regulatory activities, is a snapshot of PUC, FCC, legislative, and occasionally court issues that our regulatory monitoring team uncovers each day. Depending on their significance, some items may be the subject of a TMI Briefing.
CAF Phase II Auction
The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau released a preliminary list and map of census blocks that have been deemed initially eligible for the Connect America Phase II auction. The list is based on June 30, 2015 FCC Form 477 data. Parties must notify the Bureau by August 31, 2016, if any of the census blocks have become serviced since June 30, 2015. Any updated or revised coverage data filed by a party as part of this notification process must be reflected in a revision to that party’s Form 477 submissions to the extent applicable. The Bureau will publish the final list of eligible census blocks based on more recent publicly available Form 477 data no later than three months prior to the deadline for submission of short-form applications for the Phase II auction.
The FCC said it expects that the minimum geographic area for bidding in the Phase II auction will be a census block group containing one or more eligible census blocks. However, it reserved the right to select census tracts when it finalizes the auction design if necessary to limit the number of discrete biddable units.
Wireless Licensing Fines
The FCC announced its Enforcement Bureau had entered into a Consent Decree with Canadian Pacific Railway Company (formally called Soo Line Corporation) to resolve an investigation of the railroad company’s operation of more than a hundred wireless radio facilities in the U.S. without prior FCC approval, and for failing to obtain FCC authorizations for the transfer of control of thirty wireless radio licenses. Under the settlement Soo Line will pay a civil penalty of $1,210,000, maintain internal compliance procedures the Company instituted prior to the investigation, and implement a three year compliance plan. The compliance plan requires that the company designate a senior corporate manager as a compliance officer; establish operating procedures that require employees receive specific training in the areas of unauthorized transfer and operation; maintain a compliance checklist to ensure that covered employees follow specific steps in initiating wireless communications; establish a compliance manual that explains the communications laws that apply to the company; institute a compliance training program for covered employees, file compliance reports with the FCC for three years, and report any additional violations to the FCC within 15 days of discovery.
In a blog posting , Lawrence E. Strickling, head of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration announced that the Commerce Department intends to allow the IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) functions contract with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to expire as of October 1, 2016. Strickling said that ICANN informed NTIA on August 12, 2016, that it has completed or will complete all the necessary tasks called for in the transition proposal by the end of the contract term, that NTIA thoroughly reviewed the report and concluded that barring any significant impediment, it should allow the contract to expire. Strickling noted that “The IANA stewardship transition represents the final step in the U.S. government’s long-standing commitment, supported by three Administrations, to privatize the Internet’s domain name system.” NTIA also issued a Q&A on the IANA Transition.