House & Senate Announce Agreement on Anti-Robocall Bill
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet Chairman John Thune (R-SD), Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Greg Walden (R-OR), Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Chairman Mike Doyle (D-PA), and Ranking Member Bob Latta (R-OH) announced that they have come to an agreement in principle on legislation, the Pallone-Thune TRACED Act, to combat the robocall epidemic:
In May, the Senate passed the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act by a vote of 97-1. In July, the House of Representatives passed the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act by a vote of 429-3. The bills will be merged and reconciled as part of the agreement in principle.
The six leaders said: “Today, we are proud to announce that we have come to an agreement in principle on legislation, the Pallone-Thune TRACED Act, to combat the robocall epidemic that we believe can be signed into law by the President. It’s time to put Americans back in charge of their phones Our agreement will require telephone carriers to verify calls and allow robocalls to be blocked in a consistent and transparent way, all at no extra charge to consumers. The agreement also gives the FCC and law enforcement the ability to quickly go after scammers. We look forward to finalizing the bill text in the coming days.”
The Regulatory Mix Today: House & Senate Announce Agreement on Anti-Robocall Bill, FCC November Open Meeting Agenda Finalized, FCC To Use Auction For C-Band Licenses
FCC November Open Meeting Agenda Finalized
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced the final agenda for the FCC’s Open Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, November 19, 2019. It includes the following items:
- Protecting National Security Through FCC Programs – A Report and Order, Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, and Order that would ensure that Universal Service Fund support is not used to purchase equipment or services from companies posing a national security threat to the integrity of communications networks or the communications supply chain, propose additional actions to address national security threats to USF-funded networks, and collect information to help assess the extent to which equipment from covered companies already exists in such networks.
- Wireless E911 Location Accuracy Requirements –A Fifth Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would adopt a vertical, or z-axis, location accuracy metric in connection with wireless E911 calls and propose additional measures to improve E911 location accuracy.
- Modernizing Rules for Removing Bad Actors from FCC Programs – A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would seek comment on updating its suspension and debarment rules to make them consistent with Office of Management and Budget guidelines, in order to better prevent bad actors from participating in Universal Service Fund programs, Telecommunications Relay Services programs, and the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program.
- Modernizing Unbundling and Resale Rules – A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would seek comment on updating its unbundling and resale rules to reflect the marketplace realities of intermodal voice and broadband competition and to encourage both incumbent and competitive local exchange carriers to invest in next-generation networks.
- Expanding the TRS Fund Contribution Base to Support IP Captioned Telephone Service – A Report and Order that would expand the TRS fund contribution base for covering the costs of providing Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS) to include intrastate telecommunications revenue as a way of strengthening the funding base for this form of TRS without increasing the size of the Fund itself.
The FCC will also consider two radio station related items.
FCC To Use Auction For C-Band Licenses
In letters to various members of Congress in response to their inquiries concerning the FCC’s rulemaking relating to spectrum in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band (commonly called the C-band), FCC Chairman Pai said that the FCC will use an auction to sell the spectrum. Specifically, the said that: “[a]fter much deliberation and a thorough review of the extensive record, I have concluded that the best way to advance these principles is through an auction of 280 megahertz of the C-band conducted by the federal Communications Commission’s excellent staff. With a quarter-century track record of transparent and successful auctions, I am confident that they will conduct a public auction that will afford all parties a fair opportunity to compete for this 5G spectrum, while preserving the availability of the upper 200 megahertz of this band for the continued delivery of programming.”
The Regulatory Mix, Inteserra’s 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 an Inteserra Briefing.