The House Energy and Commerce and Judiciary Committees announced their subcommittees on Communications and Technology and Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law will hold a joint hearing on the T-Mobile and Sprint merger on Wednesday, February 13. The joint hearing will examine the merger’s potential impacts on consumers, workers and the wireless industry. While the complete list of hearing participants is still being confirmed, T-Mobile CEO John Legere and Sprint Executive Chairman Marcelo Claure have both agreed to testify.
This will be the first merger review hearing before the Energy and Commerce Committee in more than eight years. “A merger between T-Mobile and Sprint would combine two of the four largest wireless carriers and the carriers with the largest numbers of low-income customers. As the Committees with oversight of the Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice, we must hold this hearing to examine the effects on important issues like jobs, costs to consumers, innovation and competition,” said Reps. Pallone, Nadler, Doyle and Cicilline. “We look forward to examining this merger from the perspective of what is in the best interest of consumers and hardworking people.”
The Regulatory Mix Today: US Congress Hearing on Sprint T-Mobile Merger, FCC Issues Further Clarification of Filing Deadlines, Rosenworcel Releases Robocalling Responses
The FCC issued a follow up Public Notice further extending the due dates for certain filings because parties did not have full access to some electronic systems and databases during the suspension of operations. As a result:
- Filings that were due between January 3 and January 7, inclusive, will be due on January 30, 2019.
- Filings that would otherwise be required to be filed between January 8 and February 7 will be due for filing on February 8, 2019.
Any STAs that would have expired from January 3, 2019, through January 29, 2019, are extended until February 8, 2019, except to the extent such STAs relate to the post-incentive auction transition. Different deadlines will apply to USL Applications and Notifications, Informal Consumer Complaints, the Online Public Inspection File, Carriage Election Notices, Tower Construction Notification System, Electronic Section 106 System, Antenna Structure Registration System, and Environmental Assessments.
To the extent the due dates for filings to which reply or responsive pleadings are allowed are extended by the Public Notice, an equivalent extension applies to the due dates for the reply or responsive pleadings so as to afford responding parties the same amount of time following the comment deadline. Thus, for example, if comments were originally due on January 22 and reply comments due ten days later, comments would now be due on February 8 and reply comments on February 19 (February 18 is a federal holiday).
The FCC cannot waive statutory filing deadlines such as those associated with petitions for reconsideration. Nonetheless, because of the disruption and uncertainty associated with the suspension of FCC activities and the relaunch of FCC filing systems, it will not consider the FCC open for the filing of documents with statutory deadlines, other than filings related to spectrum auction activities until Wednesday, January 30, 2019.
Bureaus and Offices may by further Public Notice set additional filing deadlines different than those specified in this Public Notice for filings in specific proceedings or classes of proceedings. This Public Notice supersedes the January 2 and January 28 Public Notices to the extent that it is inconsistent with any deadlines or time periods set forth therein. See the Regulatory Mix dated 1/29/19 and 1/3/19
Commissioner Rosenworcel released the responses she received from major phone companies in response to her December 2018 letter calling on carriers to provide consumers with free robocall blocking tools. See the Regulatory Mix dated 12/12/18 In connection with the release of the responses she said: “Robocalls are a menace to me and everyone that I know. Consumers across the country have waited too long for the FCC to take meaningful steps to reduce these nuisance calls. So, last month, I called on carriers nationwide to provide consumers with free tools to address robocalls. Today, in the interest of transparency, I am making public the responses that I received. We need to help give consumers a fighting chance against robocalls and I will continue to press this agency and my colleagues to fix this mess.”
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.