Today's Regulatory Mix: FCC Names Robocall Traceback Manager, FCC Announces Price Cap Carrier CAF Phase II Election Deadline, FCC Announces Quite Period On USF Forbearance Petition
FCC Names Robocall Traceback Manager
The FCC announced it has designated USTelecom – the Broadband Association’s Industry Traceback Group as the official consortium for coordinating industry-led efforts to trace back the origin of suspected unlawful robocalls. The Industry Traceback Group is a collaborative group comprised of voice service providers across wireline, wireless, VoIP, and cable services. For the last few years, FCC staff and the Industry Traceback Group have worked together to develop an effective traceback process that significantly assists the FCC’s enforcement efforts.
“The Industry Traceback Group has been and will continue to be a vital partner in our pursuit of unlawful robocallers,” said Rosemary Harold, Chief of the Enforcement Bureau. “Protecting consumers against illegal spoofing and robocalls is our top consumer protection priority, and this industry consortium is a key contributor.”
The Industry Traceback Group has already played a critical role in supporting FCC Enforcement Bureau investigations, including cutting off COVID-19 scam robocalls (resulting in warnings to various gateway providers identified by the Group) and identifying the source of approximately 23.6 million health insurance robocalls (which lead to the FCC proposing a $225 million spoofing fine, the largest in its history).
The FCC also issued a Public Notice seeking input for its report to Congress on the status of its and the industry’s trace back efforts. Inteserra Briefing Service subscribers see Briefing dated 7/28/20.
FCC Announces Price Cap Carrier CAF Phase II Election Deadline
The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) announced the process by which price cap carriers currently receiving Connect America Phase II support based on the Connect America Cost Model (CAM) may elect to receive an additional, seventh year of such support. Carriers have until September 28, 2020 to indicate, on a state-by-state basis, whether they will continue to receive model-based support for 2021. To receive the additional year of support, a carrier must submit a letter signed by an officer of the company confirming that the carrier elects the model-based support amounts as specified in Appendices A and B to the Public Notice and committing to satisfy the specific service obligations associated with that amount of model support. If a carrier fails to submit an election letter by the deadline, it will be deemed to have declined the seventh year of support and will cease receiving model-based support as of December 31, 2020. Following this deadline, the Bureau will release a public notice confirming which price cap carriers elected to receive a seventh year of support and authorizing the Universal Service Administrative Company to disburse the appropriate amounts.
FCC Announces Quiet Period on USF Forbearance Petition
The FCC announced the beginning of the quiet period in connection with a petition for forbearance from the application of Universal Service Fund contribution requirements with respect to the provision of interstate and international inmate calling services. The Petition was filed by Network Communications International Corporation (NCIC) on August 9, 2019. Inteserra Briefing Service subscribers see Briefing dated 8/23/19. The statutory date on which NCIC’s forbearance will be deemed granted, in the absence of FCC action on the petition, is August 10, 2020. FCC rules provide for a two-week quiet period before the statutory deadline for FCC action in a forbearance proceeding. During this time period, contacts with decision makers concerning the matters covered by the petition are prohibited. The quiet period for this proceeding runs from July 27, 2020 to August 10, 2020. Accordingly, all presentations to decision makers concerning the NCIC Petition, whether ex parte or not, are prohibited during the two-week quiet period.
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.