Tag Archives: fcc

FTC New RoboCalling Regulations

1. In this Report and Order (Order), we take steps to protect consumers from unwanted telemarketing calls pursuant to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA).1 The protections we adopt will protect consumers from unwanted autodialed or prerecorded telemarketing calls, also known as

AT&T, T-Mobile to file with FCC around April 21

AT&T and T-Mobile USA plan to file paperwork about their planned merger with the Federal Communications Commission next week. “We plan to file our public interest statement at the FCC around April 21,” AT&T’s Michael Balmoris said in an email on Thursday.

AT&T’s $39 billion bid to buy Deutsche Telekom AG’s T-Mobile USA will also be reviewed by the Justice Department to ensure it does not violate antitrust law. The request for the Justice Department review was filed last Friday.

The FCC will review the proposed deal to ensure it is in the public interest. The review process could easily take a year.

The deal would concentrate 80 percent of U.S. wireless contract customers in just two companies — AT&T/T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless, a joint venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group Plc. AT&T, currently the No. 2 U.S. mobile carrier behind Verizon, has said the merger will spur innovation and economic growth by improving quality and expanding wireless service to 95 percent of Americans.

FCC To Propose Spending $400M to Connect Rural Doctors

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) plans to propose a new program to help rural doctors get access to broadband in hopes of improving patient care. At the meeting set for Thursday, the agency will propose that $400 million a year from the Universal Service Fund should go to linking doctors and hospitals to the Internet at speeds of at least 10 Mbps.

Read the full story at Gigaom

TelePacific Urges FCC to Overturn USAC Decision on Broadband Offering

TelePacific Communications has asked the FCC to review and stay an action taken by the administrator of the Federal Universal Service Fund (“USF”).

In its ruling, the Universal Service Administrative Company (“USAC”) ordered TelePacific to treat its broadband Internet access services as telecommunications subject to USF where TelePacific delivers the service to the end user over a T-1 circuit.

“TelePacific supports universal service and broadband access and is already a significant USF contributor”, said TelePacific’s CEO Dick Jalkut. “The USAC’s decision, by discriminating against carriers that use certain wireline transmission technologies to deliver their service to customers, violates the bedrock principle that USF contributions must be assessed on a competitively neutral basis.”

Under USAC’s decision, Internet providers using T-1s must pay USF while Internet providers using DSL, fiber, and coaxial cable are not subject to the same USF fees (currently 14.1%). TelePacific asks the FCC to stay the USAC decision while it evaluates the appeal on its merits.

TelePacific argues that USAC’s decision is based on a fundamental misreading of the Commission’s 2005 Wireline Broadband Order. USAC refuses to decide the threshold question of whether the finished product TelePacific provides to the end user is an information service; ignores the critical modifier “stand-alone,” which the FCC used to distinguish between basic transmission services (subject to USF) and wireline broadband Internet access (not subject to USF); and impermissibly singles out T-1-based services for contribution at the same time it awaits FCC guidance on ATM and frame relay services (which both USAC and the FCC recognize are analogous).

TelePacific has requested FCC action on the stay by February 8, but no later than March 31, 2010. TelePacific expects the FCC to request comment on its request for review and stay of USAC’s action.