VOL. 13, NO. 26
June 26, 2017
FCC Releases Items Adopted  
at June Open Meeting 
The FCC released the following items that were adopted at its June Open Meeting last week:
  • NPRM that would amend the Caller ID rules to allow disclosure of blocked Caller ID information to aid law enforcement in investigating threatening calls.
  • NPRM and Order that proposes to eliminate the requirement that payphone operators conduct annual audits.
  • NPRM that would amend the Emergency Alert System rules to add a dedicated event code for Blue Alerts.
  • Report and Order on First Responder Network Authority opt-out procedures. 

The following items have been adopted by the FCC, but not yet released:

  • Order and Declaratory Ruling that would grant OneWeb's request to be permitted to access the U.S. market using its proposed non-geostationary satellite constellation for the provision of broadband.
  • NOI that seeks comment on ways to facilitate greater consumer choice and enhance broadband deployment in multiple tenant environments.
FCC Announces July Agenda 
The FCC last week announced the tentative agenda for this July 13 Open Meeting:
  • Rural Call Completion - The Commission will consider a Second FNPRM that proposes rule changes to better address ongoing problems in the completion of long-distance telephone calls to rural areas. The Second FNPRM proposes to (1) adopt new rural call completion requirements for covered providers, and (2) eliminate the Commission's existing rural call completion recording, retention, and reporting rules.
  • Call Authentication Trust Anchor - The Commission will consider a NoI that seeks comment on methods to authenticate telephone calls to further secure our telephone networks against illegal robocallers. 
  • Advanced Methods to Target and Eliminate Unlawful Robocalls - The Commission will consider a NoI that explores methods by which reassigned telephone number data could be made available to callers to avoid making unwanted calls to consumers.
  • Protecting Consumers from Unauthorized Carrier Changes and Related Unauthorized Charges - The Commission will consider a NPRM outlining steps to further curtail slamming and cramming.
  • Video Description - The Commission will consider a Report and Order which increases the required hours of video described programming that covered broadcast stations and MVPDs must provide to consumers.
  • Updating the Part 2 Equipment Authorization Program - The Commission will consider a First Report and Order that would update and amend its equipment authorization program by replacing two certification procedures with a new Supplier's Declaration of Conformity process, codifying procedures for the electronic labeling of devices, modernizing the requirements related to the importation of electronic equipment, and incorporating up-to-date methods for equipment compliance measurements into the rules.
  • Radar Services in the 76-81 GHz Band - The Commission will consider a Report and Order that would address use of the 76-81 GHz band under the Part 95 rules to support a broad range of vehicular radar uses, such as collision avoidance and adaptive cruise control systems, as well as to expand the types of fixed and mobile radar operations permitted within airport environments.
  • Wireless Microphone Operations - The Commission will consider an Order on Reconsideration and FNPRM that would address licensed and unlicensed wireless microphone operations in the TV bands and various other frequency bands. 
FCC Chairman's Blog Addresses Consumer Protection Issues 
In honor of Consumer Protection Month, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai posted a blog noting that efforts "to excommunicate this unholy triad of consumer scourges-unlawful robocalls, slamming/cramming, and rural call completion-headline the FCC's agenda in July."

On robocalls, he said the Commission will explore setting up a reliable system for authenticating phone calls and begin to address the problem of calls that are made to reassigned phone numbers. On slamming and cramming, the Commission will propose a rule that would ban misrepresentations on sales calls that typically precede a slam and rule amendments that would make it harder for fraudsters to put unauthorized charges on consumers' phone bills. For rural call completion, he said he was asking the FCC to adopt new, strong rural call completion requirements for certain telecommunications carriers and eliminate some of the reporting carriers must file that "hasn't proven to be very useful." He also addressed consumers with disabilities and spectrum for radars in vehicles.

Trump Indicates Additions to Infrastructure Package to Improve Broadband Availability 
On June 22 during a trip to Iowa, President Trump announced that his administration will seek to add provisions to his proposed $1 trillion infrastructure package to improve broadband availability in rural areas. Although the President did not indicate how much funding would be set aside for these programs, he noted that the provision would "promote and foster, enhance [sic] broadband access for rural America also."

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, who was on the trip with the President, elaborated on the need for rural broadband, stating: ""We think we ought to have the same push to have broadband connectivity all over the country because in the 21st century it is just as important as a telephone, water, sewer, roads. It has become an infrastructure of necessity."

In response, FCC Chairman Pai issued a statement: "I am grateful to President Trump for his leadership on expanding high-speed internet access in rural America. Far too many families and businesses in rural communities do not have access to adequate broadband, limiting their opportunities in the digital age. Closing the digital divide needs to be a national priority, and the President's decision to include rural broadband in his infrastructure plan holds great promise for creating more jobs and prosperity in our nation's rural areas."
Trump Hosts Tech Week Events
Last week, President Trump hosted "Tech Week" at the White House. Among the events were a meeting with tech company CEOs to discuss a number of policy issues, such as cybersecurity, tax reform and updating the government's technology. Attendees included CEOs from 18 leading tech companies, including Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, IBM, Oracle and Intel. 

The White House also held meetings with investors and telecom executives to discuss emerging technologies, such as drones, 5G wireless expansion and artificial intelligence. 
SBA to Host Idaho Regulatory Reform Roundtables July 11 & 13
The Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy will host its second series of regional Regulatory Reform Roundtables in Idaho on July 11 and July 13. The purpose of these roundtables is to help the SBA identify specific regulatory barriers to small business growth through first-hand testimony, and assist federal agencies in complying with the President's directive to eliminate burdensome regulations.

Input is needed from Idaho small business. This input will be used by SBA's Office of Advocacy to pursue reforms that will benefit small business. Representatives of federal agencies and congressional offices are expected to attend the roundtables.

The Tuesday, July 11 roundtable will be held in Boise from 8 a.m. to noon at the Riverside Hotel.   Then, the Thursday, July 13 roundtable will take place in Coeur d'Alene from 8 a.m. to noon at the Best Western Plus Coeur D'Alene Inn. 

For those who are unable to attend, the SBA has an online form through which small businesses may share their regulatory issues.

Future Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtable in other parts of the country will be announced as they are scheduled.
BDAC to Meet July 20
The second Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee meeting will be held on Thursday, July 20, 2017. The BDAC working groups will report on their progress in developing recommendations for the BDAC's consideration, and will discuss how to accelerate the deployment of broadband by reducing and/or removing regulatory barriers to infrastructure investment. The BDAC meeting is open to the public and the FCC also will provide online audio and/or video coverage of the meeting.