January 4, 2022
Each month, Kelley Drye’s Communications Group offers this reminder of upcoming filing deadlines that may affect our clients.  Please review the deadlines below and contact us if you have any questions:

I. Featured January Deadlines
II. Other January Deadlines
III. Ongoing Filing Requirements


I. Featured January Deadlines

Following are reminders for upcoming Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reports and compliance requirements due in January

Form 855:  Hearing Aid Compatibility Certification

The annual Form 855 Certification must be filed by all digital mobile service providers within the scope of FCC rule 20.19(a)(1)(i), including mobile virtual network operators (MVNO) and resellers.  Among other requirements, filers must:
  • certify whether or not they are in full compliance with Commission hearing aid compatibility rules;
  • explain any instances of noncompliance;
  • provide percentage of hearing aid compatible (HAC) handsets offered during the time period covered by the certification; and
  • link to public webpage that lists information on HAC handsets, as required by the rules.
The Form 855 Certification covers the period January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2021 and is due to the FCC by January 31, 2022.  The Form 855 Certification must be completed online and the link to the filing portal and instructions for the form are available here
 
Note that providers that are otherwise exempt from HAC rules, pursuant to the de minimis exception of Rule 20.19(e), still are required to file the HAC Certification.  Providers may also be subject to website content and record retention requirements and should be sure to review the FCC rules to confirm any HAC compliance obligations.


II. Other January Deadlines:.
  • On December 20, 2021 the FCC released Public Notice (WC Docket 18-89, Report No 3185) requesting comments on a petition for reconsideration submitted by The Rural Wireless Association, Inc. in the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Reimbursement Program (aka “Rip and Replace Program”).  Comments are due January 14, 2022; reply comments due February 14, 2022.
  • On December 20, 2021 the FCC released a Public Notice (PS Docket 21-479, DA-21-1607) requesting comments on a petition filed by the National Association of State 911 Administrators requesting that the FCC initiate a rulemaking proceeding or notice of inquiry to facilitate the implementation of and transition to Next Generation 911 services (NG911).  Comments are due January 19, 2022; reply comments due February 3, 2022.
  • On December 14, 2021 the FCC released an Order on Reconsideration, Sixth Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, and Waiver Order (FCC-21-126) reconsidering and clarifying certain aspects of the blocked call notification rules adopted in the Call Blocking Fourth Report and Order.  The FCC seeks comment on whether to make permanent the flexibility afforded to callers in the Order on Reconsideration; and granting a waiver to allow voice service providers terminating a call on an IP network to use SIP Code 603 in addition to SIP Code 607 or 608.  Comments are due January 31, 2022; reply comments due February 14, 2022.
  • On October 1, 2021 the FCC released a Fifth Further Notice of Proposing Rulemaking and Fourth Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FCC-21-105) requesting comments on proposals to impose obligations on gateway providers that are the point of entry for foreign calls into the United States to help stop illegal robocalls.  Initial Comments were due December 10, 2021; reply comments are due January 10, 2022.


III. Ongoing Filing Requirements:
 
Pro Forma Assignments and Transfers
Assignments of Authorization and Transfers of Control can be filed either as pro forma applications or non-pro forma applications.
 
A pro forma assignment or transfer is one in which the form of ownership changes but actual control of the license remains with the same entity. Pro forma assignments and transfers may be approved under streamlined Forbearance procedures in the case of most telecommunications carriers (excluding licensees with installment payment or designated entity issues). These pro forma requests do not require prior FCC approval provided that the parties notify the FCC of the change within 30 days. Note that private licenses are not subject to forbearance. FCC approval is required for private pro forma transfers and assignments.

 
Change in FCC Form 499 Filer Information
Filers must update their registration information, including a DC Agent for Service of Process in accordance with these instructions to the FCC Form 499-A. Filers must file updated information within one week of the contact information change.
 
Filers wishing to update Preparer information, headquarter address, billing contact information, or DC Agent for Service of Process, can submit either an FCC Form 499-A or an FCC Form 499-Q or, for billing-related matters only, email USAC’s billing department. Filers wishing to update any other information must submit a revised FCC Form 499-A. For more information, see https://www.usac.org/serviceproviders/contributing-to-the-usf/makingrevisions/
 
Filers that cease providing telecommunications must deactivate their Filer ID with USAC by submitting a letter with termination date and information on their successor entity to USAC. Filers must also update their CORES ID information with the Commission. Filers must file within 30 days of the date that the company ceased providing service.
 
FCC: https://apps.fcc.gov/cores/userLogin.do
 
USAC: https://www.usac.org/serviceproviders/contributing-to-the-usf/manage-your499-id/

 
Change in Robocall Mitigation Plans
A voice service provider that has not fully implemented the STIR/SHAKEN call authentication framework for all calls must submit a robocall mitigation plan pursuant to 47 CFR § 64.6305(b).  Any provider that makes a change in any of the following information must submit a revised robocall mitigation plan within 10 business days of the change.  See 47 CFR § 64.6305(b)(5).
  • Its certification as to the implementation of STIR/SHAKEN in its network;
  • The extension(s) that apply to its implementation of the STIR/SHAKEN framework;
  • The specific reasonable steps the voice service provider has taken to avoid originating illegal robocall traffic as part of its robocall mitigation program;
  • Its commitment to respond to all traceback requests and law enforcement requests for information on illegal robocalling; and
  • The provider’s business name, d/b/a name(s), former name(s), its legal address and contact information for one person within the company responsible for addressing robocall mitigation-related issues.
The link for submitting a revised robocall mitigation plan is available here:
https://fccprod.servicenowservices.com/rmd?id=rmd_welcome
 
Attorneys in Kelley Drye’s Communications Practice Group are experienced in addressing universal service filing and carrier contribution issues and are available to assist clients with determining how to report their revenues for universal service purposes, as well as with the filing of FCC Form 499-Q.  For more information, please contact your current Kelley Drye attorney or any member of the Communications Practice Group.