FCC Rejects Request for More Time to Comment on the International Section 214 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

In a recent blog post and in our August 14, 2023, Advisory regarding upcoming FCC filings, we noted that the August 31st deadline for comments on the FCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), adopted in IB Docket No. 23-119 and MD Docket No. 23-134, regarding possible significant changes to the regulatory framework governing International Section 214 authority was the subject of a motion for extension of the comment and reply comment deadlines. Today the Office of International Affairs (“OIA”) released an Order denying that motion. Consequently, the initial comments on the NPRM remain due by August 31, 2023 and the reply comments will be due by October 2, 2023.

In the same Order, the OIA adopted an exemption from the one-time information collection requirement the Commission adopted in April 2023, applicable to international Section 214 carriers, allowing certain affected carriers to respond on a streamlined basis. We will provide more details in a successive blog post, but briefly, the new Order provides that Section 214 carriers that filed certain types of applications within three years prior to the as-yet-to-be-determined deadline for the one-time information collection will be able to provide reportable foreign interest holder information on an aggregated basis rather than providing, as required of other international Section 214 holders, the identities, specific equity and voting interests, and descriptions of the controlling interests of reportable foreign interest holders. Finally, as noted in the Order, the information request will require additional review by the Office of Management and Budget prior to OIA’s announcement of the effective date and response deadline for the information collection, to be issued via publication in the Federal Register and as an FCC public notice at least thirty days before the applicable reporting deadline. We will keep you apprised.