Reminder: Federal Communications Commission – October and November Filings

Kelley Drye Client Advisory

Each month, Kelley Drye’s Communications Group offers this reminder of upcoming filing deadlines that may affect our clients and friends. Please review the deadlines below and contact us if you would like assistance or have any questions.

I. Featured Upcoming Compliance Deadlines
II. Filing Deadlines in Select Rulemakings, Inquiries, and Other Proceedings
III. Select Ongoing Filing Requirements

The following are reminders for upcoming Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) reports and compliance requirements:

A. 911 Annual Reliability Certifications (due October 16, 2023)

Covered 911 service providers (as defined in Commission Rule 9.19(a)(4)) must certify annually regarding their compliance with the requirement to take reasonable measures to provide reliable 911 service with respect to: (i) 911 circuit diversity; (ii) central office backup power; and (iii) diverse network monitoring. Certifications shall be filed through the Commission’s online portal at https://​app​s2​.fcc​.gov/​r​c​s911/. Instructions regarding how to file the report and how to register new users in the portal are provided in the Public Notice.

B. Form 499-Q Quarterly Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet (due November 1, 2023)

Carriers and providers of interstate and international telecommunications, including, but not limited to, interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol providers, providers offering interstate telecommunications for a fee on a non-common carrier basis, and payphone providers that are aggregators, are required to file the FCC Form 499-Q on a quarterly basis. Carriers and providers must report their actual and projected end user and carrier’s carrier interstate and international revenues for each calendar quarter by filing the Form 499-Q.

The Form 499-Q filing reporting historical revenue for July 1 through September 30 of 2023 and projected revenues for January 1 through March 31 of 2024 is due to the Universal Service Administrative Company on or before November 1, 2023.

Carriers and providers do not have to submit the Form 499-Q if they are not required to contribute directly to the universal service support mechanisms, including but not limited to carriers and providers whose annual interstate and international revenues will be de minimis or which are international-only carriers and providers.

Note: Post-filing revisions to this Form 499-Q filing, if any, must be filed within 45 days after November 1, 2023, i.e., by Monday, December 18, 2023 (because the 45th day falls on a Saturday).

As a reminder, Form 499-Q filers are required to submit the form electronically through USAC’s E-File system, available at https://​www​.usac​.org/​s​e​r​v​i​c​e​-​p​r​o​v​i​ders/.

C. International Telecommunications Carrier Information Collection (30 days after Office of International Affairs Public Notice)

The FCC has yet, as of the date hereof, to set the date for all Section 214 international authority holders to submit ownership information as mandated in an Order adopted at its April 2023 Open Meeting and amended by an August 22, 2023 Order (providing a limited streamlining for those Section 214 International Authorization Holders whose current reportable foreign ownership was reviewed in a substantive application reviewed by the Executive Branch agencies and granted by the FCC within the three-year period prior to the Information Collection filing deadline). We will continue to note this upcoming obligation because carriers’ failure to timely comply may result in loss of their Section 214 international authority. It is expected that the deadline for affected carriers to submit the requested information will be no earlier than November 8, 2023. (Please subscribe to our blog for updates – CommLaw Monitor at https://​www​.kel​leydrye​.com/​v​i​e​w​p​o​i​n​t​s​/​b​l​o​g​s​/​c​o​m​m​l​a​w​-​m​o​nitor.)

II. Filing Deadlines in Select Rulemakings, Inquiries, and Other Proceedings

E-Rate Eligible Services List for FY 2024. On September 12, 2023, the Wireline Competition Bureau (the Bureau”) released a Public Notice in WC Docket No. 13-184 seeking comment on the proposed eligible services list (“ESL”) for the E-rate program for funding year (“FY”) 2024, specifically regarding several minor revisions” that the Bureau is proposing. Comments are due by October 12, 2023, with reply comments due on October 26, 2023.

STIR/SHAKEN Implementation Deadlines. On September 28, 2023, the Wireline Competition Bureau released a Public Notice in WC Docket No. 17-97 seeking comment in connection with the FCC’s annual reevaluation of deadline extensions granted for implementation of the STIR/SHAKEN caller ID authentication framework, specifically regarding extensions currently applicable to small voice service providers that originate calls via satellite using North American Numbering Plan (“NANP”) numbers and to voice service providers that cannot obtain the Service Provider Code (“SPC”) token necessary to participate in STIR/SHAKEN.” Comments are due by October 18, 2023, with reply comments due on November 2, 2023.

Broadband Deployment Funding. On July 24, 2023, the FCC released a Report and Order, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking [“NPRM”] and Notice of Inquiry [“NOI”] in WC Docket. No.10-90, et al. The NOI seeks comments regarding whether, and how, to redesign the USF high-cost support program over time to align with the developing broadband landscape in the U.S. Comments on the NOI are due by October 23, 2023, with reply comments due on November 21, 2023.

Tribal E-Rate Participation. On July 20, 2023, the FCC adopted a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) in CC Docket Nos. 02-6, 96-45, and 97-21 seeking comment on methods by which to improve the application process for all applicants. Following publication in the August 9, 2023, Federal Register, comments were due by September 25, 2023. Reply comments are due on October 23, 2023.

5G Fund for Rural America. On September 22, 2023, the FCC released a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) in GN Docket No. 20-32, seeking comments to refresh the proceeding record, specifically on a limited set of issues deemed critical to the 5G Fund’s success...” Comments are due by October 23, 2023, with reply comments due on November 21, 2023.

FCC Mid-Band Spectrum Screen, Other Mobile Holdings Policies. On September 22, 2023, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and Office of Economics and Analytics issued a Public Notice in WT Docket 23-319 and Rulemaking 11966 seeking comment (i) on an AT&T, Inc., petition for rulemaking regarding establishment of a mid-band spectrum screen; and (ii) whether such a rulemaking proceeding should consider other changes to the FCC’s mobile spectrum holdings rules and policies. Comments are due October 23, 2023, with replies due on November 8, 2023.

WRC-15 Allocation Decisions. On April 21, 2023, the FCC released an Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in ET Docket No. 23-120, seeking comment on its proposal to amend the Allocation Table and related service rules to implement certain radiofrequency allocation decisions from the Final Acts World Radiocommunication Conference 2015,” specifically concerning portions of the radio spectrum between 5330.5 kHz and 29.5 GHz, other spectrum allocation changes, and related updates to the Commission’s service rules. Affected frequency bands include multiple allocations for satellite, maritime on-board communications at 457/467 MHz, and broadcasting service at 700 MHz among others. Following Federal Register publication on September 29, 2023, comments are due by October 30, 2023, with reply comments due on November 28, 2023.

Non-Federal Spectrum Usage. On August 4, 2023, the FCC released a Notice of Inquiry in WT Docket No. 23-232, seeking comment regarding use of new methods and technologies to more effectively compile information on non-Federal spectrum usage. Comments were filed by October 3, 2023. Reply comments due on November 2, 2023.

Internet of Things (IoT) Cybersecurity Labelling. On August 10, 2023, the FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in PS Docket No. 23-239, seeking comment on its proposal for a voluntary program of IoT cybersecurity labelling to better inform consumers regarding the security of IoT devices and products. In a September 15, 2023, Order Granting Extension of Time, the original comment cycle was extended with comments due by October 6, 2023. Reply comments are due on November 10, 2023.

Revision or Elimination of FCC Rules. On August 17, 2023, the FCC released a Public Notice in CB Docket No. 23-283 regarding its upcoming 12-month review of rules adopted in years 2007 through 2012, pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended. Public comment is sought as to whether, insofar as consistent with associated statutory objectives, these rules should be continued without change, amended or rescinded to minimize a significant economic impact upon a substantial number of small entities. A list of the rules to be reviewed is provided in the Public Notice. Comments are due on November 27, 2023.

III. Select 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 or person. Pro forma assignments and transfers may be approved under streamlined Forbearance procedures in the case of most telecommunications carriers (e.g., Section 214 authorization holders, wireless licensees (excluding those with installment payment or designated entity issues) and earth station licensees). 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 generally is required for pro forma transfers and assignments of private licenses.

Change in FCC Form 499 Filer Information

Filers must update their registration information, including a DC Agent for Service of Process, in accordance with the 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, headquarters 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/​s​e​r​v​i​c​e​-​p​r​o​v​i​d​e​r​s​/​c​o​n​t​r​i​b​u​t​i​n​g​-​t​o​-​t​h​e​-​u​s​f​/​m​a​k​i​n​g​-​r​e​v​i​s​ions/.

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 ceases to provide telecommunications service or telecommunications.

FCC: https://​apps​.fcc​.gov/​c​o​r​e​s​/​u​s​e​r​L​o​g​

USAC: www​.usac​.org/​s​e​r​v​i​c​e​-​p​r​o​v​i​d​e​r​s​/​c​o​n​t​r​i​b​u​t​i​n​g​-​t​o​-​t​h​e​-​u​s​f​/​m​a​n​a​g​e​-​y​o​u​r​-​4​99-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.

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Attorneys in Kelley Drye’s Communications Practice Group are experienced in addressing a full range of communications business and regulatory issues, such as the proper classification of novel fiber-based and wireless communications services – whether they qualify as information services, telecommunications service, non-regulated telecommunications, or otherwise -- and the ramifications of that classification, and the strategies of structuring those services to eliminate or minimize the applicable regulation. For more information, please contact your current Kelley Drye attorney or any member of the Communications Practice Group.