Reminder: Federal Communications Commission – June/July 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
The following are reminders for upcoming Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reports and compliance requirements:
A. Revisions to May 1, 2023 Form 499-Q Quarterly Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet (due June 15, 2023)
Carriers and providers of interstate and international telecommunications that seek to revise their May 1, 2023 Form 499-Q filing must do so within 45 days of the Form 499-Q filing deadline.
B. Quarterly Section 1.767(l) Submarine Cable Licensee Reports (due June 29, 2023)
Submarine cable licensees that (i) are, or are affiliated with, carriers with market power in any of the submarine cable licensee’s WTO Member destination countries; and (ii) have sought streamlined processing of a cable landing license, pursuant to section 1.767 of the Commission’s rules are required to file a provisioning and maintenance report and a circuit status report within 90 days from the end of the preceding calendar quarter.
C. Quarterly Sec. 63.10(c) Dominant International Carrier Reports (due June 29, 2023)
- International telecommunications service providers that are classified as dominant are required to submit (i) a quarterly international traffic and revenue report and (ii) a quarterly provisioning and maintenance report. These reports are due within 90 days from the end of the preceding calendar quarter.
- Facilities-based international telecommunications service providers that are classified as dominant also are required to file a quarterly circuit status report. This report is due within 90 days from the end of the preceding calendar quarter.
D. Form 481 (“Carrier Annual Reporting Data Collection Form”) (due July 3, 2023)
Carriers required to submit the annual FCC Form 481 report (service providers participating in the Lifeline program and/or High Cost program) must do so by July 3, 2023. See the USAC website for further information and instructions for filing through the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) E-file system are available.
E. CLEC Access Tariff Revisions for 8YY Toll-free Transition (due July 18, 2023)
Competitive local exchange carriers that are required to file tariff revisions to maintain benchmarked rates, following the incumbent local exchange carrier filings to comply with the FCC’s October 2020 8YY Access Charge Reform Report and Order, must do so no later than July 18, 2023. Further information, including the requirement to pay the associated filing fee through CORES, is provided in the Wireline Competition Bureau May 16, 2023 Public Notice.
F. Manufacturer Hearing Aid Compatibility Report (Form 655) (due July 31, 2023)
Manufacturers of wireless handsets that are used in the delivery of digital commercial mobile radio service within the scope of FCC Rule 20.19 are required to file information annually regarding their compliance with the FCC’s applicable hearing aid compatibility rules by July 31, 2023 (for the reporting period July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023). Further information and access to the filing database is available here.
II. Filing Deadlines in Select Rulemakings, Inquiries, and Other Proceedings:
- FCC Regulatory Fees: On May 15, 2023, the FCC released a Report and Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in MD Docket Nos.22-301 and 23-159 regarding the regulatory fee process and seeks comment on the proposed regulatory fees and calculations as set forth in the NPRM. Comments are due no later than June 14, 2023; with reply comments due by June 29, 2023.
- Use of Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Reimbursement Funds: Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) comments are sought by June 16, 2023, regarding a proposed revision to an approved information collection in connection with the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Reimbursement Program. The revision in question would replace a current question in FCC Form 5640 with a more detailed question seeking greater detail as to how program participants have spent program funds. Further information and instructions for comment submission are provided in the April 17, 2023 Federal Register announcement.
- Public Wireless Supply Chain Innovation Fund: The National Telecommunications and Information Administration is seeking views on information-collection requirements for its Public Wireless Supply Chain Innovation Fund. Comments are due June 16, 2023. Further information and instructions for comment submission are provided in the April 17, 2023 Federal Register announcement.
- Urban Rate Survey Benchmarks: On May 8, 2023, the FCC issued a public notice requesting comment regarding possible changes to the calculation of the broadband reasonable comparability benchmarks for the urban rate survey. Comments were due by June 8, 2023; reply comments are due June 23, 2023.
- Telecommunications Reporting Worksheets: Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) comments are due by July 3, 2023 regarding the requested extension of a currently approved information collection concerning FCC Forms 499-A and 499-Q. Further information and instructions for comment submission are provided on page 28549 of the May 4, 2023 Federal Register announcement.
- Affordable Connectivity Program Transparency Data Collection: The FCC seeks Paperwork Reduction Act comments by July 7, 2023 regarding a new data collection in connection with the Affordable Connectivity Program. Further information and filing instructions are provided in the June 7, 2023 Federal Register notice.
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 (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, 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/service-providers/contributing-to-the-usf/making-revisions/.
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.
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, including with respect to USAC-administered broadband subsidy programs such as the Lifeline Program and the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), providing regulatory advice on applications, elections, enrollment, and operational set-up requirements, as well as counseling on enforcement and on-going compliance requirements. For more information, please contact your current Kelley Drye attorney or any member of the Communications Practice Group.