Client Bulletin: Reminder – Upcoming Federal Filing Deadlines for Carriers, VolP Providers, and Broadband Providers

The Federal Communications Commission has a number of regulatory filing deadlines in the coming weeks that affect carriers, interconnected and non-interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers, and broadband providers.

CPNI Certificates

On June 29, 2017, the FCC reinstated its rules regarding the filing of Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI) (See FCC 17-82). The rules had been suspended as part of the prior Commission’s adoption of new broadband privacy regulations in connection with the reclassification of broadband Internet access service as a telecommunications service. Since the broadband privacy rules have been suspended by Congressional Review Act resolution, the current Commission has reinstated the CPNI annual certification rules. As part of those rules, carriers and other related companies are required to file certificates that they were in compliance with the FCC’s CPNI rules during the previous year by March annually. The FCC includes the following types of providers in its non-exhaustive list of filers required to comply with the requirement: telecommunications carriers, interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers, commercial mobile radio providers (CMRS), interexchange carriers, prepaid calling card providers, resellers, and calling card providers.

Certificates must contain an officer’s signature attesting that he or she has personal knowledge that the company has established procedures to protect CPNI, as well as a description of those procedures. Further, the company must describe any actions taken against data brokers in 2017, as well as any customer complaints received regarding CPNI.

The FCC released a reminder of this filing requirement last week and its deadline of Tuesday, March 1, 2018, which can be found here. (DA 18-114) The FCC encourages companies to file their certificates electronically through the Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) in EB Docket No. 06-36. Companies may also file their certificates in hard copy with the Office of the Secretary.

FCC Form 477 – Local Telephone Competition and Broadband Report

FCC Form 477, known as the Local Telephone Competition and Broadband Report, is due Tuesday, March 1, 2018. This semi-annual report collects information about broadband connections to end user locations, interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, and wired and wireless local telephone services in individual states and territories as of December 31, 2017. Facilities-based providers of broadband connections to end users, interconnected VoIP providers, providers of mobile telephony services, and providers of wired or fixed-wireless local exchange telephone service are required to file FCC Form 477. The FCC has developed an online portal for this filing. More information about this filing can be found here. The portal for filing FCC Form 477 can be found here, and is currently open.

CAF Phase II Short-Form Application

Those wanting to participate in the FCC’s Connect America Fund Phase II’s Reverse Auction (Auction 903), scheduled to take place starting on July 24, 2018 must have their short-form application to participate in to the FCC by Friday, March 30, 2018 at 6 PM Eastern Time. This auction will award up to $1.98 billion over 10 years to service providers that commit to offer voice and broadband services to fixed locations in unserved high-cost areas. The window for filing a short-form application opens on Monday, March 19, 2018 at Noon Eastern Time. There are substantial financial metrics and operating capability requirements that need to be met by interested auction applicants. Eligible census block information has been released recently by the FCC. The FCC has also announced that there will be an on-line tutorial to assist applicants with their short-form applications sometime before March 13, 2018.

If you have any questions about these or other upcoming filing deadlines, please contact either Katherine Barker Marshall or Doug Bonner.