Welcome to the Tech & Telecom Weekly, an e-newsletter keeping you apprised of the latest developments in the telecommunications and high-tech industries.

FCC Policy

The FCC is taking comment on how to adopt exemptions to the restrictions of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) that are consistent with the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act. Initial Comments are due 15 days after publication of the NPRM in the Federal Register, and Reply Comments are due 25 days after NPRM publication. For more information, please contact Stephanie Joyce.
The FCC has adopted additional rules implementing the TRACED Act, including a more defined standard for meeting the statute’s June 30, 2021, deadline for employing STIR/SHAKEN Caller ID authentication. Most of the rules will be effective upon Federal Register publication, excepting rules regarding information collection, which must obtain Office of Management and Budget approval. This Second Report and Order is available hereFor more information, please contact Stephanie Joyce.

Compliance Alerts

The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) will hold its monthly Lifeline call on October 14, 2020, at 3:00pm ET. Interested participants should register here. The call will include updates about upcoming compliance deadlines, the Lifeline Program, and the National Verifier and the National Lifeline Accountability Database. For more information, please contact Katherine Barker Marshall.

The FCC has adopted new rules and procedures to improve transparency and timeliness of the review of license transactions involving foreign ownership. The new rules establish a 120-day initial review period with a discretionary extension of 90 days if needed. Applicants now will be required to answer questions relating to national security and to make additional certifications to protect those interests. For more information on FCC licensing, please contact Katherine Barker Marshall. (IB Docket No. 16-155)

The FCC has issued a Forfeiture Order against Sandwich Isles Communications of almost $50 million for violations of the Universal Service Fund (USF) program rules. Between 2002 and 2015, Sandwich Isles improperly took more than $27 million in USF support to deploy and maintain communications networks on the Hawaiian Homelands. For more information, please contact Katherine Barker Marshall. (FCC 20-131, File No. EB-IHD-15-00019603)


The Departments of Commerce and Justice and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence have released a white paper setting forth their views on U.S. law governing intelligence surveillance that led the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to invalidate the “Privacy Shield” data transfer mechanism. In so doing, they pointed to provisions of U.S. law that the ECJ did not consider and suggested that U.S. privacy protections in fact compare favorably to those in many EU nations. The agencies urged businesses to take these considerations into account when assessing the lawfulness of data transfers after Schrems II. For more information, please contact William Baker.

Legislative Affairs

The House has passed H.R. 1289, the Preserving Home and Office Numbers in Emergencies (PHONE) Act of 2020. The legislation would place a moratorium on phone companies’ reassigning wireline phone numbers in places federally designated as Disaster Areas. It has gone to the Senate Commerce Committee for review. For more information, please contact Stephanie Joyce.

Note: This publication is distributed with the understanding that the author, publisher and distributor of this publication and/or any linked publication are not rendering legal, accounting, or other professional advice or opinions on specific facts or matters and, accordingly, assume no liability whatsoever in connection with its use. Pursuant to applicable rules of professional conduct, portions of this publication may constitute Attorney Advertising.

Media Contact

Marlene Laro

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