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 has released the final Agenda for its next Open Meeting scheduled for September 30, 2021, at 10:30am ET. It contains the same nine items previously noticed, which includes the vacatur of the 4.9 GHz Order released in 2020, and adds a tenth item: an NPRM from the Wireline Competition Bureau addressing SIM-swapping and port-out fraud. The meeting will be live-streamed here. For more information about FCC matters, please contact Stephanie Joyce.

Compliance Alerts

The FCC has set a deadline of November 15, 2021, for voice service providers and the Industry Traceback Group to submit information for the Commission’s annual report on private efforts to stem unlawful robocalls. The report covers the period November 1, 2020, through October 31, 2021. Under the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act (TRACED Act), the Commission must report annually to Congress on private-led efforts to trace the sources of suspected unlawful robocalls. For more information about compliance matters, please contact Katherine Barker Marshall.

FTC Items

The FTC will send refund checks to 86,752 consumers to reimburse them for unauthorized charges (“cramming”) collected by Billing Services Group (BSG), a telephone service billing aggregator. The funds will come from enforcement of a 2016 settlement with BSG that resolved contempt charges for having violated a 1999 settlement. For more information, please contact Stephanie Joyce

Legislative Affairs

The House Antitrust Subcommittee will hold a hearing September 28, 2021, at 10:00am ET, titled “Reviving Competition, Part 4: 21st Century Antitrust Reforms and the American Worker. 

The Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing September 29, 2021, at 10:00am ET, titled “Protecting Consumer Privacy.” It will include discussion of how Congress can equip the FTC to best protect consumers by establishing a Privacy Bureau. Scheduled witnesses include Maureen Ohlhausen, former Acting FTC Chair, and Ashkan Soltani, former FTC Chief Technologist.

The Senate Consumer Protection Subcommittee will hold a hearing September 30, 2021, at 10:30am ET, titled “Protecting Kids Online: Facebook, Instagram, and Mental Health Harms.” The only scheduled witness is Antigone Davis, Director and Global Head of Safety at Facebook.

All of these hearings will be live-streamed. 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.

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Marlene Laro

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