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FCC to Consider Real Time Text and Emergency Alerting Items at December Open Meeting

Legislative Activity

Senators Urge FCC to Examine Zero-Rating Plans

Seven senators, including Sens. Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Al Franken (D-MN), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), wrote a letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler urging the FCC to “take enforcement action against harmful zero-rating offerings that violate the principles of the Open Internet Order,” which generally prohibits Internet Service Providers from prioritizing, blocking, or throttling content distributed over the Internet. Zero-rating practices allow wireless subscribers to stream video, music, applications, websites, and other services without the associated data usage being counted against the subscriber’s data caps. In the letter, the senators noted the growth of zero-rating practices in the market and argued that without oversight or enforcement such practices could discriminate against specific services, hinder competition, and stifle innovation. The senators urged the FCC to consider competition issues, paid zero-rating plans, application agnostic plans, and issues relating to consumer choice in reviewing zero-rating offers in line with the Open Internet Order.

Regulatory Activity

FCC Announces December Open Meeting Tentative Agenda

The FCC has announced that the following items are tentatively on the agenda for its December 15 Open Meeting:

  • Transition from Text Telephony (TTY) to Real-Time Text Technology. The FCC will consider a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to “help achieve the transition from TTY technology to a reliable and interoperable means of providing real-time text communication over wireless Internet protocol enabled networks and services.

  • Improving the Nation’s Public Alert and Warning Systems. “enhance the Emergency Alert System (EAS) as a tool for community emergency preparedness. The Report and Order improves alerting organization at the state and local levels, builds stronger community-based alerting exercise programs, and protects the EAS against accidental misuse and malicious intrusion. The Further Notice seeks comment on proposals to leverage technological advances to improve alerting and additional measures to preserve EAS security.”

FCC Chairman Wheeler posted to the FCC Blog on November 22 discussing the items above.

The FCC’s Open Meeting agenda announcement also stated that the following items that are currently on circulation at the FCC “may be considered, unless voted on circulation prior” to the December Open Meeting:

  • Update to Parts 2 and 25 Concerning Non-geostationary, Fixed-Satellite Service Systems and Related Matters, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

  • In the Matter of Amendment of Part 0 of the Commission’s Rules Regarding Public Information, the Inspection of Records, and Implementing the Freedom of Information Act

  • Maritime Communications/Land Mobile, LLC, Order on Reconsideration and Memorandum Opinion and Order

  • Improving the Resiliency of the Nation’s Mobile Wireless Communications Networks, Order

  • Preferred Long Distance, Inc., Memorandum Opinion and Order

The FCC’s December 15 Open Meeting is scheduled to commence at 10:30 a.m. in the Commission Meeting Room of the FCC’s headquarters at 445 12th Street S.W., and will be streamed live at fcc.gov/live.

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About this Author

Steven F. Lederman, Communications, ATtorney, Squire PAtton Boggs, law firm
Senior Associate

Steven Lederman focuses his practice on general communications law matters including issues involving regulation of wireline, wireless and cable television providers. Steve has an in-depth understanding of state and federal regulations impacting telecommunications providers and has participated in proceedings before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). He has extensive experience with respect to FCC decisions, federal statutes, and regulations affecting telecommunications and cable television providers. In addition, Steve has experience with communications-...

Koyulyn K. Miller, Squire Patton, Technology, Communication Lawyer, FCC

Koyulyn Miller advises clients in the communications and technology sectors, specializing in enforcement matters before government agencies, including the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). She works tirelessly to unpack and analyze complex legal matters, counseling clients on how to navigate enforcement and other regulatory proceedings. Drawing from her years of experience working in the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau, she educates clients on practical matters such as how to respond to Commission correspondence and enforcement actions, how and when to broach negotiations with Commission staff, and how to implement proactive measures to ensure compliance with the relevant regulations and statutory provisions going forward.

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Benjamin D. Tarbell, Squire Paton, Government Enforcement Lawyer,

Benjamin Tarbell draws on his experience in regulatory policy to assist clients in the technology and communications sectors, specializing in matters before government agencies including the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

While attending law school, Ben clerked full-time for Commissioner Ajit Pai of the FCC. In that role, he worked alongside the Commissioner’s advisors to draft statements, speeches and agency publications, and advise the Commissioner on FCC issues including the Broadcast Incentive Auction, media ownership, market...

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Peter M. Bean, Squire Patton, Communication Licensing Lawyer

Peter Bean is a member of the firm’s Communications Practice Group. Peter represents public and private sector US and non-US clients in the technology and communications industries on a range of complex legal, regulatory and legislative issues, many of which are at the forefront of telecommunications law and policy. Peter’s practice is global in scope and leverages the firm’s global footprint for the benefit of clients. In the US, his practice includes varied experience practicing before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and counseling clients on matters...

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