Deadlines & Headlines

Featuring the latest news, trends, and legal developments in the telecommunications and technology space.

Deadlines & Headlines
Deadlines and Headlines
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FCC Announces Deadline to File Annual International Traffic and Revenue Data for 2014 is September 30, 2015

The International Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has set Wednesday, September 30, 2015 as the deadline for common carriers and interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers that offer international telecommunications services to file their annual International Traffic and Revenue Data for the 2014 calendar year, pursuant to §43.62 of the FCC’s rules. 47 C.F.R. §43.62. Any revisions to the data must be filed by November 30, 2015.
 

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Consumer Privacy & Telemarketing, Deadlines and Headlines
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PayPal Will Tweak User Agreement To Clarify Proposed Autodialing Provisions

On June 29, 2015, PayPal’s General Counsel released a blog post indicating that the company will be tweaking its proposed revisions to its User Agreement regarding PayPal’s ability to send its customers autodialed or prerecorded messages. The changes to PayPal’s terms as originally proposed drew the ire of government regulators, including the Federal Communications Commission and the New York Attorney General. These regulators, as well as numerous consumer groups, asserted that PayPal’s proposed changes would conflict with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and its provisions prohibiting autodialed or prerecorded calls to consumers without obtaining consumers’ prior express consent. 
 

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Deadlines and Headlines
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FCC Authorizes Interconnected VoIP Providers To Obtain Telephone Numbers Directly

On June 22, 2015, the FCC released an order authorizing interconnected VoIP providers to obtain telephone numbers directly from the Numbering Administrators, rather than through intermediaries or wholesale carriers. Generally, the FCC will now require interconnected VoIP providers to follow the same requirements applicable to traditional TDM-based carriers seeking to obtain numbers.
 
Those interconnected VoIP providers without a state-issued certification may pursue a three-step process to obtain direct access to numbers:

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On-Demand TCPA Plaintiffs? There’s An App For That

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was enacted to protect consumers from abusive telemarketing practices by making it unlawful to initiate unsolicited telemarketing messages. Recently, however, there has been a significant increase in TCPA litigation involving on-demand solicited text messages that consumers affirmatively request to receive in response to a call-to-action display.

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Agency & Legislative Policy Advocacy
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Two FCC Compliance Filings Due Friday, May 1, 2015

There are two separate FCC compliance filing deadlines on Friday, May 1, 2015 for carriers operating in the United States.
 
First, detariffed, non-dominant providers of interstate interexchange telecommunications services are required to file their Annual Geographic Rate Averaging Certification on or before Friday, May 1, 2015, as required by 47 C.F.R. § 64.1900. In this filing, providers must certify that their rates in high cost and rural areas are not higher than their rates in urban areas, in accordance with Section 254(g) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended. 47 U.S.C. § 254(g). An officer must sign the certification under oath. Certifications must be filed in CC Docket No. 96-61, and addressed to the attention of Assistant Chief of the Pricing Policy Bureau.
 

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Agency & Legislative Policy Advocacy
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FCC International Circuit Reports Due April 30, 2015

The filing deadline for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Annual International Circuit Report is Thursday, April 30, 2015. This is a mandatory requirement under Section 43.62 of the FCC’s rules, 47 C.F.R. § 43.62.

Carriers required to file this report include: 1) any facilities-based common carrier that has active satellite or terrestrial circuits between the United States and foreign points; 2) any licensee of a submarine cable between the United States and a foreign point; 3) any common carrier with capacity on a submarine cable between the United States and a foreign point; or 4) any non-common carrier satellite licensee with active circuits between the United States and foreign reports.

Carriers must report any circuits that they held as of December 31, 2014. All filings must be made electronically through the FCC’s filing portal which opened on March 30, 2015.

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Mobile
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Arent Fox Partner Stephanie Joyce Moderates Mobile Monday Panel "Mobility and the Open Internet"

Arent Fox Communications, Technology & Mobile partner Stephanie A. Joyce is moderating a panel for Mobile Monday.

Join us for a discussion about how the FCC Open Internet Order will affect the mobile industry. The Order adopts, for the first time, obligations and restrictions for wireless carriers. We will assemble panelists from various areas of the mobile space – small carriers, lobbyists, and content/application providers – to explain what the new rules say and why they matter.

Moderator

Stephanie Joyce, Partner, Arent Fox LLP

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Licensing & Regulatory Compliance
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Accessibility Compliance Recordkeeping Certificates Due Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Telecommunications carriers, equipment manufacturers, interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers, non-interconnected VoIP providers, wireless carriers, and advanced communications service providers are required to file a certificate annually with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), confirming pursuant to Sections 255, 716, and 718 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the Act) that the company maintains records of any and all efforts undertaken to ensure its products and services are accessible to those with disabilities.

Specifically, companies must maintain records of:

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Agency & Legislative Policy Advocacy
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Summary of FCC Open Internet Order

Somewhat sooner than expected, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released the full text of the Open Internet Order, voted February 26, 2015, on March 12, 2015. The Order is available here.

The document, which is 290 pages long excluding addenda and Commissioner statements, comprises three separate types of agency decisions summarized as follows:

Report and Order: This portion of the Order adopts final rules to prevent “three practices [that] in particular demonstrably harm the open Internet: blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization” (Para. 110). Under these rules, broadband providers:

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Licensing & Regulatory Compliance
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FCC Form 499-A to Report 2014 Revenue is Due Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Companies that provide telecommunications and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service are reminded that FCC Form 499-A is due Wednesday, April 1, 2015. FCC Form 499-A reports annual revenue to the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), as well as other fund administrators. This form must be filed by all interstate telecommunications carriers, interconnected VoIP providers, providers of interstate telecommunications that offer service for a fee on a non-common carrier basis (including stand-alone audio bridging companies), and payphone providers that are aggregators.

In addition, non-interconnected VoIP providers are required to file this form for the assessment of fees to support the Telecommunications Relay System (TRS).

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