FCC launches five – uh, make that six – NBP-related items in one day
If you thought the FCC might have been kidding around when it promised quick action on the National Broadband Plan (NBP) agenda items, the FCC is working hard to move you off that thought. In an impressive display of regulatory shock and awe, the FCC has put a substantial dent in its NBP to-do list by launching six separate proceedings covering five discrete subjects. The items include:
- A notice of inquiry (NOI) and notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on Universal Service Fund reform
- A notice of proposed rulemaking on whether to extend roaming obligations to mobile data services
- A notice of inquiry on the “survivability” of America’s broadband infrastructure
- A notice of inquiry on a proposed “Cyber Security Certification Program” for communications service providers
- A notice of inquiry and a separate further notice of proposed rulemaking on cable and satellite set-top boxes
The six items top out at a total of just over 250 pages in all, so you might want to start reading now. If you just want to get a quick sense of what each involves, you might want to check out the public notices which recap each: Universal Service Fund; Roaming Obligations; Survivability; Cyber Security Certification; and Set-top Boxes.
Each of the six items invites comments and reply comments, but don’t get your calendars out yet. The comment deadlines won’t be set until the various notices are published in the Federal Register. And to make it even trickier to start planning your early summer get-away, the Commission appears to contemplate an oddly diverse set of deadlines. For example, comments and replies in response to the Set-top Box NOI will be due a scant 30 days and 45 days, respectively, after that notice makes it into the Federal Register. By contrast, comments/replies in the Cyber Security Certification proceeding won’t be due until 60/120 days after publication. And in between you’ve got the Set-top Box NPRM and USF combo NOI/NPRM (60/90 days for each), and the Survivability NOI and Roaming NPRM (45/75 days for each).
With this barrage – or is it a salvo? – the Commission is clearly signaling its determination to move forward with the ambitious campaign mapped out in the NBP, despite the major questions which loom large in the wake of the FCC’s setback in the Comcast case. And don’t get comfortable, because these are just the beginning. The NBP envisions more than 60 proceedings in the months to come. Stay tuned . . .