We recently reported on the Commission’s decision to impose numerous additional obligations upon rate-of-return regulated incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs), while leaving many rural ILECs with the same or even less compensation to satisfy the significant broadband build-out expenditures mandated by the new regulations. The FCC’s Report and Order, Order and Order on Reconsideration in that proceeding has now been published in the Federal Register. Anyone with an interest here should get their calendars out.
The publication starts the clock on the time for filing either petitions for reconsideration with the Commission or petitions for review with a Federal Court of Appeals. If you’re inclined to ask the FCC to re-think things (by filing for reconsideration), you’ve got until May 25, 2016. If, on the other hand, you don’t feel like giving the Commission another chance and instead want to head straight for the courts, you’ve got until June 24 to file your petition for review in the circuit of your choice. Note, though, that if you’ve got your heart set on having your appeal heard by a particular circuit, you should file your petition by May 5, making sure that you then follow the steps necessary to get your preferred circuit into any judicial lottery that might be held. (You can find the relevant procedures spelled out here.)
Meanwhile, the Federal Register publication also sets the effective date for some, but not all, of the new and revised rules. That date is May 25, but that does not apply to the amendments to Sections 51.917(f)(4), 54.303(b), 54.311(a), 54.313(a)(10), (e)(1), (e)(2) and (f)(1), 54.316(a)(b), 54.319(e), 54.903(a), 69.132, 69.311, 69.4(k), and 69.416. Those all entail new or modified “information collections” that will have to be reviewed and approved by the Office of Management and Budget (thanks to the hilariously named Paperwork Reduction Act) before they can take effect.