The Federal Communications Commission recently issued a temporary waiver of its international traffic and revenue reporting requirements while it contemplates a more permanent scaling-back of regulatory burdens associated with international telecommunications services.
Long-time readers of our blog may recall that we reported on FCC “reductions” to international reporting obligations a few years ago – but that endeavor ended with new reporting obligations that appeared to keep the overall regulatory burden at a constant. This time around the FCC appears geared towards a more significant reduction or elimination of these burdens.
Pursuant to Section 43.62 of the Commission’s rules, international telecommunications providers must annually report their traffic and revenue for international voice services, international miscellaneous services, and international common carrier private lines. However, in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking released March 23, 2017, the Commission proposed elimination of Section 43.62’s reporting requirements on the grounds that the collection of international traffic and revenue data was no longer necessary for the Commission and was unduly burdensome on international telecommunications providers. As you may know, rulemaking proceedings can take some time. So, in the meantime, the Commission thought it beneficial to provide temporary relief in the form of a blanket temporary waiver of these reporting obligations, to prevent applicable service providers “from incurring potentially unnecessary expenses” during the pendency of the Commission’s review. Of course, the Commission cautioned that its decision to temporarily waive Section 43.62’s reporting requirements in no way was intended to “prejudge” the outcome of its review.
The next Section 43.62 international revenue and data reports would have been due at the end of July. But because of the temporary waiver, which will stay in effect until sixty (60) days after the FCC issues an order in the underlying rulemaking proceeding, providers of international telecommunications services can take at least this summer off. Enjoy!