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This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).
Commission Proposes to Streamline Reporting Requirements for Telecommunications Carriers
The Commission today initiated a proceeding to reduce regulatory burdens on all telecommunications carriers by proposing to consolidate and streamline up to six carrier reporting requirements into one report. On average, carriers would spend approximately 40% less time submitting information through use of the proposed new form as compared to the current requirements.
In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Commission proposed that carriers need only file one form to satisfy the reporting requirements associated with: (1) the universal service support mechanisms, (2) the telecommunications relay services (TRS) support mechanism, (3) the cost recovery mechanism for numbering administration, and (4) the cost recovery mechanism for the shared costs of local number portability. In addition, the Commission proposed to allow carriers to use the unified form to satisfy two additional reporting requirements that seek similar revenue and contact information.
The Commission asked for comment on a proposed form -- the Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet -- and emphasized that it is committed to working with the telecommunications industry and the administrators of the mechanisms to develop the most user-friendly and simplest form possible. The proposal would not alter the substance of what carriers report, but seeks to reduce what the Commission observed to be duplicative reporting requirements that were imposed to implement the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
The Commission also sought to improve coordination and efficiency among the four administrators of the cost recovery mechanisms associated with this report. The Commission proposed to allow administrators to share contributor data, subject to confidentiality rules, as a means to reduce administrative costs and increase accuracy of contributions. Noting that each administrator appears to perform similar billing and collection functions, the Commission sought comment about whether administrators might delegate data entry and other billing and collections functions to reduce costs. In an attached Notice of Inquiry, the Commission asked commenters to further explore whether it might be desirable to have one entity perform billing and collection functions for all of the mechanisms.
By and large, the Commission did not propose substantive changes to the underlying support and cost recovery mechanisms or the way in which they are being implemented. In order to bring the TRS and numbering administration mechanisms in line with the universal service support mechanism, however, the Commission did propose to alter the type of revenue considered when calculating contributions to those two mechanisms, so that contributions in each case would be based on end-user telecommunications revenues. This proposal would ensure the competitive neutrality of the TRS and numbering administration mechanisms and should result in administrative efficiencies for carriers.
Today's action is part of the Commission's 1998 biennial review, which aims to repeal or modify FCC requirements that no longer serve the public interest. The Commission stated that this proceeding should advance the biennial review process by eliminating duplicative burdens on carriers and by promoting efficient administration of cost recovery and support mechanisms.
Action by the Commission September 17, 1998, by Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Notice of Inquiry (FCC 98-233). Chairman Kennard, Commissioners Ness, Furchtgott-Roth, Powell and Tristani, with Commissioner Furchtgott-Roth issuing a separate statement.
News media contact: Rochelle Cohen at (202) 418-0253.
Common Carrier Bureau contact: Scott Bergmann at (202) 418-7102.
TTY: (202) 418-2555.