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Federal Communications Commission
1919 - M Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
News media information 202 / 418-0500
Fax-On-Demand 202 / 418-2830

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).

March 18, 1999

Report No. IN 99-13

Rosemary Kimball at (202) 418-0500

(IB Docket No. 98-118)

The Commission today took major steps to reduce regulatory burdens on providers of international telecommunications services, citing rapid changes in the global telecommunications market. As part of the 1998 biennial regulatory review process, the Commission streamlined the process for granting Section 214 authorizations to provide international services and increased the categories of applications eligible for streamlined processing. Under the rules adopted today, approximately 99 percent of international Section 214 applications will qualify for streamlined processing. The Commission also adopted a series of measures that remove unnecessary obstacles to the expansion of service by authorized carriers and give carriers more flexibility to organize their operations efficiently. Specifically, the Report and Order --

  1. Reduces the waiting period for granting new streamlined applications from 35 days to 14 days.

  2. Allows applications to be granted through the streamlined process regardless of whether public comments have been filed.

  3. Expands the class of applications eligible for streamlined processing.

  4. Eliminates the requirement for prior approval of pro forma assignments and transfers of control of Section 214 authorizations.

  5. Allows authorized carriers to provide service through wholly owned subsidiaries without prior approval, and allows applicants to use the streamlined authorization process to obtain the same authorizations that any affiliates with the identical ownership have already obtained.

  6. Allows any authorized facilities-based carrier to use any non-U.S.-licensed undersea cable system without specific approval.

  7. Simplifies the Commission's process of authorizing the use of private lines to provide switched services, also known as international simple resale (ISR), on particular routes.

  8. Reorganizes, clarifies, and simplifies the rules applicable to international Section 214 applications and authorized carriers.

The Commission's action results from a thorough review of its rules governing the licensing and operations of international carriers. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 directs the Commission to review on a biennial basis all regulations that apply to providers of telecommunications service and to repeal or modify any regulation it determines to be unnecessary as the result of meaningful economic competition.

The Report and Order simplifies and shortens the streamlined process for authorizing new international carriers. Such applications will now be granted 14 days after being placed on public notice, regardless of whether any public comments are filed. Under previous rules, a streamlined application was granted 35 days after being placed on public notice only if it was unopposed. Approximately 99 percent of international Section 214 applications will qualify for streamlined processing, including the following categories of applications:

  • applications to provide service between the United States and countries in which the applicant is not affiliated with any carrier that operates in that country ("unaffiliated routes");

  • applications to serve affiliated routes where the affiliated foreign carrier has already been found to lack market power;

  • applications to serve affiliated routes where the affiliated foreign carrier has less than a 50 percent market share in the international transport and local access markets in the destination country;

  • applications to serve affiliated routes where the affiliated foreign carrier has no telecommunications transmission facilities, or only mobile wireless facilities, in the destination country;

  • applications to serve affiliated routes where the foreign affiliate is from a WTO country if the applicant seeks to serve that country solely by reselling the switched services of unaffiliated U.S. international carriers;

  • applications not otherwise eligible for streamlining if the affiliate is a foreign carrier in a WTO country and the applicant certifies that it will comply with our dominant carrier regulations for the affiliated route; and

  • applications to assign or transfer control of an international Section 214 authorization where an initial Section 214 application filed by the assignee or transferee would be eligible for streamlined processing.

Authorized carriers will be allowed to undertake pro forma (non-substantial) assignments of international Section 214 authorizations and transfers of control of entities holding international Section 214 authorizations without prior approval of the Commission. The Commission invoked the forbearance authority granted by the 1996 Telecommunications Act to forbear from reviewing these transactions. Carriers must simply notify the Commission within 30 days following consummation of the transaction. Also, any wholly owned subsidiary of an authorized carrier may provide service without prior approval pursuant to similar procedures.

Under the rules adopted today, a carrier with a global Section 214 authorization for facilities-based service will be allowed to use any foreign submarine cable system in its provision of U.S. facilities-based international services. Previous rules allowed use of all U.S.-licensed cable systems but prohibited carriers from using foreign submarine cable systems that had not been individually approved. If it becomes necessary to prohibit the use of any specific cable system, that cable system may be added to the exclusion list maintained by the International Bureau.

Action by the Commission March 18, 1999, by Report and Order (FCC 99-51). Chairman Kennard, Commissioners Ness, Furchtgott-Roth, Powell and Tristani, with Commissioner Furchtgott-Roth issuing a statement.

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International Bureau contacts: Douglas Klein, Peggy Reitzel, or Troy Tanner at (202) 418-1470.


I enthusiastically support this order. It represents an aggressive approach to deregulation in response to increased competition in international telecommunications markets. As a result, carriers will be able to enter the market more quickly and easily, increasing competition and therefore benefiting consumers, and carriers will be able to organize their businesses as they see fit. This is consistent with my philosophy of ensuring that we regulate only when necessary and that we do so in a common sense manner that is not overly burdensome to carriers.

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