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fcclogo PUBLIC NOTICE

Federal Communications Commission
1919 - M Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
News media information 202 / 418-0500
Fax-On-Demand 202 / 418-2830
Internet: http://www.fcc.gov
ftp.fcc.gov



DA 97-2629
December 18, 1997





Public Briefing Set for January 8
on the Commission's Report and Order in
Rules and Policies on Foreign Participation in the U.S. Telecommunications Market
FCC 97-398, IB Docket No. 97-142


International Bureau staff will conduct a public briefing on Thursday, January 8, 1998, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. in the Commission Meeting Room (1919 M Street, room 856). The topic of the briefing will be the Commission's recent Report and Order in the matter of Rules and Policies on Foreign Participation in the U.S. Telecommunications Market (Foreign Participation Order). All interested members of the public are encouraged to attend and ask questions. To facilitate the discussion, the staff encourages participants to submit questions prior to the meeting (see below).

The following are responses to some of the questions that the staff of the International Bureau have already received with respect to the transition from existing rules on international Section 214 authorizations ("old" rules) to the rules adopted in the Foreign Participation Order ("new" rules).

When will the new procedures and standards become effective?

Because of congressional review procedures required by the Contract with America Advancement Act,(1) most of the new rules will not become effective before February 9, 1998. The Commission will publish a document announcing the effective date.

Under which rules (old or new) should Section 214 applications be prepared prior to the effective date of the new rules?

Until the effective date of the new rules, applications will continue to be evaluated under the old standards, and the existing streamlining process for Section 214 authorizations will apply. Applications pending at the time the new rules and policies become effective will be evaluated under the new standards.(2) It therefore may be to the applicant's advantage to include in its application all information relevant under either set of rules.

An applicant whose application would be streamlined under the Commission's existing rules may file immediately. If an application would be eligible for streamlining under the new rules but not under the old rules, the applicant may still file its application early and request that it not be placed on public notice until the effective date of the new rules. Those applications will be placed on public notice soon after the effective date.

How may an applicant affiliated with a foreign carrier demonstrate that its application is eligible for streamlined processing under the new rules?

Pursuant to the new rules, the Commission will streamline the Section 214 application of a foreign-affiliated carrier that demonstrates clearly that its foreign affiliate has less than a 50 percent market share in the international transport and local access markets in the destination foreign country.(3) To make the market-share showing, an applicant should rely on data compiled by regulatory authorities in the destination market or by international bodies, if that data is available. Otherwise, an applicant may rely on information from industry sources, including the foreign carrier itself, supported by an affidavit from a representative of the applicant that the information relied upon is true and correct to the best of the representative's knowledge and belief. With respect to the international transport market, the applicant may use the foreign affiliate's share of the foreign-billed minutes or, if unavailable, revenues on the relevant route. With respect to the local access market, the applicant may use the foreign affiliate's percentage of access lines in its franchise area and the percentage of all access lines in the nation that the franchise area represents. In addition, applicants may rely on the fact that the affiliated foreign carrier neither owns nor controls facilities in the international transport or local access markets.(4)

How will the Commission determine the countries to which switched services may be provided over private lines under the new rules?

The Commission will authorize the provision of switched services over private lines to particular destinations in response to applications filed pursuant to Section 63.18(e)(3) and (e)(4). As described in the Foreign Participation Order, the Commission will authorize the provision of switched services over private lines between the United States and a WTO Member country if the settlement rates for at least 50 percent of the settled U.S.-billed traffic between the United States and that country are at or below the Commission's benchmark settlement rate for that country or the country satisfies the Commission's equivalency test. The Commission will authorize the provision of switched services over private lines between the United States and a non-WTO Member country if the settlement rates for at least 50 percent of the settled U.S.-billed traffic between the United States and that country are at or below the relevant benchmark and the country satisfies the Commission's equivalency test.

Once the Commission has authorized the provision of switched services over private lines to a particular destination market, any carrier with authorized private line facilities to that destination and any carrier with global resale authority may use its authorized private lines for the provision of international switched basic services on that route. If, however, a carrier is affiliated with a foreign carrier in the destination market that the Commission has not determined lacks sufficient market power in that market to affect competition adversely in the U.S. market, the carrier must have received specific authority to serve that route pursuant to Section 63.18(e)(6).

Where can I find further information?

In addition to the January 8 public briefing mentioned above, the International Bureau maintains a page on its Web site with links to information about the Foreign Participation Order and other information related to the WTO Basic Telecommunications Agreement. The page is located at http://www.fcc.gov/ib/wto.html.



Please submit questions in advance of the public briefing by fax to (202) 418-2824 or by e-mail to DAKlein@fcc.gov. For further information, contact Doug Klein at (202) 418-0424, Adam Krinsky at (202) 418-1099, or Robert McDonald at (202) 418-1476.

- FCC -

1. 5 U.S.C.  801-808.

2. See Foreign Participation Order 329.

3. See id. 322 & n.667.

4. See id. 163 & n.318.