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

Report No. GN 98-1 GENERAL ACTION February 5, 1998

FCC STAFF PROPOSES 31 PROCEEDINGS
AS PART OF 1998 BIENNIAL REGULATORY REVIEW


The Commission staff has released a list of 31 proposed proceedings to be initiated as part of the 1998 biennial regulatory review. The review is aimed at eliminating or modifying regulations that are overly burdensome or no longer serve the public interest. The list was compiled following a broad, comprehensive internal review of all existing FCC regulations and informal input from the industry and the public through, for example, recently held public forums and ongoing brown bag lunches with the practice groups of the Federal Communications Bar Association. The Commission will continue to solicit public input as the process continues.

The list, which is attached, includes a review of all broadcast ownership rules not already the subject of a pending Commission proceeding and a wide array of common carrier rules, such as the Part 32 uniform system of accounts rules, Part 41 telegraph and telephone franks rules, Part 43 reporting rules, Part 61 price cap rules, Part 62 interlocking directorate rules, Part 63 international certificate rules, Part 64 customer premises equipment bundling rules, and Part 68 equipment rules.

"We have outlined a very ambitious agenda for the Commission that should result in a substantial amount of deregulation and streamlining," said Chairman William E. Kennard. "The Commission is in a position to ensure that its first biennial regulatory review will, consistent with the congressional mandate, produce concrete results in many areas of the Commission's operations."

Section 11 of the Communications Act, as amended, requires the Commission to review all of its regulations applicable to providers of telecommunications service in every even-numbered year to determine whether the regulations are no longer necessary in the public interest as the result of meaningful economic competition between providers of the service and whether such regulations should be repealed or modified. Section 204(h) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 also requires the Commission to review its broadcast ownership rules biennially as part of the review conducted pursuant to Section 11. In addition, as previously announced, the Commission has determined that the first biennial regulatory review presents an excellent opportunity for a serious top-to-bottom examination of all the Commission's regulations, not just those statutorily required to be reviewed.

The attached list of proposed proceedings is a working document that reflects Commission staff's current plans, and proceedings may be added or deleted based on further internal review or public input. Beginning February 9, 1998, members of the public interested in offering further suggestions concerning the 1998 biennial review may send their suggestions regarding proposed rule changes and an appropriate analytical framework for analyzing such proposed changes via e-mail to biennial@fcc.gov. The public also may send comments concerning regulations administered by the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau to wtbforum@fcc.gov. Also beginning this month, the Commission will have a Biennial Review Home Page on the FCC Internet site at http://www.fcc.gov.

In addition to those proceedings proposed to be initiated as part of the 1998 biennial regulatory review, the Commission has numerous ongoing proceedings that are consistent with the deregulatory and streamlining policy embodied in Section 11. For example, the Commission has ongoing proceedings to review and/or reconsider its rules governing jurisdictional separations procedures under Part 36, extensions of lines under Part 63, cost allocations under Part 64, and access charges under Part 69. In addition, the following broadcast ownership rules are already the subject of open proceedings: the television "duopoly" rule, which generally prohibits common ownership of two or more broadcast television stations with overlapping Grade B signal contours; the "one-to-a-market" rule, which generally prohibits common ownership of a television and radio station in the same market; and the waiver policy for the daily newspaper/radio cross-ownership rule, which generally prohibits the common ownership of a daily newspaper and radio station in the same community.

- FCC -

Office of General Counsel contacts: David Solomon at (202) 418-1700 and Linda Morrison at (202) 418-1720

News Media contact: Rosemary Kimball at (202) 48-0500


PROPOSED 1998 BIENNIAL REGULATORY REVIEW
PROCEEDINGS TO BE INITIATED
(Organized by Bureau)

February 5, 1998

BUREAU
REGULATORY PROPOSAL
CSB
Elimination of Form 325. Propose eliminating Form 325.
CSB
Part 76: Pleading and Complaint Rules. Propose simplification and unification of Part 76 pleading and complaint process rules.
CSB
Part 76: Public File Requirements. Consider streamlining and consolidation of public file requirements applicable to cable television systems.
CCB
Testing New Technologies. Seek public comment on whether the Commission should implement procedures to remove or reduce, or forbear from enforcing, regulatory burdens on carriers filing for technology testing authorizations.
CCB
Computer III. In addition to addressing issues remanded by the Ninth Circuit, reexamine the nonstructural safeguards regime governing the provision of enhanced services by the BOCs and GTE and consider elimination of requirement that BOCs file Comparably Efficient Interconnection (CEI) plans. (NPRM adopted 1/29/98)
CCB
Unified Collection Administration. Propose to streamline and rationalize information and payment collection from contributors to Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS), North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA), and possibly Universal Service Fund (USF).
CCB
Part 43: Automated Reporting and Management Information System (ARMIS) Reports. Propose to eliminate duplicative or unnecessary reporting requirements.
CCB
Part 32: Uniform System of Accounts (USOA). Consider whether prior approval for using certain accounts remains necessary and whether any accounts can be eliminated.
CCB
Part 61: Price Caps. Review and reorganize Part 61 price cap rules and consider adding separate section for electronic filing.
CCB
Part 68: Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRA). Implement Mutual Recognition Agreements with European Union and avoid duplicative testing and registration procedures among signatory countries.
CCB
Part 68: 56 Kbps Modems. Propose updating Part 68 rules that limit the power levels at which any device attached to the network can operate to allow use of 56 Kbps modems.
CCB
Part 64: CPE Bundling. Consider whether restrictions on bundling of telecommunications service with CPE should be eliminated.
CCB
Part 62: Interlocking Directorates. Consider whether rules regarding interlocking directorates can be repealed.
CCB
Depreciation. Consider streamlining or eliminating Commission's methods for prescribing depreciation rates.
CCB
Part 41: Telegraph and Telephone Franks. Consider eliminating rules concerning the provision of Telegraph and Telephone Franks.
CIB
Part 2, Subpart K: Revision of Radio Equipment Importation Rules. Seek comment on eliminating the requirement that persons importing Radio Frequency Devices into the U.S. file a form with the FCC, in addition to placing a copy of the form with their customs importation papers. The proposed rule change would eliminate the requirement to file with the FCC and leave only the requirement that the form accompany the customs importation papers.
IB
(joint w/OMD)
Part 3: Privatization of Settlements for Maritime Mobile and Maritime Satellite Radio Accounts. Propose to amend rules concerning the administration of the U.S. Certified Accounting Authorities in the maritime mobile and maritime satellite radio services. Specifically, propose to withdraw the FCC from performing its role as a nationwide clearinghouse for settling maritime mobile and maritime satellite accounts for non-government entities. Private entities would then rely on private accounting authorities, operating under the oversight of Commission staff, to perform these functions.
IB
Part 63: Streamline Licensing Procedure for International Section 214 and Submarine Cable Landing Licenses. Propose to eliminate the requirement of prior approval for pro forma transfers of control and assignments of non-Title III licenses. Authorized entities would be required simply to file a letter of notification after the transfer or assignment has taken place.
IB
Part 63: Further International Section 214 and Cable Landing Licensing Streamlining Efforts. Develop, in conjunction with industry focus groups, further streamlining possibilities in section 214 and Cable Landing Licensing and in accounting rate modifications.
MMB
(w/CSB)
Biennial Ownership Review. Conduct single ownership proceeding regarding broadcast ownership rules not subject of a pending proceeding. (Other broadcast ownership rules are being reviewed as part of ongoing proceedings that will be separately completed this year.)
MMB
Part 73: Streamlining Initiatives. Consider streamlining broadcast filing and licensing procedures.
MMB
Part 73: Technical Initiatives. Propose modifications to AM/FM technical rules and policies.
OET
Part 2, Subpart J: Private Sector Equipment Approval. Propose to further streamline the equipment authorization program by implementing the recent mutual recognition agreement with Europe and providing for private sector certification bodies (i.e., organizations that will be empowered to issue grants of equipment authorization).
OET
Part 18: RF Lighting Rules Update. Propose to deregulate RF lighting requirements to foster the development of new, more energy efficient RF lighting technologies.
OET
Parts 15 & 18: Review of Line Conducted Emission Standards. Review current Part 15 and Part 18 power line conducted emissions limits and consider whether the limits may be relaxed to reduce the cost of compliance for a wide variety of electronic equipment.
WTB
Universal Licensing System. Revise and consolidate rules governing application procedures for radio services licensed by WTB to facilitate introduction of electronic filing via the Universal Licensing System.
WTB
Part 97: Streamline Amateur Radio Service. Seek comment on amending Parts 0, 1, and 97 of FCC Rules to privatize further the administration of the Amateur Radio Services and to simplify the licensing process.
WTB
Part 101: Further Streamline Fixed Microwave Service. Propose amending Part 101 of FCC Rules to: (a) simplify the coordination process whenever possible; (b) revise conditional authority rules ( 101.31(e)); (c) conform and consolidate the rules regarding operations in the 2450-2483.5 MHz band under Parts 101 & 90; (d) update Multiple Address Systems (MAS) rules as a result of Part 90 consolidation.
WTB
Part 90: Further Streamline Private Land Mobile Radio Service Rules. Propose amending Part 90 of FCC Rules to: (a) license the "color dot channels" and wireless microphone channels by rule; (b) extend license terms from 5 to 10 years; (c) allow public safety licensees to provide service to Federal Government entities; and (d) clarify and eliminate rules as necessary (e.g., simplify rule 90.421 and include hand-held units, eliminate rule 90.449 (responding to Notices of Violations) as largely redundant with rule 1.89).
WTB
PCIA Petition for Forbearance; Eliminate or Streamline Unnecessary and Obsolete CMRS Regulations. Address petition filed by Personal Communicatons Industry Association (PCIA) seeking forbearance from certain Title II requirements as they apply to certain commercial mobile radio service (CMRS) licensees. In addition, propose to eliminate or streamline technical and operational rules governing cellular, specialized mobile radio (SMR), and other CMRS services that are inconsistent with more flexible rules governing new wireless services, such as personal communications services (PCS).
WTB
Review of CMRS Spectrum Cap and Other CMRS Aggregation Limits and Cross-Ownership Rules. Examine possible modifications or alternatives to the 45 MHz spectrum cap currently applicable to broadband PCS, cellular, and SMR.