|Re:||Petition for the Extension of the Compliance Date under Section 107 of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act by AT&T Wireless Services, Inc. et al.|
Upgrading our nation's telecommunications networks to provide law enforcement agencies with the surveillance capabilities necessary to protect public safety in the digital technology era is an important public policy goal of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA). Implementation of this important goal, however, must be balanced against the actual ability of the telecommunications manufacturers and carriers to design, manufacture and deploy CALEA compliant equipment and facilities in their telecommunications networks.
We believe that the June 30, 2000, CALEA compliance deadline established in the order balances these competing interests. Each day that goes by without CALEA compliant equipment and facilities in operation limits the capabilities of law enforcement agencies. Nevertheless, telecommunications manufacturers and carriers will require a period of time to manufacture, test and install CALEA compliant equipment and facilities in their telecommunications networks. The extension to June 30, 2000, establishes an aggressive but achievable deadline that is within the limits of the Commission's authority. This is a firm deadline. It affords telecommunications carriers the necessary time to deploy CALEA compliant equipment and facilities, and we strongly encourage telecommunications manufacturers and carriers to cooperate with law enforcement agencies to meet this deadline.
The June 30, 2000, deadline is appropriate for another reason. In light of the significant resources that the telecommunications industry is dedicating to resolving the Year 2000 problem, it makes good sense to establish a CALEA compliance deadline that will not conflict with the telecommunications industry's efforts to comply with the Year 2000 problem.
For these reasons, we support the June 30, 2000, compliance deadline set forth in the order.