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              Federal Communications Commission
               2004 Biennial Regulatory Review 
                    EB Docket No. 04-176

                     Enforcement Bureau
                        Staff Report
                       January 5, 2005


     The Enforcement Bureau (EB) is the primary 
organizational unit within the Commission that is 
responsible for enforcement of provisions of the 
Communications Act and the Commission's rules.  EB has 
specific responsibility for administering rules governing 
formal common carrier complaint proceedings at the 
Commission and the imposition of forfeiture penalties.1  
Staff reviewed these rules to determine whether they are no 
longer necessary in the public interest as the result of 
meaningful economic competition, as required by Section 11 
of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.2  As part of 
this review, the Commission sought recommendations from the 
public concerning whether these rules and procedures should 
be modified or eliminated.3


     The Commission identified the following rule parts 
containing regulations administered by the Enforcement 
Bureau for review and comment in the Public Notice:

     Part 1 - Practice and Procedure - Sections 1.711 to 
     1.736 set forth rules for the filing of formal 
     complaints against common carriers.  Section 1.80 
     addresses forfeiture penalties applicable to common 
     carriers [and others].

These rules are not competition-related, and thus we cannot 
find that they are ``no longer necessary in the public 
interest as the result of meaningful economic competition.''  
Accordingly, we find that these rules should be retained.  

     Rules 1.711 through 1.736 set forth the procedures for 
formal complaint proceedings against common carriers.  
Competitive developments have not affected the need for 
these rules.  Section 208 of the Communications Act 
continues to permit any person to file a complaint with the 
Commission alleging that a common carrier has violated the 
provisions of the Communications Act.  Indeed, in a more 
competitive marketplace, such complaints are often filed by 
one competitor against another.  So long as the right to 
file complaints remains, the Commission's rules establishing 
the procedures for filing those complaints remain necessary.  
No party has filed comments arguing to the contrary.  
Accordingly, we do not find that these rules are ``no longer 
necessary in the public interest as the result of meaningful 
economic competition between providers of 
[telecommunications] service,'' but rather find that they 
should be retained.

     Rule 1.80 sets forth who may be subject to a forfeiture 
penalty for violation of the Communications Act or 
Commission rules and orders, the limits on the amount of the 
forfeitures that may be assessed, and guidelines for 
determining the amount of such forfeitures.  Competitive 
developments have not reduced the need for these rules.  
Enforcement is even more important in a competitive 
marketplace, to ensure that the market is able to function 
without unlawful interference, and thus rule 1.80 remains 
necessary in the public interest.  No parties argued for 
elimination of this rule, and we find that it should be 


     The staff's review of the rules 1.711 through 1.736 and 
1.80, as well as its review of comments submitted in 
connection with the biennial review proceeding, do not 
support elimination or modification of the subject rules.  
Staff concludes that the public interest warrants retention 
of these rules in their current form to help ensure the 
proper functioning of a competitive marketplace.

1  47 C.F.R.  1.80 and 1.711-1.736.

2  47 U.S.C.  161.

3  Public Notice, The Commission Seeks Public Comment in the 
2004 Biennial Review of Telecommunications Regulations - EB 
Docket No. 04-176, FCC 04-105, May 11, 2004.