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July 13, 2004
ENFORCEMENT BUREAU SEEKS COMMENT ON VERIZON'S REQUEST TO
DISCONTINUE AUDIT OF VERIZON'S COMPLIANCE WITH MERGER CONDITIONS
CC DOCKET NO. 98-184
Comments Due: July 27, 2004
Reply Comments Due: August 10, 2004
On April 28, 2004, Verizon Communications, Inc.
(``Verizon'') submitted a letter requesting that the Commission
no longer require it to engage an independent auditor to examine
its compliance with the conditions of the Bell Atlantic/GTE
Merger Order1 for all periods beginning on or after January 1,
2005. 2 Condition XXII of the Commission's Merger Order requires
Verizon to retain an independent auditor on an annual basis to
conduct a compliance audit for all merger conditions in effect
during the period and to publicly file a report with the
Commission.3 Because Verizon's request effectively asks the
Commission to eliminate Condition XXII for future periods, we
seek comment of interested parties prior to making a
EX PARTE STATUS AND PRESENTATIONS
Because of the policy implications and the potential impact
of this proceeding on persons not parties to this request, we
find it would be in the public interest to treat this case as a
permit-but-disclose proceeding under the Commission's ex parte
rules.4 Ex parte presentations that are made with respect to the
issues involved in this proceeding will be allowed but must be
disclosed in accordance with the requirements of section
1.1206(b) of the Commission's rules.5
Pursuant to sections 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission's
rules, interested parties may file comments on or before July 27,
2004, and reply comments on or before August 10, 2004.6 Comments
may be filed using the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing
System (ECFS) or by filing paper copies. See Electronic Filing
of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, 63 Fed. Reg. 24121
Comments filed through the ECFS can be sent as an electronic
file via the Internet to http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/.
Generally, only one copy of an electronic submission must be
filed. If multiple docket or rulemaking numbers appear in the
caption of this proceeding, however, commenters must transmit one
electronic copy of the comments to each docket or rulemaking
number referenced in the caption. In completing the transmittal
screen, commenters should include their full name, U.S. Postal
Service mailing address, and the applicable docket or rulemaking
number, in this case, CC Docket No. 98-184. Parties may also
submit an electronic comment by Internet e-mail. To get filing
instructions for e-mail comments, commenters should send an e-
mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, and should include the following words in
the body of the message, ``get form.'' A sample form and
directions will be sent in reply.
Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original
and four copies of each filing. If more than one docket or
rulemaking number appear in the caption of this proceeding,
commenters must submit two additional copies for each additional
docket or rulemaking number.
Parties who choose to file by paper should also submit their
comments on diskette. These diskettes should be submitted to:
Ernestine Creech, Room 3-A247, Investigations and Hearings
Division, Enforcement Bureau, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington,
D.C. 20554. Such a submission should be on a 3.5-inch diskette
formatted in an IBM compatible format using Word or Acrobat
Reader. The diskette should be accompanied by a cover letter and
should be submitted in "read only" mode. The diskette should be
clearly labeled with the commenter's name, proceeding (including
the docket number, in this case CC Docket No. 98-184), type of
pleading (comments and reply comments), date of submission, and
the name of the electronic file on the diskette. The label
should also include the following phrase "Disk Copy - Not an
Original." Each diskette should contain only one party's
pleadings, preferably in a single electronic file. In addition,
commenters must send a diskette copy to the Commission's copy
contractor, Best Copy and Printing, Inc., 445 12th Street, S.W.,
Room CY-B402, Washington, D.C. 20554, or via e-mail at
email@example.com. A courtesy copy of all comments should be
provided in an IBM compatible format using Word or Acrobat Reader
via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by
commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S.
Postal Service mail (although we continue to experience delays in
receiving U.S. Postal Service mail).
The Commission's contractor, Natek, Inc., will receive hand-
delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the
Commission's Secretary at 236 Massachusetts Avenue, N.E., Suite
110, Washington, D.C. 20002.
-The filing hours at this location are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00
-All hand deliveries must be held together with rubber bands
-Any envelopes must be disposed of before entering the
-Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service
Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9300 East
Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743.
-U.S. Postal Service first-class mail, Express Mail, and
Priority Mail should be addressed to 445 12th Street, SW,
Washington, D.C. 20554.
-All filings must be addressed to the Commission's
Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications
Filings and comments are available for public inspection and
copying during regular business hours at the FCC Reference
Center, Portals II, 445 12th Street, S.W., Room CY-A257,
Washington, D.C. 20554, (202) 418-0270. They may also be
purchased from the Commission's copy contractor, Best Copy and
Printing, Inc., 445 12th Street, S.W., Room CY-B402, Washington,
D.C. 20554, telephone 1(800) 378-3160 or (202) 863-2893,
facsimile (202) 863-2898, or via e-mail at email@example.com.
Comments and reply comments must include a short and concise
summary of the substantive arguments raised in the pleading.
Comments and reply comments must also comply with section 1.48
and all other applicable sections of the Commission's rules.7 We
direct all interested parties to include the name of the filing
party and the date of the filing on each page of their comments
and reply comments. All parties are encouraged to utilize a
table of contents, regardless of the length of their submission.
For further information, contact Trent Harkrader, (202) 418-
2955, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Diana Lee, (202) 418-0843,
email@example.com, of the Investigations and Hearings Division,
Action by the Chief, Investigations and Hearings Division,
1 Application of GTE Corporation, Transferor, and Bell
Atlantic Corporation, Transferee, For Consent to Transfer Control
of Domestic and International Sections 214 and 310 Authorizations
and Application to Transfer Control of a Submarine Cable Landing
License, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 15 FCC Rcd 14032 (2000)
(``Merger Order''). The Enforcement Bureau is also seeking
comment on a similar request by SBC with respect to the
SBC/Ameritech Merger audit requirements in CC Docket No. 98-141.
See Public Notice, ``Enforcement Bureau Seeks Comment on SBC's
Request to Discontinue Audit of SBC's Compliance with Merger
Conditions,'' DA 04-2092 (rel. July 13, 2004).
2 See Letter from Jeffrey W. Ward, Senior Vice President,
Regulatory Compliance, Verizon, to William H. Davenport, Chief,
Investigations and Hearings Division, Enforcement Bureau, Federal
Communications Commission, dated April 28, 2004 (``Verizon
Request'') (attached to this Public Notice). Pursuant to the
Bureau's request, Verizon supplemented its request with a filing
on June 22, 2004, providing additional information regarding the
conditions that sunset after December 31, 2004. See Letter from
Sara Cole, Associate Director, Federal Regulatory Advocacy,
Verizon, to William H. Davenport, Chief, Investigations and
Hearings Division, Enforcement Bureau, Federal Communications
Commission, dated June 22, 2004 (attached to this Public Notice).
3 Merger Order, 15 FCC Rcd at 14190-93, ¶¶ 336-342 (Appendix
D, 15 FCC Rcd at 14327-28, ¶ 56). See also Delegation of
Additional Authority to the Enforcement Bureau, 17 FCC Rcd 4795
(2002) (delegating authority to the Enforcement Bureau to carry
out merger-related audit and compliance tasks).
4 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.1200(a), 1.1206.
5 47 C.F.R. § 1.1206(b).
6 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.415, 1.419.
7 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.49.