This Public Notice: Text | Word97
Statements: Commissioner Furchtgott-Roth
STAFF REPORT: Text | Word97 - 1.1 MB | Acrobat - 603 KB (266 pages)
Home Page: 2000 Biennial Review


Federal Communications Commission
445 12th St., SW
Washington, D.C. 20554
News media information 202 / 418-0500
Fax-On-Demand 202 / 418-2830
TTY: 202/418-2555

FCC 00-346
Released: September 19, 2000


The Commission has released a staff report summarizing an extensive staff review of the Commission's rules undertaken as part of the 2000 Biennial Review. The biennial review is conducted pursuant to Section 11 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and Section 202(h) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. These sections, collectively, require the Commission (1) to review biennially its regulations pertaining to telecommunications service providers and broadcast ownership; and (2) to determine whether economic competition has made those regulations no longer necessary in the public interest. The Commission is directed to modify or repeal any such regulations that it finds are no longer in the public interest.

In preparing the report, Commission staff from each Bureau and Office endeavored to review all rules pertinent to its operations to determine whether to recommend that the Commission modify or eliminate any rules. The staff considered (1) the purpose of the rule; (2) the advantages of the rule; (3) the disadvantages of the rule; (4) what impact competitive developments have had on the rule; and (5) whether to recommend modification or revocation of the rule. Additionally, Appendices to the staff report analyze the purpose, benefits and disadvantages of each relevant rule part, the status of competition for telecommunications services providers affected by the rule part, and any staff recommendation for modifying or repealing rules within the part.

The staff did not limit its review to the rules implicated by section 11 and section 202(h). The staff determined that a broad review of Commission rules even beyond the scope of the statutory requirements could provide significant benefits, and that the biennial review process provided another opportunity to ensure that the Commission's rules are up-to-date.

The report reflects staff recommendations rather than formal Commission opinions. After receiving public comment on these documents, the Commission will issue a report, determining which if any regulations are no longer necessary in the public interest, as required by the statute. The Commission expects that it will concurrently or subsequently initiate notice and comment rulemaking proceedings, pursuant to the Administrative Procedures Act, to modify or eliminate selected rules identified in the Commission report.

Pursuant to Section 1.430 of the Commission's rules, we seek comment on the staff report and rule analysis being released today. In particular, we request comment on (1) the analysis of the statutory requirements for this biennial review; (2) whether staff's analysis is an appropriate way to determine whether a rule is necessary in the public interest; (3) the process used for conducting the review; and (4) the specific recommendations contained in the staff report and the rule analysis. The Commission also encourages parties to comment on or recommend changes to rules that are not specifically identified in the staff report, and to submit suggestions regarding substantive or administrative provisions that might enable the Commission to operate more efficiently and effectively. We also seek comment on the staff's suggestion that the Commission conduct an initial biennial review analysis when it conducts rulemaking proceedings.

Filing Procedures

In order to facilitate review of all comments, reply comments, and other documents, the cover page should denote that it pertains to the Biennial Review 2000, and should include an appropriate caption, such as "Biennial Review 2000 Comments" or "Biennial Review 2000 Reply Comments." All filings should include headings that correspond directly to the headings in the staff report or rule analysis, and each heading should begin on a new page. If a portion of a party's filing does not fall under a particular heading in the staff report or rule analysis, it should be included in a clearly-labeled section at the beginning of the filing.

Interested parties may file comments by October 10, 2000 and reply comments by October 20, 2000. Pursuant to section 1.51(c) of the Commission's rules, parties should file an original and four copies of all comments, reply comments, and other documents. Comments, reply comments and other documents should be sent to the Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th St., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554. Parties should also file three copies of any comments, reply comments or other documents with Sheryl Todd, Accounting Policy Division, Common Carrier Bureau, 445 12th St. S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554. Parties may also submit comments, reply comments, and other documents electronically, as provided in section 1.51 of the Commission's rules. Parties are also asked to submit comments and reply comments on diskette. Diskettes are in addition to, and not in lieu of, paper copies. Diskettes should be submitted to Sheryl Todd.

The Biennial Review 2000 Staff Report and appendices are available on the Commission's Internet site at Copies are also available from the Commission's copy contractor, the International Transcription Service, at (202) 857-3800, TTY (202) 484-8831.

By the Commission on September 14, 2000. With Chairman Kennard; Commissioners Ness, Powell, Tristani and Commissioner Harold Furchgott-Roth issuing a seperate statement.

News Media contact: David Fiske (202) 418-0513
Commission contact: Sheryl Todd, (202) 418-7400, TTY (202) 418-0484


1. 5 U.S.C.  553.