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Federal Communications Commission
1919 - M Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
News media information 202 / 418-0500
Fax-On-Demand 202 / 418-2830
Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

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 98-11 GENERAL ACTION August 6, 1998


The FCC announced today that it has begun 23 proceedings as part of its 1998 Biennial Regulatory Review. This number represents over two-thirds of the total number of proceedings recommended by the staff in February. Another 10 proceedings will be initiated shortly. This information was announced by Deputy General Counsel David H. Solomon in a report delivered at the FCC's monthly agenda meeting.

The 1996 Telecommunications Act requires the Commission to review its rules relating to common carriers and its broadcast ownership rules in every even-numbered year to eliminate or modify those rules that are overly burdensome or no longer serve the public interest. The 1998 review is the first such review. In November 1997 Chairman William E. Kennard, in one of his first actions as Chairman, broadened the scope of the review to include all FCC rules and directed the staff to begin the review immediately.

The specific proceedings that have been initiated, or will soon be initiated, were developed after a comprehensive internal FCC review of all Commission rules. This review included substantial public input through a series of public forums held at the Commission, meetings with practice groups of the Federal Communications Bar Association, suggestions provided in pleadings and letters filed with the Commission, suggestions sent via e-mail and other informal input. In addition, the Commissioners themselves were involved in the process, which is ongoing.

Roughly two-thirds of the initiated and planned proceedings involve common carriers. All of the Commission's operating bureaus and several Commission offices have been involved in the biennial review process. A complete list of Commission actions and contemplated actions in connection with the 1998 Biennial Regulatory Review is attached. Further information regarding these proceedings may be found on the FCC's Biennial Review Home Page at http://www.fcc.gov. Further suggestions may be submitted via e-mail to biennial@fcc.gov.

- FCC -

Office of General Counsel contacts: David H. Solomon at (202) 418-1700 and Daniel Harrold at (202) 418-1720
News Media contact: Rosemary Kimball at (202) 418-0500

August 6, 1998



Telecommunications Providers (Common Carriers)

In addition to addressing issues remanded by the Ninth Circuit, reexamination of the nonstructural safeguards regime governing the provision of enhanced services by the Bell Operating Companies (BOCs) and consideration of elimination of requirement that BOCs file Comparably Efficient Interconnection (CEI) plans. Computer III Further Remand Proceedings: Bell Operating Company Provision of Enhanced Services; 1998 Biennial Regulatory Review -- Review of Computer III and ONA Safeguards and Requirements, CC Dkt Nos. 95-20 and 98-10, FNPRM, FCC 98-8 (rel. Jan. 30, 1998).

Streamline and consolidate rules governing application procedures for wireless services to facilitate introduction of electronic filing via the Universal Licensing System. Biennial Regulatory Review -- Amendment of Parts 0, 1, 13, 22, 24, 26, 27, 80, 87, 90, 95, 97, and 101 of the Commission's Rules to Facilitate the Development and Use of the Universal Licensing System in the Wireless Telecommunications Services, WT Dkt No. 98-20, NPRM, FCC 98-25 (rel. March 19, 1998).

Streamline the equipment authorization program by implementing the recent mutual recognition agreement with Europe and providing for private equipment certification. 1998 Biennial Regulatory Review -- Amendment of Parts 2, 25 and 68 of the Commission's Rules to Further Streamline the Equipment Authorization Process for Radio Frequency Equipment, Modify the Equipment Authorization Process for Telephone Terminal Equipment, Implement Mutual Recognition Agreements and Begin Implementation of the Global Mobile Personal Communications by Satellite (GMPCS) Arrangements, GEN Dkt No. 98-68, NPRM, FCC 98-92 (rel. May 18, 1998).

Removal or reduction of, or forbearance from enforcing, regulatory burdens on carriers filing for technology testing authorization. 1998 Biennial Regulatory Review -- Testing New Technology, CC Dkt No. 98-94, NOI, FCC 98-118 (rel. June 11, 1998).

Modification of accounting rules to reduce burdens on carriers. 1998 Biennial Regulatory Review -- Review of Accounting and Cost Allocation Requirements; United States Telephone Association Petition for Rulemaking, CC Dkt No. 98-81, NPRM, FCC 98-108 (rel. June 17, 1998).

In NPRM portion, considering forbearance from additional requirements regarding telephone operator services applicable to commercial mobile radio service providers (CMRS) and, more generally, forbearance from other statutory and regulatory provisions applicable to CMRS providers. Personal Communications Industry Association's Broadband Personal Communications Services Alliances' Petition for Forbearance For Broadband Personal Communications Services; Biennial Regulatory Review - Elimination or Streamlining of Unnecessary and Obsolete CMRS Regulations; Forbearance from Applying Provisions of the Communications Act to Wireless Telecommunications Carriers, WT Dkt No. 98-100, NPRM, FCC 98-134 (rel. July 2, 1998).

Provide for a blanket section 214 authorization for international service to destinations where the carrier has no affiliate; eliminate prior review of pro forma transfers of control and assignments of international section 214 authorizations; streamline and simplify rules applicable to international service authorizations and submarine cable landing licenses. 1998 Biennial Regulatory Review -- Review of International Common Carrier Regulations, IB Dkt No. 98-118, NPRM, FCC 98-149 (rel. July 14, 1998).

Privatize the administration of international accounting settlements in the maritime mobile and maritime satellite radio services. 1998 Biennial Regulatory Review -- Review of Accounts Settlement in the Maritime Mobile and Maritime Mobile-Satellite Radio Services and Withdrawal of the Commission as an Accounting Authority in the Maritime Mobile and the Maritime Mobile-Satellite Radio Services Except for Distress and Safety Communications, IB Dkt No. 98-96, NPRM, FCC 98-123 (rel. July 17, 1998).

Elimination of duplicative or unnecessary common carrier reporting requirements. 1998 Biennial Regulatory Review -- Review of ARMIS Reporting Requirements, CC Dkt No. 98-117, NPRM, FCC 98-147 (rel. July 17, 1998).

Elimination of rules concerning the provision of telegraph and telephone franks. 1998 Biennial Regulatory Review -- Elimination of Part 41 Telegraph and Telephone Franks, CC Dkt No. 98-119, NPRM, FCC 98-152 (rel. July 21, 1998).

Simplification of Part 61 tariffing rules. Biennial Regulatory Review -- Part 61 of the Commission's Rules and Related Tariffing Requirements, CC Dkt No. 98-131, NPRM, FCC 98-164 (rel. July 24, 1998).

Elimination or streamlining of various rules prescribing depreciation rates for common carriers. 1998 Biennial Regulatory Review -- Review of Depreciation Requirements for Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers, CC Dkt. No. 98-137, NPRM, FCC 98-170 (adopted July 22, 1998).

Deregulation of international settlement policies. 1998 Biennial Regulatory Review -- Reform of the International Settlements Policy and Associated Filing Requirements, IB Dkt. No.

98- , NPRM, FCC 98- (adopted August 6, 1998).

Broadcast Ownership

Broad inquiry into broadcast ownership rules not the subject of other pending proceedings. 1998 Biennial Regulatory Review -- Review of the Commission's Broadcast Ownership Rules and Other Rules Adopted Pursuant to Section 202 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, MM Dkt No. 98-35, NOI, FCC 98-37 (rel. Mar. 13, 1998).


Streamline broadcast filing and licensing procedures. 1998 Biennial Regulatory Review -- Streamlining of Mass Media Applications, Rules and Processes, MM Dkt No. 98-43, NPRM, FCC 98-57 (rel. Apr. 3, 1998).

Deregulate radiofrequency (RF) lighting requirements to foster the development of new, more energy efficient RF lighting technologies. 1998 Biennial Regulatory Review -- Amendment of Part 18 of the Commission's Rules to Update Regulations for RF Lighting Devices, ET Dkt No. 98-42, NPRM, FCC 98-53 (rel. Apr. 9, 1998).

Simplify and unify Part 76 cable pleading and complaint process rules. 1998 Biennial Regulatory Review -- Part 76 - Cable Television Service Pleading and Complaint Rules, CS Dkt No. 98-54, NPRM, FCC 98-68 (rel. April 22, 1998).

Modify or eliminate Form 325, annual cable television report. 1998 Biennial Regulatory Review -- "Annual Report of Cable Television System," Form 325, Filed Pursuant to Section 76.403 of the Commission's Rules, CS Dkt No. 98-61, NPRM, FCC 98-79 (rel. Apr. 30, 1998).

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. 1998 Biennial Regulatory Review -- Conducted Emissions Limits Below 30 MHz for Equipment Regulated Under Parts 15 and 18 of the Commission's Rules, ET Dkt No. 98-80, NOI, FCC 98-102 (rel. June 8, 1998).

Streamline AM/FM technical rules and policies. 1998 Biennial Regulatory Review -- Streamlining of Radio Technical Rules in Parts 73 and 74 of the Commission's Rules, MM Dkt No. 98-93, NPRM, FCC 98-117 (rel. June 15, 1998).

Provide for electronic filing for assignment and change of radio and TV call signs. 1998 Biennial Regulatory Review -- Amendment of Part 73 and Part 74 Relating to Call Sign Assignments for Broadcast Stations, MM Dkt No. 98-98, NPRM, FCC 98-130 (rel. June 30, 1998).

Streamline and consolidate public file requirements applicable to cable television systems. 1998 Biennial Regulatory Review -- Streamlining of Cable Television Services Part 76 Public File and Notice Requirements, CS Dkt No. 98-132, NPRM, FCC 98-159 (rel. July 20, 1998).

Streamline Part 97 amateur rules. 1998 Biennial Regulatory Review -- Amendment of Part 97 of the Commission's Amateur Service Rules, WT Dck No. 98-143, NPRM, FCC 98-183 (adopted July 29, 1998).


Amends cable and broadcast annual employment report due dates to streamline and simplify filing. 1998 Biennial Regulatory Review -- Amendment of Sections 73.3612 and 76.77 of the Commission's Rules Concerning Filing Dates for the Commission's Equal Employment Opportunity Annual Employment Reports, MO&O, FCC 98-39 (rel. Mar. 16, 1998).


Telecommunications Providers (Common Carriers)

Modify 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.

Modify or eliminate Part 64 restrictions on bundling of telecommunications service with customer premises equipment.

Repeal of Part 62 rules regarding interlocking directorates.

Streamline and rationalize information and payment collection from contributors to Telecommunications Relay Service, North American Numbering Plan Administration, Universal Service, and Local Number Portability Administration funds.

Seek comment on various deregulatory proposals of SBC Communications, Inc. not already subject to other biennial review proceedings.

Further streamline part 68 equipment rules.

Simplify and streamline Part 101 common carrier microwave rules.

Modifications or alternatives to the 45 MHz CMRS spectrum cap and other CMRS aggregation limits and cross-ownership rules.


Streamline Part 90 private land mobile rules.

Streamline the Gettysburg reference facilities so that electronic filing and electronic access can substitute for the current method of written filings/access.