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FCC RIN: 3060-AK32 Publication ID: Fall 2016 
Title: Technology Transitions; GN Docket No 13-5, WC Docket No. 05–25 

This proceeding seeks to strengthen public safety, pro-consumer and pro-competition policies and protections in a manner appropriate for technology transitions that are underway and for networks and services that emerge from those transitions.The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposed new rules to ensure reliable backup power for consumers of IP-based voice and data services across networks that provide residential fixed service that substitutes for and improves upon the kind of traditional telephony used by people to dial 911. It also proposed new and revised rules to protect consumers by ensuring they are informed about their choices and the services provided to them when carriers retire legacy facilities (e.g., copper networks) and seek to discontinue legacy services (e.g., basic voice service). Finally, it proposed revised rules to protect competition where it exists today, so that the mere change of a network facility or discontinuance of a legacy service does not deprive small- and medium-size business, schools, libraries, and other enterprises of the ability to choose the kinds of innovative services that best suit their needs.

The Report and Order, Order on Reconsideration and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking:  (i) adopted rules updating the process by which incumbent LECs notify interconnecting entities of planned copper retirements; (ii) clarified that a carrier must obtain Commission approval before discontinuing, reducing, or impairing a service used as a wholesale input, but only when the carrier’s actions will discontinue, reduce, or impair service to end users, including a carrier-customer’s retail end users; (iii) adopted an interim rule requiring that to receive authority to discontinue, reduce, or impair a legacy TDM-based service special access service or commercial wholesale platform service that is used as a wholesale input by competitive providers, an incumbent LEC must as a condition to obtaining discontinuance authority commit to providing competitive carriers wholesale access on reasonably comparable rates, terms, and conditions; (iv) proposed specific criteria for the Commission to consider in determining whether to authorize carriers to discontinue a legacy retail service in favor of a retail service based on a newer technology; (v) sought comment on updating the rules governing the discontinuance process, including regarding the timing of notice to consumers, the method for providing that notice, and providing notice to Tribal governments; (vi) sought comment on extending the end point of the interim rule adopted in the Report and Order as it applies to the commercial wholesale platform service; and (vii) sought comment on whether to adopt objective criteria to measure an ILEC’s good faith in responding to competitive LEC requests for additional information in connection with a copper retirement notice and whether a planned copper retirement should be postponed when an ILEC has failed to fulfill the new good faith communication requirement adopted in the Report and Order. 


The Second Report and Order and Order on Reconsideration: (i) adopted rules updating the process by which carriers seek Commission authorization for the discontinuance of legacy services in favor of services based on newer technologies; (ii) set forth consumer education requirements for carriers seeking to discontinue legacy services in favor of services based on newer technologies; (iii) revised rules to authorize carriers to provide notice to customers of discontinuance applications by email; (iv) revised rules to require carriers to provide notice of discontinuance applications to Tribal entities; (v) revised rules to provide new titles for copper retirement notices and certifications; (vi) revised rules to provide that if a competitive LEC files a Section 214(a) discontinuance application based on an incumbent LEC’s copper retirement notice without an accompanying discontinuance of TDM-based service, the competitive LEC’s application will be automatically granted on the effective date of the copper retirement as long as (1) the competitive LEC submits its discontinuance application to the Commission at least 40 days before the incumbent LEC’s copper retirement effective date, and (2) the competitive LEC’s discontinuance application contains a certification that the basis for the application is the incumbent LEC’s planned copper retirement.

Agency: Federal Communications Commission(FCC)  Priority: Substantive, Nonsignificant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: Undetermined  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 47 CFR 51.325 (revision)    47 CFR 51.329 (revision)    47 CFR 51.332 (new)    47 CFR 51.333 (revision)    47 CFR 63.71 (revision)    47 CFR 63.19    47 CFR 63.60    47 CFR 63.602   
Legal Authority: 47 U.S.C. 214    47 U.S.C. 251   
Legal Deadline:  None
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  01/06/2015  80 FR 450   
NPRM Comment Period End  02/05/2015 
NPRM Reply Comment Period End  03/09/2015 
FNPRM  09/25/2015  80 FR 57768   
R&O   09/25/2015  80 FR 57768   
FNPRM Comment Period End  10/26/2015 
FNPRM Reply Comment Period End  11/24/2015 
2nd R&O  12/00/2016 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: No 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: Yes 
Agency Contact:
Michele Berlove
Special Counsel, Competition Policy Div., WCB
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street SW,
Washington, DC 20554
Phone:202 418-1477