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Proposed Rule

Request To Update Default Compensation Rate for Dial-Around Calls From Payphones

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION:

Further notice of proposed rulemaking.

SUMMARY:

In this document, the Commission seeks current and accurate data on the average number of compensable dial-around calls made from payphones on a monthly basis. This average monthly data will be used to calculate a monthly per-payphone default compensation rate, which will apply to payphones that are not connected to Flex ANI, a call-tracking technology.

DATES:

Submit comments on or before June 27, 2005. Submit reply comments on or before July 25, 2005.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments, identified by WC Docket No. 03-225, by any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • Agency Web site: http://www.fcc.gov. Follow the instructions for Start Printed Page 24741submitting comments on our electronic Web site: http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/​edocs_​public/​SilverStream/​Pages/​edocs.html.
  • E-mail: Jon.Stover@fcc.gov. Include WC Docket No. 03-225 in the subject line of the message.
  • Fax: (202) 418-1567
  • Mail: Commission's Secretary, Marlene H. Dortch, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, 445 Twelfth Street, SW., Washington, DC 20554.
  • Hand Delivery/Courier: Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, Office of the Secretary, c/o Natek, Inc. 236 Massachusetts Avenue, NE., Suite 110, Washington, DC 20002.

Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number for this rulemaking. All comments received will be posted without change to http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/​edocs_​public/​SilverStream/​Pages/​edocs.html, including any personal information provided. For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the “Public Participation” heading of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/​edocs_​public/​SilverStream/​Pages/​edocs.html and/or Federal Communications Commission, 445 Twelfth Street, SW., Washington, DC 20554.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jon Stover, Wireline Competition Bureau, Pricing Policy Division, (202) 418-0390.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This is a summary of the Commission's Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in WC Docket No. 03-225, adopted on March 10, 2005 and released on March 14, 2005. The complete text of this Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) is available for public inspection Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, Room CY-A257, 445 Twelfth Street, SW., Washington, DC 20554. The complete text is also available on the Commission's Internet Site at http://www. fcc.gov. Alternative formats are available to persons with disabilities by contacting Brian Millin at (202) 418-7426 or TTY (202) 418-7365. The complete text of the FNPRM may be purchased from the Commission's duplicating contractor, Best Copying and Printing, Inc., Room CY-B402, 445 Twelfth Street, SW., Washington, DC 20554, telephone (202) 863-2893, facsimile (202) 863-2898, or e-mail at http://www.bcpiweb.com.

Synopsis of Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

1. When the Commission initially adopted a payphone compensation rule pursuant to 47 U.S.C. 276(b)(1)(A), many carriers lacked reliable systems for tracking dial-around calls. In the Commission's First Payphone Report and Order, it ordered compensation to be paid initially on a per-phone, rather than a per-call basis. To arrive at the total per-payphone rate, the Commission calculated that 131 dial-around calls were placed from the average payphone per month. When this average volume amount was multiplied by the then current per-call default rate of $.35, the result yielded a per-phone compensation rate of $45.85 per month.

2. Since the release of the First Payphone Report and Order, approximately 95 percent of all payphones have been connected to Flex ANI, a call-tracking technology that accurately tracks payphone calls from the payphone instrument to the called party. The remaining five per cent of payphones, which are generally located in remote and rural geographic areas are not connected to Flex ANI. With this FNPRM, the Commission continues to implement the requirements of 47 U.S.C. 276 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, which directs the Commission to “promote the widespread deployment of payphone services to the benefit of the general public.”

3. Although the Commission recently increased the per-call rate to $.494, it has not updated the average number of dial-around calls per payphone since 1997. The record in this proceeding indicates that since 1998, there has been a significant decline in per-payphone call volumes. If dial-around call volumes have followed the same trend as overall call volumes, the data sought by this FNPRM will probably also have significantly declined.

4. Finally, once the Commission receives the updated volumetric data, it will calculate a new monthly per-payphone rate based on the new data and the existing per-call rate. The new monthly rate will ensure that all payphone service providers are “fairly compensated” for each and every completed intrastate and interstate call using their payphone.

Initial Paperwork Reduction Act Analysis

5. This FNPRM contains new information collection requirements. The Commission, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, invites the general public and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to take this opportunity to comment on the information collections contained in this FNPRM, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Public and agency comments are due 60 days after date of publication in the Federal Register. Comments should address: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimates; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. In addition, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4), we seek specific comment on how we might “further reduce the information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.”

OMB Control Number: 3060-XXXX.

Title: Request to Update Default Compensation Rate for WC Docket No. 03-225 Dial-Around Calls from Payphones.

Form No.: N/A.

Type of Review: New collection.

Respondents: Business or other for-profit institutions.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 10.

Estimated Time Per Response: 100 hours.

Frequency of Response: One time.

Estimated Total Annual Burden: 1000 hours.

Estimated Total Annual Costs: 0.

Privacy Act Impact Assessment: N/A.

Needs and Uses: We seek additional data to enable us to determine a more accurate estimate of the average number of compensable dial-around calls at a payphone. We urge payphone service providers (PSPs) to provide us with current data showing the average number of compensable dial-around calls placed at their payphones. We request that parties submitting data provide details that will enable us to evaluate the data and determine how to Start Printed Page 24742use the data. Data submissions should include, if possible, details showing how the data were gathered, how samples were selected, the total number of payphones of each type (e.g., “dumb” vs. “smart,” regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOC) vs. independent) in the sample and in the population from which the sample was taken, and the types of locations represented in the sample. Attempts to gain advantage by failing to provide us with the necessary context to evaluate their submissions will result in their data being discounted or rejected. We invite parties to submit information on the number of payphones that currently are located in non-equal access areas and in areas where small telephone companies have received a waiver of the Flex ANI requirement, and on the average number of compensable dial-around calls originating from such payphones.

6. In addition to filing comments with the Secretary, a copy of any comments on the information collection(s) contained herein should be submitted to Judith Boley Herman, Federal Communications Commission, Room 1-C804, 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554, or via the Internet to Judith B. Herman@fcc.gov, and to Kristy L. Lalonde, OMB Desk Officer, Room 10234 NEOB, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503, or via the Internet to Kristy L. LaLonde@omb.eop.gov.

Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

7. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (RFA), the Commission has prepared an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) of the possible significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities by the policies and rule proposed in the FNPRM.

8. With this FNPRM, the Commission continues its implementation of the statutory objectives of section 276 of ensuring payphone service providers are fairly compensation and promoting the widespread deployment of payphones.

Need for, and Objectives of, the Proposed Rules

9. The Commission's goal in this proceeding is to ensure that all payphone service providers are fairly compensation. Once this proceeding is completed, all payphone operations including those not connected to Flex ANI will be receiving fair compensation for all completed intrastate and interstate calls made from payphones.

Legal Basis

10. The legal basis for any action that may be taken pursuant to this FNPRM is contained in sections 1-5, 7, 10, 201-05, 207-09, 214, 218-20, 225-27, 251-54, 256, 271, 303, 332, 403, 405, 502 and 503 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151-55, 157, 160, 201-05, 207-09, 214, 218-20, 225-27, 251-54, 256, 271, 303, 332, 403, 405, 502, and 503 and sections 1.1, 1.421 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 1.1, 1.421.

Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which the Proposed Rules Will Apply

11. The RFA directs agencies to provide a description of, and, where feasible, an estimate of the number of small entities that may be affected by rules adopted herein. The RFA generally defines the term “small entity” as having the same meaning as the terms “small business,” “small organization,” and “small governmental jurisdiction.” In addition, the term “small business” has the same meaning as the term “small business concern” under the Small Business Act. A “small business concern” is one that: (1) Is independently owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in its field of operation; and (3) satisfies any additional criteria established by the Small Business Administration (SBA). 5 U.S.C. 632.

12. In this section, the Commission further describes and estimates the number of small entity licensees and regulatees that may also be indirectly affected by rules adopted pursuant to this FNPRM. The most reliable source of information regarding the total numbers of certain common carrier and related providers nationwide, as well as the number of commercial wireless entities, appears to be the data that the Commission publishes in its Trends in Telephone Service report. The SBA has developed small business size standards for wireline and wireless small businesses within the three commercial census categories of Wired Telecommunications Carriers, Paging, and Cellular and Other Wireless Telecommunications. Under these categories, a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. Below, using the above size standards and others, the Commission discusses the total estimated numbers of small businesses that might be affected by its actions.

13. Wired Telecommunications Carriers. The SBA has developed a small business size standard for Wired Telecommunications Carriers, which consists of all such companies having 1,500 or fewer employees. According to Census Bureau data for 1997, there were 2,225 firms in this category, total, that operated for the entire year. Of this total, 2,201 firms had employment of 999 or fewer employees, and an additional 24 firms had employment of 1,000 employees or more. Thus, under this size standard, the majority of firms can be considered small.

14. Local Exchange Carriers. Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a size standard for small businesses specifically applicable to local exchange services. The closest applicable size standard under SBA rules is for Wired Telecommunications Carriers. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. According to Commission data, 1,310 carriers reported that they were incumbent local exchange service providers. Of these 1,310 carriers, an estimated 1,025 have 1,500 or fewer employees and 285 have more than 1,500 employees. In addition, according to Commission data, 563 companies reported that they were engaged in the provision of either competitive access provider services or competitive local exchange carrier services. Of these 563 companies, an estimated 472 have 1,500 or fewer employees and 91 have more than 1,500 employees. In addition, 37 carriers reported that they were “Other Local Exchange Carriers.” Of the 37 “Other Local Exchange Carriers,” an estimated 36 have 1,500 or fewer employees and one has more than 1,500 employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that most providers of local exchange service, competitive local exchange service, competitive access providers, and “Other Local Exchange Carriers” are small entities that may be affected by the rules and policies adopted herein.

15. Interexchange Carriers. Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a size standard for small businesses specifically applicable to interexchange services. The closest applicable size standard under SBA rules is for Wired Telecommunications Carriers. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. According to Commission data, 281 companies reported that they were interexchange carriers. Of these 281 companies, an estimated 254 have 1,500 or fewer employees and 27 have more than 1,500 employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that the majority of interexchange service providers are small entities that may be affected by the rules and policies adopted herein.

16. Wired Telecommunications Carriers. The SBA has developed a small business size standard for Wired Telecommunications Carriers, which consists of all such companies having 1,500 or fewer employees. According to Start Printed Page 24743Census Bureau data for 1997, there were 2,225 firms in this category, total, that operated for the entire year. Of this total, 2,201 firms had employment of 999 or fewer employees, and an additional 24 firms had employment of 1,000 employees or more. Thus, under this size standard, the majority of firms can be considered small.

17. Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (LECs) . Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a size standard for small businesses specifically applicable to incumbent local exchange services. The closest applicable size standard under SBA rules is for Wired Telecommunications Carriers. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. According to Commission data, 1,337 carriers reported that they were engaged in the provision of local exchange services. Of these 1,337 carriers, an estimated 1,032 have 1,500 or fewer employees and 305 have more than 1,500 employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that most providers of incumbent local exchange service are small businesses that may be affected by the rules and policies adopted herein.

18. Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLECs), Competitive Access Providers (CAPs), and “Other Local Exchange Carriers.” Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a size standard for small businesses specifically applicable to providers of competitive exchange services or to competitive access providers or to “Other Local Exchange Carriers,” all of which are discrete categories under which TRS data are collected. The closest applicable size standard under SBA rules is for Wired Telecommunications Carriers. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. According to Commission data, 609 companies reported that they were engaged in the provision of either competitive access provider services or competitive local exchange carrier services. Of these 609 companies, an estimated 458 have 1,500 or fewer employees and 151 have more than 1,500 employees. In addition, 35 carriers reported that they were “Other Local Service Providers.” Of the 35 “Other Local Service Providers,” an estimated 34 have 1,500 or fewer employees and one has more than 1,500 employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that most providers of competitive local exchange service, competitive access providers, and “Other Local Exchange Carriers” are small entities that may be affected by the rules and policies adopted herein.

19. Interexchange Carriers (IXCs). Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a size standard for small businesses specifically applicable to interexchange services. The closest applicable size standard under SBA rules is for Wired Telecommunications Carriers. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. According to Commission data, 261 companies reported that their primary telecommunications service activity was the provision of interexchange services. Of these 261 companies, an estimated 223 have 1,500 or fewer employees and 38 have more than 1,500 employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that the majority of interexchange service providers are small entities that may be affected by the rules and policies adopted herein.

20. Operator Service Providers (OSPs). Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a size standard for small businesses specifically applicable to operator service providers. The closest applicable size standard under SBA rules is for Wired Telecommunications Carriers. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. According to Commission data, 23 companies reported that they were engaged in the provision of operator services. Of these 23 companies, an estimated 22 have 1,500 or fewer employees and one has more than 1,500 employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that the majority of operator service providers are small entities that may be affected by the rules and policies adopted herein.

21. Payphone Service Providers (PSPs). Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a size standard for small businesses specifically applicable to payphone service providers. The closest applicable size standard under SBA rules is for Wired Telecommunications Carriers. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. According to Commission data, 761 companies reported that they were engaged in the provision of payphone services. Of these 761 companies, an estimated 757 have 1,500 or fewer employees and four have more than 1,500 employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that the majority of payphone service providers are small entities that may be affected by the rules and policies adopted herein.

22. Prepaid Calling Card Providers. The SBA has developed a size standard for a small business within the category of Telecommunications Resellers. Under that SBA size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. According to Commission data, 37 companies reported that they were engaged in the provision of prepaid calling cards. Of these 37 companies, an estimated 36 have 1,500 or fewer employees and one has more than 1,500 employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that the majority of prepaid calling card providers are small entities that may be affected by the rules and policies adopted herein.

23. Local Resellers. The SBA has developed a small business size standard for the category of Telecommunications Resellers. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. According to Commission data, 133 carriers have reported that they are engaged in the provision of local resale services. Of these, an estimated 127 have 1,500 or fewer employees and six have more than 1,500 employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that the majority of local resellers are small entities that may be affected by its action.

24. Toll Resellers. The SBA has developed a small business size standard for the category of Telecommunications Resellers. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. According to Commission data, 625 carriers have reported that they are engaged in the provision of toll resale services. Of these, an estimated 590 have 1,500 or fewer employees and 35 have more than 1,500 employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that the majority of toll resellers are small entities that may be affected by its action.

25. Other Toll Carriers. Neither the Commission nor the SBA has developed a size standard for small businesses specifically applicable to “Other Toll Carriers.” This category includes toll carriers that do not fall within the categories of interexchange carriers, operator service providers, prepaid calling card providers, satellite service carriers, or toll resellers. The closest applicable size standard under SBA rules is for Wired Telecommunications Carriers. Under that size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. According to Commission's data, 92 companies reported that their primary telecommunications service activity was the provision of other toll carriage. Of these 92 companies, an estimated 82 have 1,500 or fewer employees and ten have more than 1,500 employees. Start Printed Page 24744Consequently, the Commission estimates that most “Other Toll Carriers” are small entities that may be affected by the rules and policies adopted herein.

26. Paging. The SBA has developed a small business size standard for Paging, which consists of all such firms having 1,500 or fewer employees. According to Census Bureau data for 1997, in this category there was a total of 1,320 firms that operated for the entire year. Of this total, 1,303 firms had employment of 999 or fewer employees, and an additional seventeen firms had employment of 1,000 employees or more. Thus, under this size standard, the majority of firms can be considered small.

27. Cellular and Other Wireless Telecommunications. The SBA has developed a small business size standard for Cellular and Other Wireless Telecommunication, which consists of all such firms having 1,500 or fewer employees. According to Census Bureau data for 1997, in this category there was a total of 977 firms that operated for the entire year. Of this total, 965 firms had employment of 999 or fewer employees, and an additional twelve firms had employment of 1,000 employees or more. Thus, under this size standard, the majority of firms can be considered small.

28. Broadband Personal Communications Service. The broadband Personal Communications Service (PCS) spectrum is divided into six frequency blocks designated A through F, and the Commission has held auctions for each block. The Commission defined “small entity” for Blocks C and F as an entity that has average gross revenues of $40 million or less in the three previous calendar years. For Block F, an additional classification for “very small business” was added and is defined as an entity that, together with its affiliates, has average gross revenues of not more than $15 million for the preceding three calendar years. These standards defining “small entity” in the context of broadband PCS auctions have been approved by the SBA. No small businesses, within the SBA-approved small business size standards bid successfully for licenses in Blocks A and B. There were 90 winning bidders that qualified as small entities in the Block C auctions. A total of 93 small and very small business bidders won approximately 40 percent of the 1,479 licenses for Blocks D, E, and F. On March 23, 1999, the Commission re-auctioned 347 C, D, E, and F Block licenses. There were 48 small business winning bidders. On January 26, 2001, the Commission completed the auction of 422 C and F Broadband PCS licenses in Auction No. 35. Of the 35 winning bidders in this auction, 29 qualified as “small” or “very small” businesses. Based on this information, the Commission concludes that the number of small broadband PCS licenses will include the 90 winning C Block bidders, the 93 qualifying bidders in the D, E, and F Block auctions, the 48 winning bidders in the 1999 re-auction, and the 29 winning bidders in the 2001 re-auction, for a total of 260 small entity broadband PCS providers, as defined by the SBA small business size standards and the Commission's auction rules. The Commission notes that, as a general matter, the number of winning bidders that qualify as small businesses at the close of an auction does not necessarily represent the number of small businesses currently in service. Also, the Commission does not generally track subsequent business size unless, in the context of assignments or transfers, unjust enrichment issues are implicated.

29. Narrowband Personal Communications Services. The Commission has adopted a two-tiered small business size standard in the Narrowband PCS Second Report and Order, 65 FR 35875, June 6, 2000. A “small business” is an entity that, together with affiliates and controlling interests, has average gross revenues for the three preceding years of not more than $40 million. A “very small business” is an entity that, together with affiliates and controlling interests, has average gross revenues for the three preceding years of not more than $15 million. The SBA has approved these small business size standards. In the future, the Commission will auction 459 licenses to serve Metropolitan Trading Areas (MTAs) and 408 response channel licenses. There is also one megahertz of narrowband PCS spectrum that has been held in reserve and that the Commission has not yet decided to release for licensing. The Commission cannot predict accurately the number of licenses that will be awarded to small entities in future actions. However, four of the 16 winning bidders in the two previous narrowband PCS auctions were small businesses, as that term was defined under the Commission's Rules. The Commission assumes, for purposes of this analysis, that a large portion of the remaining narrowband PCS licenses will be awarded to small entities. The Commission also assumes that at least some small businesses will acquire narrowband PCS licenses by means of the Commission's partitioning and disaggregation rules.

30. 220 MHz Radio Service—Phase I Licensees. The 220 MHz service has both Phase I and Phase II licenses. Phase I licensing was conducted by lotteries in 1992 and 1993. There are approximately 1,515 such non-nationwide licensees and four nationwide licensees currently authorized to operate in the 220 MHz band. The Commission has not developed a small business size standard for small entities specifically applicable to such incumbent 220 MHz Phase I licensees. To estimate the number of such licensees that are small businesses, the Commission applies the small business size standard under the SBA rules applicable to “Cellular and Other Wireless Telecommunications” companies. This standard provides that such a company is small if it employs no more than 1,500 persons. According to Census Bureau data for 1997, there were 977 firms in this category, total, that operated for the entire year. Of this total, 965 firms had employment of 999 or fewer employees, and an additional 12 firms had employment of 1,000 employees or more. If this general ratio continues in the context of Phase I 220 MHz licensees, the Commission estimates that nearly all such licensees are small businesses under the SBA's small business size standard.

31. 220 MHz Radio Service—Phase II Licensees. The 220 MHz service has both Phase I and Phase II licenses. The Phase II 220 MHz service is a new service, and is subject to spectrum auctions. In the 220 MHz Third Report and Order, 62 FR 15978, April 3, 1997, the Commission adopted a small business size standard for “small” and “very small” businesses for purposes of determining their eligibility for special provisions such as bidding credits and installment payments. This small business size standard indicates that a “small business” is an entity that, together with its affiliates and controlling principals, has average gross revenues not exceeding $15 million for the preceding three years. A “very small business” is an entity that, together with its affiliates and controlling principals, has average gross revenues that do not exceed $3 million for the preceding three years. The SBA has approved these small business size standards. Auctions of Phase II licenses commenced on September 15, 1998, and closed on October 22, 1998. In the first auction, 908 licenses were auctioned in three different-sized geographic areas: three nationwide licenses, 30 Regional Economic Area Group (EAG) Licenses, and 875 Economic Area (EA) Licenses. Of the 908 licenses auctioned, 693 were sold. Thirty-nine small businesses won Start Printed Page 24745licenses in the first 220 MHz auction. The second auction included 225 licenses: 216 EA licenses and 9 EAG licenses. Fourteen companies claiming small business status won 158 licenses.

32. 800 MHz and 900 MHz Specialized Mobile Radio Licenses. The Commission awards “small entity” and “very small entity” bidding credits in auctions for Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) geographic area licenses in the 900 MHz bands to firms that had revenues of no more than $15 million in each of the three previous calendar years, or that had revenues of no more than $3 million in each of the previous calendar years. The SBA has approved these size standards. The Commission awards “small entity” and “very small entity” bidding credits in auctions for Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) geographic area licenses in the 800 MHz bands to firms that had revenues of no more than $40 million in each of the three previous calendar years, or that had revenues of no more than $15 million in each of the previous calendar years. These bidding credits apply to SMR providers in the 800 MHz and 900 MHz bands that either hold geographic area licenses or have obtained extended implementation authorizations. The Commission does not know how many firms provide 800 MHz or 900 MHz geographic area SMR service pursuant to extended implementation authorizations, nor how many of these providers have annual revenues of no more than $15 million. One firm has over $15 million in revenues. The Commission assumes, for purposes here, that all of the remaining existing extended implementation authorizations are held by small entities, as that term is defined by the SBA. The Commission has held auctions for geographic area licenses in the 800 MHz and 900 MHz SMR bands. There were 60 winning bidders that qualified as small or very small entities in the 900 MHz SMR auctions. Of the 1,020 licenses won in the 900 MHz auction, bidders qualifying as small or very small entities won 263 licenses. In the 800 MHz auction, 38 of the 524 licenses won were won by small and very small entities. The Commission notes that, as a general matter, the number of winning bidders that qualify as small businesses at the close of an auction does not necessarily represent the number of small businesses currently in service. Also, the Commission does not generally track subsequent business size unless, in the context of assignments or transfers, unjust enrichment issues are implicated.

33. Private and Common Carrier Paging. In the Paging Third Report and Order, 62 FR 16004, April 3, 1997, the Commission developed a small business size standard for “small businesses” and “very small businesses” for purposes of determining their eligibility for special provisions such as bidding credits and installment payments. A “small business” is an entity that, together with its affiliates and controlling principals, has average gross revenues not exceeding $15 million for the preceding three years. Additionally, a “very small business” is an entity that, together with its affiliates and controlling principals, has average gross revenues that are not more than $3 million for the preceding three years. The SBA has approved these size standards. An auction of Metropolitan Economic Area licenses commenced on February 24, 2000, and closed on March 2, 2000. Of the 985 licenses auctioned, 440 were sold. Fifty-seven companies claiming small business status won. At present, there are approximately 24,000 Private-Paging site-specific licenses and 74,000 Common Carrier Paging licenses. According to the most recent Trends in Telephone Service, 471 carriers reported that they were engaged in the provision of either paging and messaging services or other mobile services. Of those, the Commission estimates that 450 are small, under the SBA business size standard specifying that firms are small if they have 1,500 or fewer employees.

34. 700 MHz Guard Band Licensees. In the 700 MHz Guard Band Order, 65 FR 3139, January 20, 2000, the Commission adopted a small business size standard for “small businesses” and “very small businesses” for purposes of determining their eligibility for special provisions such as bidding credits and installment payments. A “small business” as an entity that, together with its affiliates and controlling principals, has average gross revenues not exceeding $15 million for the preceding three years. Additionally, a “very small business” is an entity that, together with its affiliates and controlling principals, has average gross revenues that are not more than $3 million for the preceding three years. An auction of 52 Major Economic Area (MEA) licenses commenced on September 6, 2000, and closed on September 21, 2000. Of the 104 licenses auctioned, 96 licenses were sold to nine bidders. Five of these bidders were small businesses that won a total of 26 licenses. A second auction of 700 MHz Guard Band licenses commenced on February 13, 2001 and closed on February 21, 2001. All eight of the licenses auctioned were sold to three bidders. One of these bidders was a small business that won a total of two licenses.

35. Rural Radiotelephone Service. The Commission has not adopted a size standard for small businesses specific to the Rural Radiotelephone Service. A significant subset of the Rural Radiotelephone Service is the Basic Exchange Telephone Radio System (BETRS). The Commission uses the SBA's small business size standard applicable to “Cellular and Other Wireless Telecommunications,” i.e., an entity employing no more than 1,500 persons. There are approximately 1,000 licensees in the Rural Radiotelephone Service, and the Commission estimates that there are 1,000 or fewer small entity licensees in the Rural Radiotelephone Service that may be affected by the rules and policies adopted herein.

36. Air-Ground Radiotelephone Service. The Commission has not adopted a small business size standard specific to the Air-Ground Radiotelephone Service. The Commission will use SBA's small business size standard applicable to “Cellular and Other Wireless Telecommunications,” i.e., an entity employing no more than 1,500 persons. There are approximately 100 licensees in the Air-Ground Radiotelephone Service, and the Commission estimates that almost all of them qualify as small under the SBA small business size standard.

37. Aviation and Marine Radio Services. Small businesses in the aviation and marine radio services use a very high frequency (VHF) marine or aircraft radio and, as appropriate, an emergency position-indicating radio beacon (and/or radar) or an emergency locator transmitter. The Commission has not developed a small business size standard specifically applicable to these small businesses. For purposes of this analysis, the Commission uses the SBA small business size standard for the category “Cellular and Other Telecommunications,” which is 1,500 or fewer employees. Most applicants for recreational licenses are individuals. Approximately 581,000 ship station licensees and 131,000 aircraft station licensees operate domestically and are not subject to the radio carriage requirements of any statute or treaty. For purposes of evaluations in this analysis, the Commission estimates that there are up to approximately 712,000 licensees that are small businesses (or individuals) under the SBA standard. In addition, between December 3, 1998 and December 14, 1998, the Commission held an auction of 42 VHF Public Coast licenses in the 157.1875-157.4500 MHz (ship transmit) and Start Printed Page 24746161.775-162.0125 MHz (coast transmit) bands. For purposes of the auction, the Commission defined a “small” business as an entity that, together with controlling interests and affiliates, has average gross revenues for the preceding three years not to exceed $15 million. In addition, a “very small” business is one that, together with controlling interests and affiliates, has average gross revenues for the preceding three years not to exceed $3 million. There are approximately 10,672 licensees in the Marine Coast Service, and the Commission estimates that almost all of them qualify as “small” businesses under the above special small business size standards.

38. Fixed Microwave Services. Fixed microwave services include common carrier, private operational-fixed, and broadcast auxiliary radio services. At present, there are approximately 22,015 common carrier fixed licensees and 61,670 private operational-fixed licensees and broadcast auxiliary radio licensees in the microwave services. The Commission has not created a size standard for a small business specifically with respect to fixed microwave services. For purposes of this analysis, the Commission uses the SBA small business size standard for the category “Cellular and Other Telecommunications,” which is 1,500 or fewer employees. The Commission does not have data specifying the number of these licensees that have more than 1,500 employees, and thus is unable at this time to estimate with greater precision the number of fixed microwave service licensees that would qualify as small business concerns under the SBA's small business size standard. Consequently, the Commission estimates that there are up to 22,015 common carrier fixed licensees and up to 61,670 private operational-fixed licensees and broadcast auxiliary radio licensees in the microwave services that may be small and may be affected by the rules and policies adopted herein. The Commission noted, however, that the common carrier microwave fixed licensee category includes some large entities.

39. Offshore Radiotelephone Service. This service operates on several UHF television broadcast channels that are not used for television broadcasting in the coastal areas of states bordering the Gulf of Mexico. There are presently approximately 55 licensees in this service. The Commission is unable to estimate at this time the number of licensees that would qualify as small under the SBA's small business size standard for “Cellular and Other Wireless Telecommunications” services. Under that SBA small business size standard, a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.

40. Wireless Communications Services. This service can be used for fixed, mobile, radiolocation, and digital audio broadcasting satellite uses. The Commission established small business size standards for the wireless communications services (WCS) auction. A “small business” is an entity with average gross revenues of $40 million for each of the three preceding years, and a “very small business” is an entity with average gross revenues of $15 million for each of the three preceding years. The SBA has approved these small business size standards. The Commission auctioned geographic area licenses in the WCS service. In the auction, there were seven winning bidders that qualified as “very small business” entities, and one that qualified as a “small business” entity. The Commission concludes that the number of geographic area WCS licensees affected by this analysis includes these eight entities.

41. 39 GHz Service. The Commission created a special small business size standard for 39 GHz licenses—an entity that has average gross revenues of $40 million or less in the three previous calendar years. An additional size standard for “very small business” is: An entity that, together with affiliates, has average gross revenues of not more than $15 million for the preceding three calendar years. The SBA has approved these small business size standards. The auction of the 2,173 39 GHz licenses began on April 12, 2000 and closed on May 8, 2000. The 18 bidders who claimed small business status won 849 licenses. Consequently, the Commission estimates that 18 or fewer 39 GHz licensees are small entities that may be affected by the rules and policies adopted herein.

42. Local Multipoint Distribution Service. Local Multipoint Distribution Service (LMDS) is a fixed broadband point-to-multipoint microwave service that provides for two-way video telecommunications. The auction of the 1,030 Local Multipoint Distribution Service (LMDS) licenses began on February 18, 1998 and closed on March 25, 1998. The Commission established a small business size standard for LMDS licenses as an entity that has average gross revenues of less than $40 million in the three previous calendar years. An additional small business size standard for “very small business” was added as an entity that, together with its affiliates, has average gross revenues of not more than $15 million for the preceding three calendar years. The SBA has approved these small business size standards in the context of LMDS auctions. There were 93 winning bidders that qualified as small entities in the LMDS auctions. A total of 93 small and very small business bidders won approximately 277 A Block licenses and 387 B Block licenses. On March 27, 1999, the Commission re-auctioned 161 licenses; there were 40 winning bidders. Based on this information, the Commission concluded that the number of small LMDS licenses consists of the 93 winning bidders in the first auction and the 40 winning bidders in the re-auction, for a total of 133 small entity LMDS providers.

43. 218-219 MHz Service. The first auction of 218-219 MHz spectrum resulted in 170 entities winning licenses for 594 Metropolitan Statistical Area licenses. Of the 594 licenses, 557 were won by entities qualifying as a small business. For that auction, the small business size standard was an entity that, together with its affiliates, has no more than a $6 million net worth and, after federal income taxes (excluding any carry over losses), has no more than $2 million in annual profits each year for the previous two years. In the 218-219 MHz Report and Order and Memorandum Opinion and Order, 64 FR 59656, November 3, 1999, the Commission established a small business size standard for a “small business” as an entity that, together with its affiliates and persons or entities that hold interests in such an entity and their affiliates, has average annual gross revenues not to exceed $15 million for the preceding three years. A “very small business” is defined as an entity that, together with its affiliates and persons or entities that hold interests in such an entity and its affiliates, has average annual gross revenues not to exceed $3 million for the preceding three years. The SBA has approved these size standards. The Commission cannot estimate, however, the number of licenses that will be won by entities qualifying as small or very small businesses under its rules in future auctions of 218-219 MHz spectrum.

44. 24 GHz—Incumbent Licensees. This analysis may affect incumbent licensees who were relocated to the 24 GHz band from the 18 GHz band, and applicants who wish to provide services in the 24 GHz band. The applicable SBA small business size standard is that of “Cellular and Other Wireless Telecommunications” companies. This category provides that such a company is small if it employs no more than 1,500 persons. According to Census Bureau data for 1997, there were 977 Start Printed Page 24747firms in this category that operated for the entire year. Of this total, 965 firms had employment of 999 or fewer employees, and an additional 12 firms had employment of 1,000 employees or more. Thus, under this size standard, the great majority of firms can be considered small. These broader census data notwithstanding, the Commission believes that there are only two licensees in the 24 GHz band that were relocated from the 18 GHz band, Teligent and TRW, Inc. It is the Commission's understanding that Teligent and its related companies have less than 1,500 employees, though this may change in the future. TRW is not a small entity. Thus, only one incumbent licensee in the 24 GHz band is a small business entity.

45. 24 GHz—Future Licensees. With respect to new applicants in the 24 GHz band, the small business size standard for “small business” is an entity that, together with controlling interests and affiliates, has average annual gross revenues for the three preceding years not in excess of $15 million. “Very small business” in the 24 GHz band is an entity that, together with controlling interests and affiliates, has average gross revenues not exceeding $3 million for the preceding three years. The SBA has approved these small business size standards. These size standards will apply to the future auction, if held.

46. Satellite Service Carriers. The SBA has developed a size standard for small businesses within the category of Satellite Telecommunications. Under that SBA size standard, such a business is small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees. According to Commission data, 31 carriers reported that they were engaged in the provision of satellite services. Of these 31 carriers, an estimated 25 have 1,500 or fewer employees and six, alone or in combination with affiliates, have more than 1,500 employees. Consequently, the Commission estimates that there are 31 or fewer satellite service carriers which are small businesses that may be affected by the rules and policies proposed herein.

47. Cable and Other Program Distribution. This category includes cable systems operators, closed circuit television services, direct broadcast satellite services, multipoint distribution systems, satellite master antenna systems, and subscription television services. The SBA has developed small business size standard for this census category, which includes all such companies generating $12.5 million or less in revenue annually. According to Census Bureau data for 1997, there were a total of 1,311 firms in this category, total, that had operated for the entire year. Of this total, 1,180 firms had annual receipts of under $10 million and an additional 52 firms had receipts of $10 million or more but less than $25 million. Consequently, the Commission estimates that the majority of providers in this service category are small businesses that may be affected by the rules and policies adopted herein.

48. Internet Service Providers. The SBA has developed a small business size standard for Internet Service Providers (ISPs). ISPs “provide clients access to the Internet and generally provide related services such as web hosting, web page designing, and hardware or software consulting related to Internet connectivity.” Under the SBA size standard, such a business is small if it has average annual receipts of $21 million or less. According to Census Bureau data for 1997, there were 2,751 firms in this category that operated for the entire year. Of these, 2,659 firms had annual receipts of under $10 million, and an additional 67 firms had receipts of between $10 million and $24, 999,999. Consequently, the Commission estimates that the majority of these firms are small entities that may be affected by its action.

49. All Other Information Services. This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in providing other information services (except new syndicates and libraries and archives).” The Commission notes that, in this FNPRM, it has described activities such as email, online gaming, web browsing, video conferencing, instant messaging, and other, similar IP-enabled services. The SBA has developed a small business size standard for this category; that size standard is $6 million or less in average annual receipts. According to Census Bureau data for 1997, there were 195 firms in this category that operated for the entire year. Of these, 172 had annual receipts of under $5 million, and an additional nine firms had receipts of between $5 million and $9,999,999. Consequently, the Commission estimates that the majority of these firms are small entities that may be affected by its action.

Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping and Other Compliance Requirements for Small Entities

50. This supplemental IRFA seeks current and accurate monthly data on the average number of compensable dial-around calls per-payphone. Once the new data is collected, the new rate will not impose any new reporting, recordkeeping or other compliance requirements for small entities.

Steps Taken To Minimize Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities, and Significant Alternatives Considered

51. The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant alternatives that it has considered in reaching its proposed approach, which may include the following four alternatives (among others): (1) The establishment of differing compliance or reporting requirements or timetables that take into account the resources available to small entities; (2) the clarification, consolidation, or simplification of compliance or reporting requirements under the rule for small entities; (3) the use of performance, rather than design, standards; and (4) an exemption from coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, for small entities.

52. In this FNPRM, the Commission only seeks to collect current and accurate data on the average number of compensable dial-around calls per-payphone. Nevertheless, the Commission seeks comments on alternatives that will minimize any potential burdens caused by the need to collect current and accurate monthly per-payphone data.

Federal Rules That May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With the Proposed Rules

53. Implementation of the rule change the Commission is considering in this FNPRM will require updating the monthly per-payphone rate that will be established once a current and accurate average number of compensable dial-around calls is determined. The section of the Commission's rules that will likely be amended is 47 CFR 64.1301.

Comment Filing Procedures

54. Pursuant to sections 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission's rules, interested parties may file comments on or before June 27, 2005, and reply comments on or before July 25, 2005. Comments may be filed using the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) or by filing paper copies. 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 the proceeding, 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 Start Printed Page 24748number, in this case, WC Docket No. 03-225. 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 ecfs@fcc.gov, 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 appears in the caption of this proceeding, commenters must submit two additional copies for each additional docket or rulemaking number.

55. 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 the Commission continues to experience delays in receiving U.S. Postal Service mail). Parties are strongly encouraged to file comments electronically using the Commission's ECFS.

56. The Commission's contractor, Natek, Inc., will receive hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission's Secretary at 236 Massachusetts Avenue, NE., Suite 110, Washington, DC 20002.

—The filing hours at this location are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

—All hand deliveries must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners.

—Any envelopes must be disposed of before entering the building.

—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, DC 20554.

57. All filings must be addressed to the Commission's Secretary, Marlene H. Dortch, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20554. Parties should also send a copy of their filings to Victoria Goldberg, Pricing Policy Division, Wireline Competition Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, Room 5-A266, 445 12th Street, SW., Washington, DC 20554, or by e-mail to victoria.goldberg@fcc.gov. Parties shall also serve one copy with the Commission's copy contractor, Best Copy and Printing, Inc. (BCPI), Portals II, 445 12th Street, SW., Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554, (202) 488-5300, or via e-mail to fcc@bcpiweb.com.

58. Documents in WC Docket No. 03-225 are available for public inspection and copying during business hours at the FCC Reference Information Center, Portals II, 445 12th St. SW., Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. The documents may also be purchased from BCPI, telephone (202) 488-5300, facsimile (202) 488-5563, TTY (202) 488-5562, e-mail fcc@bcpiweb.com.

Ordering Clauses

59. Accordingly, it is ordered that, pursuant to the authority contained in sections 1-5, 7, 10, 201-05, 207-09, 214, 218-20, 225-27, 251-54, 256, 271, 303, 332, 403, 405, 502 and 503 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151-155, 157, 160, 201-05, 207-09, 214, 218-20, 225-27, 251-54, 256, 271, 303, 332, 403, 405, 502, and 503 and sections 1.1, 1.421 of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 1.1, 1.421, notice is hereby given of the rulemaking and comment is sought on those issues.

60. It is further ordered that the Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, shall send a copy of this Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, including the Supplemental Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 64

End List of Subjects Start Signature

Federal Communications Commission.

Marlene H. Dortch,

Secretary.

End Signature

Rules Changes

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission proposes to amend 47 CFR part 64 as follows:

Start Part

PART 64—MISCELLANEOUS RULES RELATING TO COMMON CARRIERS

1. The authority citation for part 64 continues to read as follows:

Start Authority

Authority: 47 U.S.C. 154, 254(k); secs. 403(b)(2)(B), (c), Pub. L. 104-104, 110 Stat. 56. Interpret or apply 47 U.S.C. 201, 218, 222, 225, 226, 228, and 254(k) unless otherwise noted.

End Authority

2. Amend § 64.1301 by revising paragraph (e) to read as follows:

Per-Payphone compensation.
* * * * *

(e) Post-intermediate access code and subscriber 800 calls. In the absence of a negotiated agreement to pay a different amount, each entity listed in Appendix C of the Fifth Order on Reconsideration and Order on Remand in CC Docket No. 96-128, FCC 02-292, must pay default compensation to payphone service providers for access code calls and payphone subscriber 800 calls for the period beginning April 21, 1999, and ending ____ , in the amount listed in Appendix C for any payphone for any month during which per-call compensation for that payphone for that month is not paid by the listed entity. A complete copy of Appendix C is available at http://www.fcc.gov. Effective ____ , the default compensation to be paid by each entity shall be the amount listed in Appendix C multiplied by __.

End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 05-9097 Filed 5-10-05; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6712-01-P