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Notice

Notice of Public Information Collection(s) Being Submitted for Review to the Office of Management and Budget

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Start Preamble July 26, 2006.

SUMMARY:

The Federal Communications Commission, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burden invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collection(s), as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995, Public Law 104-13. An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) that does not display a valid control number. Comments are requested concerning (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 estimate; (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.

DATES:

Written Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) comments should be submitted on or before September 1, 2006. If you anticipate that you will be submitting PRA comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contact listed below as soon as possible.

ADDRESSES:

Direct all Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) comments to Judith B. Herman, Federal Communications Commission, Room 1-B441, 445 12th Street, SW., DC 20554 or an email to PRA@fcc.gov. If you would like to obtain or view a copy of this information collection, you may do so by visiting the FCC PRA web page at: http://www.fcc.gov/​omd/​pra.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For additional information or copies of the information collection(s), contact Judith B. Herman at 202-418-0214 or via the Internet at Judith-B.Herman@fcc.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

OMB Control No.: 3060-0168.

Title: Section 43.43, Report of Proposed Changes in Depreciation Rates.

Form No.: N/A.

Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

Respondents: Business or other for-profit.

Number of Respondents: 10.

Estimated Time Per Response: 6,000 hours.

Frequency of Response: On occasion reporting requirement.

Total Annual Burden: 60,000 hours.

Total Annual Cost: N/A.

Privacy Act Impact Assessment: N/A.

Needs and Uses: The Commission is submitting this information collection to OMB as an extension (no change in public reporting requirements) in order to obtain the full three-year clearance from them.

Section 43.43 establishes the reporting requirements for depreciation prescription purposes. Communication common carriers with annual operating revenues of $121 million or more that the Commission has found to be dominant must file information specified in Section 43.43 before making any change in the depreciation rates applicable to their operating plant. In the Report and Order released in December 1999, the Commission adopted the following requirements:

—Carriers are required to file four summary exhibits, along with the underlying data used to generate them, and must provide the depreciation factors (i.e., life, salvage, curve shape, depreciation reserve) required to verify the calculation of the carriers' depreciation reserve. This is the minimum amount of data needed to maintain oversight of carriers' depreciation expenses and rates.

—Mid-sized carriers are no longer required to file theoretical reserve studies.

—Certain price cap incumbent LECs in certain instances may request a waiver of the depreciation prescription process. A waiver may be approved when an incumbent LEC, voluntarily, in conjunction with its request for waiver: (1) Adjusts the net book costs on its regulatory books to the level currently reflected in its financial books by a below-the-line write-off; (2) uses the same depreciation factors and rates for both regulatory and financial accounting purposes; (3) forgoes the opportunity to seek recovery of the write-off through a low-end adjustment, an exogenous adjustment, or an above-cap filing; and (4) agrees to submit information concerning its depreciation accounts, including forecast additions and retirements for major network accounts and replacement plans for digital central offices. The waiver request must comply with section 1.3 of the Commission's rules. The Commission will consider alternative proposals by carriers seeking a waiver of our depreciation requirements. Such alternative proposals, however, must provide the same protections to guard against adverse impacts on consumers and competition as the conditions adopted in the Order provides. Carriers who obtain a waiver of the depreciation process submit certain information about network retirement Start Printed Page 43767patterns and modernization plans related to their plant accounts so that we can maintain realistic ranges of depreciable life and salvage factors for each of the major plant accounts. The information that carriers will be required to submit include: forecast additions and retirements for major network accounts; replacement plans for digital central offices; and information concerning relative investments in fiber and copper cable.

The information filed is used by the Commission to establish proper depreciation rates to be charged by carriers, pursuant to Section 220(b) of the Act. Without this information, the validity of the carriers' depreciation policies could not be ascertained.

OMB Control No.: 3060-0233.

Title: Part 36—Separations.

Form No.: N/A.

Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

Respondents: Business or other for-profit.

Number of Respondents: 1,804.

Estimated Time Per Response: 22 hours per response for annual and quarterly loop cost filings. Five hours per response for quarterly line count data filings.

Frequency of Response: On occasion, quarterly, and annual reporting requirements and third party disclosure requirement.

Total Annual Burden: 58,418 hours.

Total Annual Cost: N/A.

Privacy Act Impact Assessment: N/A.

Needs and Uses: The Commission is submitting this information collection to OMB as an extension (no change in public reporting requirements) in order to obtain the full three-year clearance from them.

In order to determine which carriers are entitled to universal service support, all (both non-rural and rural) incumbent local exchange carriers (LECs) must provide the National Exchange Carrier Association (NECA) with the loop cost and loop count data required by 47 CFR 36.611 for each of its study areas and, if applicable, for each wire center as that term is defined in 47 CFR Part 54. Loops are the telephone lines running from the carriers' switching facilities to the customer. The loop cost and loop count information is to be filed annually with NECA by July 31st of each year, and may be updated quarterly pursuant to 47 CFR 36.612. Pursuant to section 36.613, the information filed on July 31st of each year will be used to calculate universal service support for each study area and is filed by NECA with the Commission on October 1 of each year. An incumbent LEC is defined as a carrier that meets the definition of “incumbent local exchange carrier” in section 51.5 of the Commission's rules. Section 36.612(a) also requires non-rural carriers to file loop counts (no loop cost data) on a quarterly basis. The Commission requires that non-rural carriers submit quarterly loop counts in order to ensure that universal service fund (USF) support for non-rural carriers is accurately calculated when competitive eligible telecommunication carriers (ETCs) are present in the incumbent LECs' operating areas. Quarterly loop cost and loop count data filings are voluntary for rural carriers. When a competitive ETC, however, is operating in an incumbent rural carrier's territory, the incumbent rural carrier is required to submit quarterly loop count data. Quarterly filings of loop counts are necessary because if an incumbent rural carrier does not update its loop count data more often than annually, but its competitor does, the competitor's more recent data may include loops captured from the incumbent since the incumbent's last filing. Thus, the incumbent would continue to receive support based on an overstated number of loops.

Start Signature

Federal Communications Commission.

Marlene H. Dortch,

Secretary.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. E6-12464 Filed 8-1-06; 8:45 am]

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