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Notice

Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION:

Notice and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or the Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collection. Comments are requested concerning: 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; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; 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; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees. The FCC 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 PRA that does not display a valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number.

DATES:

Written PRA comments should be submitted on or before December 27, 2016. If you anticipate that you will be submitting 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 PRA comments to Nicole Ongele, FCC, via email PRA@fcc.gov and to Nicole.Ongele@fcc.gov.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For additional information about the information collection, contact Nicole Ongele at (202) 418-2991.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

OMB Control Number: 3060-0149.

Title: Part 63, Application and Supplemental Information Requirements; Technology Transitions, GN Docket No. 13-5, et al.

Form Number(s): N/A.

Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.

Respondents: Business or other for-profit.

Number of Respondents and Responses: 65 respondents; 85 responses.

Estimated Time per Response: 5.34 hours per response.

Frequency of Response: One-time reporting requirement and third party disclosure requirements.

Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. Statutory authority for this collection of information is contained in 47 U.S.C. 214 and 402 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

Total Annual Burden: 2,075 hours.

Annual Cost Burden: $27,900.

Privacy Act Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: Information filed in section 214 applications has generally been non-confidential. Requests from parties seeking confidential treatment are considered by Commission staff pursuant to 47 CFR 0.459 of the Commission's rules.

Needs and Uses: The Commission is seeking Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval for a revision of a currently approved collection. The Commission will submit this information collection after this 60 day comment period. Section 214 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, requires that a carrier must first obtain FCC authorization either to (1) construct, operate, or engage in transmission over a line of communications; or (2) discontinue, reduce or impair service over a line of communications.

Part 63 of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) implements Section 214. Part 63 also implements provisions of the Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984 pertaining to video which was approved under this OMB Control Number 3060-0149. In 2009, the Commission modified Part 63 to extend to providers of interconnected Voice of Internet Protocol (VoIP) service the discontinuance obligations that apply to domestic non-dominant telecommunications carriers under Section 214 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended. In 2014, the Commission adopted improved administrative filing procedures for domestic transfers of control, domestic discontinuances and notices of network changes, and among other adjustments, modified Part 63 to require electronic Start Printed Page 75055filing for applications for authorization to discontinue, reduce, or impair service under section 214(a) of the Act.

In July 2016, the Commission concluded that applicants seeking to discontinue a legacy time division multiplexing (TDM)-based voice service as part of a transition to a new technology, whether Internet Protocol (IP), wireless, or another type (technology transition discontinuance application) must demonstrate that an adequate replacement for the legacy service exists in order to be eligible for streamlined treatment and revised part 63 accordingly. For any other domestic service for which a discontinuance application is filed, the existing framework governs automatic grant procedures. Unlike traditional applicants, technology transition discontinuance applicants seeking streamlined treatment will be required to submit with their application either a certification or a showing as to whether an “adequate replacement” exists in the service area. The Commission stressed that attempting to satisfy this “adequate replacement” test to establish eligibility for streamlined treatment is entirely voluntary for an applicant. Voice technology transition discontinuance applicants that decline to pursue this path are not eligible for streamlined treatment and will have their applications evaluated on a non-streamlined basis under the traditional five factor test. The Commission concluded that an applicant for a technology transition discontinuance may demonstrate that a service is an adequate replacement for a legacy voice service by certifying or showing that one or more replacement service(s) offers all of the following: (i) Substantially similar levels of network infrastructure and service quality as the applicant service; (ii) compliance with existing federal and/or industry standards required to ensure that critical applications such as 911, network security, and applications for individuals with disabilities remain available; and (iii) interoperability and compatibility with an enumerated list of applications and functionalities determined to be key to consumers and competitors. One replacement service must satisfy all the criteria to retain eligibility for automatic grant. To reduce burdens on carriers, the Commission adopted a more streamlined approach for discontinuances involving services that are substantially similar to those for which a Section 214 discontinuance has previously been approved and allowed Section 214 discontinuance applications to be eligible for automatic grant without any further showing if the applicant demonstrates that the service has zero customers in the relevant service area and no requests for service in the last six months.

The Commission also concluded that consumer education materials should be required as part of any technology transition discontinuance because customers must be informed of their choices to ensure seamless transitions. The Commission determined that information about the price of the legacy service and the proposed replacement service should be provided as part of the application because any potential increased costs would implicate the Commission's commitment to ensuring that technology transitions do not unduly impact our most vulnerable citizens. To further reduce burdens on carriers, the Commission also decided to allow carriers to provide notice via email to offer additional options to customers and addressed a gap in the Commission's rules to make a competitive LEC's application for discontinuance deemed granted on the effective date of any comer retirement that made the discontinuance unavoidable. The Commission further concluded that applicants must provide notice of discontinuance applications to any federally-recognized Tribal Nations. The Commission estimates that there will be five respondents submitting 25 applications/responses related to these revisions. The Commission also estimates that these revisions will result in a total of 1,775 annual burden hours and a total annual cost of $27,900. The Commission estimates that the total annual burden and annual cost of the entire collection, as revised, is 2,075 and $27,900, respectively.

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Federal Communications Commission.

Marlene H. Dortch,

Secretary, Office of the Secretary.

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[FR Doc. 2016-26052 Filed 10-27-16; 8:45 am]

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