Comment Deadlines Announced

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Last month we reported that the FCC had adopted new reforms to the Lifeline program and proposed further rule changes in its Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Order on Reconsideration, Second Report and Order, and Memorandum Opinion and Order (Second Order and FNPRM).  Only the Second Order was published in the Federal Register on July 14, an action that sets the effective date for some of the new rules as Aug. 13, 2015.  Most of the rule changes adopted in the Second Order must first be approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) before they become effective, meaning that the effective date for those rule changes is still uncertain.

One of the Second Order’s most significant reforms to the Lifeline program, however, does not require OMB approval.  The Second Order made changes to the Tribal land boundaries in Oklahoma and provides that this change will become effective 180 days after the August 13, 2015 effective date.  This means that ETCs serving Tribal lands in Oklahoma are expected to adjust to the new boundaries by Feb. 9, 2016.

The FNPRM, which seeks comment on possible further reforms to the FCC’s Lifeline program rules, was published in the Federal Register on July 17, 2015, making comments due on Aug. 17, 2015, and reply comments due on Sept.15, 2015. DWT is working closely with ETCs and other clients who are interested in this proceeding.  If you have any questions regarding the impact of the FNPRM on your business, or proceedings at USAC or state commissions, please do not hesitate to contact us.