|FCC Releases Do Not Call Registry
Report and Order
6/17. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
Report and Order [21 pages in PDF] that amends the FCC's rules regarding the National
The new rules provide that "Such do-not-call registrations
must be honored indefinitely, or until the registration is cancelled by the
consumer or the telephone number is removed by the database administrator."
The FCC adopted this R&O on June 11, 2007. This item is FCC 08-147 in CG Docket
No. 02-278. See also, FCC
FCC Chairman Kevin Martin wrote in his
statement [PDF] that "These registrations would have begun to expire later this
month leaving millions of consumers without protection from unwanted telemarketing
calls. Earlier this year, Congress prohibited the automatic removal of telephone
numbers from the National Do-Not-Call Registry. Consistent with this direction,
we require telemarketers to honor registrations with the Registry until consumers have
cancelled their registration or their telephone number is disconnected and reassigned.
See also, S 781
"Do-Not-Call Registry Fee Extension Act", which is now Public Law No. 110-188,
and HR 3541 [LOC
the "Do-Not-Call Improvement Act of 2007", which is now Public Law No. 110-187.
And see, story titled "House and Senate Pass Two Do Not Call Registry Bills" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail
Alert No. 1,713, February 7, 2008.
|FCC Holds Hearing on Early Termination
6/12. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
held a hearing titled "Early Termination Fees".
FCC Chairman Kevin Martin wrote in
statement [PDF] that "When a consumer ends a contract with wireless carrier, he is
typically charged a fee ranging from $150 to $225."
The CTIA, which represents wireless carriers, filed a petition for declaratory ruling
in March of 2005 with the FCC arguing that early termination fees (ETFs) are rates charged,
and that the FCC should therefore preempt states in this area. See also,
prepared testimony [PDF] of the CTIA's Christopher Guttman-McCabe.
47 U.S.C. § 332(c)(3)(A)
provides that "no State or local government shall have any authority to regulate the
entry of or the rates charged by any commercial mobile service or any private mobile service,
except that this paragraph shall not prohibit a State from regulating the other terms and
conditions of commercial mobile services."
Martin stated that "I believe early termination fees can be a legitimate means of
recovering legitimate costs. But they shouldn’t be abused." He also stated that "I
am skeptical that plaintiff class action lawsuits are the most effective way to guarantee
these protections. First, not all consumers even benefit from such plaintiff lawsuits. And
I do not believe a patchwork of 50 different sets of regulations with widely varying
protections benefits consumers or the industry."
He said that "If we take jurisdiction", then FCC rules should provide the
following: first, the ETF "should be reasonably related to the cost of the equipment
the consumer receives"; second, the ETF "should be prorated over the life of the
contract"; third, "Any contract for service should be for a reasonable length of
time"; fourth, an ETF should not be extended when a consumer renews a contract without
receiving new equipment; and fifth, "consumers should be able to take the phone home
and receive their first bill to make sure the service and bill are consistent with
what they expected, before an early termination fee kicks in".
prepared statement [PDF] of Commission Michael Copps,
prepared statement [PDF] of Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein,
prepared statement [PDF] of Commissioner Deborah Tate, and
prepared statement [PDF] of Commissioner Robert McDowell.
See also, S 2033
the "Cell Phone Consumer Empowerment Act of 2007", introduced on September 7,
2007, by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MO)
and Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV).
|More FCC News
6/12. The Federal Communications Commission
(FCC) released the
pages in PDF] of its Report and Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in its proceeding
titled "In the Matter of Development of Nationwide Broadband Data to Evaluate Reasonable
and Timely Deployment of Advanced Services to All Americans, Improvement of Wireless
Broadband Subscribership Data, and Development of Data on Interconnected Voice over Internet
Protocol (VoIP) Subscribership". The FCC adopted, but did not release, this item on
March 19, 2008. See, story titled "FCC Adopts Order Regarding Broadband Data
Collection" in TLJ Daily
E-Mail Alert No. 1,734, March 20, 2008. This item is FCC 08-89 in WC Docket No.
07-38. Also on June 12, the FCC released an
Reconsider [27 pages in PDF] in this proceeding that revises the reporting requirements
of Form 477. This item is FCC 08-148 in WC Docket No. 07-38.
6/12. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
text [76 pages in PDF] of its a Fifth Report regarding the "availability of advanced
telecommunications capability to all Americans". These reports are required by
Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The FCC adopted, but did not
release, this report on March 19, 2008. See, story titled "FCC Report Concludes
Broadband Services Are Being Deployed in a Reasonable and Timely Fashion" in
TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No.
1,734, March 20, 2008. This item is FCC 08-88 in GN Docket No. 07-45.
6/11. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
adopted, but did not release, a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
regarding Video Relay Service (VRS) and Internet Protocol (IP) Relay. The FCC wrote in a
describing this item that the order portion of this item "adopts a system for assigning
traditional ten-digit telephone numbers to Internet-based TRS users. This means that
Internet-based TRS users will be able to reach and be reached by both hearing users of the
traditional telephone network and other Internet-based TRS users by doing something most
Americans take for granted -- dialing a ten-digit phone number. Internet-based TRS users
will also be able to port their numbers from one provider to another, and users will be
able to use any Internet-based TRS provider they choose." The release adds that the
order "requires providers to obtain and maintain the physical location of their users
-- the same obligation the Commission has imposed on interconnected voice over IP providers
-- and to automatically route emergency calls from Internet-based TRS users to the
appropriate emergency services authorities using such information." This
item is FCC 08-151 in CG Docket No. 03-123 and WC Docket No. 05-196.
6/11. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted, but did not release, a
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding changes to the telecommunications relay
service (TRS) regulations applicable to Speech-to-Speech relay services (STS). This NPRM is
FCC 08-149 in CG Docket No. 03-123 and CG Docket No. 08-15. See, FCC
describing this NPRM.
|House Subcommittee Plans Hearing on
6/13. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL), Chairman of the
House Commerce Committee's (HCC)
Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection, and
Rep. Ed Whitfield
(R-KY), the ranking Republican on the Subcommittee, issued a joint
regarding the online advertising and the Google and Yahoo agreement of June 12, 2008.
The two stated that the Subcommittee plans to hold a hearing "examining
online advertising issues this summer".
Rep. Rush stated that the June 12 agreement "further underscores the need for
close scrutiny of the impact on consumers. We are preparing to hold a hearing on
this important issue this summer".
Rep. Whitfield stated that the June 12 agreement "further highlights the need
to examine what risks agreements such as these pose to consumer privacy. There
remain a number of questions surrounding what personal information these types
of companies collect from consumers’ use of the internet and how those data sets
may be combined for future use. I look forward to working with Chairman Rush in
the months to come, as well as with industry and consumer groups, to determine
how best to protect consumer privacy in an ever-expanding, ever-changing on-line
world without hindering consumer access to personalized internet content."
See also, story titled "Google and Yahoo Announce Search and Advertising
Agreement" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,779, June 13, 2008.
|NCTA Releases Report on Cable
6/12. National Cable and Telecommunications Association
(NCTA) released a report [54
pages in PDF], prepared by Bortz Media and Sports Group, Inc., titled "An Analysis of
the Cable Industry’s Impact on the U.S. Economy".
This report concludes that "As of
2007, the cable industry (directly and indirectly) accounted for 1.5 million
U.S. jobs representing almost $62 billion in personal income. Gross economic
output attributable to the industry amounts to nearly $227 billion."
(Parentheses in original.)
The report also asserts that the "cable industry's early and
ongoing commitment to deploying broadband infrastructure and delivering the most
advanced broadband service offerings could have resulted in U.S. broadband
penetration that is on the order of four percentage points higher than it would
have been if cable’s commitment had been significantly reduced or delayed."
And, it states that "cable has fostered true competition in local
telephone service -- capturing almost 15 million customers by the end of 2007
and adding over five million in the past year alone."
Also, Kyle McSlarrow, head of the NCTA, gave a
speech on June 9 titled
"Cable Broadband's Platform: Innovation for the Consumer".
He stated that "the cable industry has invested over $130 billion to deploy
hybrid fiber networks and new services over the last decade or so".
He also said that "You will occasionally hear it said, however, that ``real´´
innovation only takes place on the edge of the network ... that broadband
networks are just ``pipes.´´ But such a view wrongly assumes a false rivalry
between innovation at the edge and in the network and totally ignores the new
paradigm we see in today’s broadband marketplace."
He argued that "we are part of an interactive ``Internet
ecosystem´´ and as platform providers we benefit when that ecosystem is healthy
and consumers are able to obtain the benefits of the products and services they
want. Unfortunately, this point is lost on many of the net neutrality advocates
whose stilted view of networks informs the almost laughable allegation that we
have an interest in undermining the ``new world´´ of broadband to protect the ``old
world´´ of linear video ... in which case, we sure are wasting a lot of time
and money enabling all these great applications."
|People and Appointments
6/17. President Bush announced that he designated
as Chairman and
Pearson as Vice Chairman of the U.S.
International Trade Commission, effective June 17, 2008. See, White House
release regarding Aranoff, and USITC
release regarding Pearson. The USITC has authority with respect to
intellectual property investigations, and antidumping and countervailing duties
6/11. Chris Hassell was named Federal
Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Laboratory Director. He previously worked at
the Oklahoma State University Multispectral Laboratories (UML). He replaces
Joseph DiZinno, who retired. See, FBI
6/17. The US, Microsoft and state plaintiffs filed their periodic
pages in PDF] titled "Joint Status Report on Microsoft's Compliance with the
Final Judgments". This case is U.S. v. Microsoft, U.S. District Court
for the District of Columbia, D.C. No. 98-1232 (CKK),
and New York, et al. v. Microsoft, D.C. No. 98-1233, consolidated. The
District Court has scheduled a status conference for June 24, 2008.
6/16. The Government Accountability Office
(GAO) sent a letter [9
pages in PDF] to the Federal Reserve
Board (FRB) regarding "Federal Reserve Banks: Areas for Improvement in
Information Security Controls". The GAO wrote that "we found matters
involving information security controls that we do not consider to be
significant deficiencies." It elaborated that "Our
fiscal year 2007 audit procedures identified 12 information security control
deficiencies, all of which relate to general controls. Specifically, the control
deficiencies identified were in the areas of entitywide security program
planning and management, access control, and system software." However, "None of
our findings pose significant risks to the FRB financial systems."
|Washington Tech Calendar
New items are highlighted in red.
|Tuesday, June 17
The House will meet at 12:30 PM for morning hour debate, and at
2:00 PM for legislative business. Votes will be postponed until 6:30 PM. The
House will consider numerous non-technology related items under suspension of the rules.
See, Rep. Hoyer's
schedule for week of June 16, and
schedule for June 17.
The Senate will meet at 10:00 AM for morning
business. It will then resume consideration of the motion to proceed to HR 6049
"Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act of 2008".
8:30 AM. Speakers will deliver open statements for
the meeting associated with the Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) of
the US and People's Republic of China. Location: U.S. Naval Academy, Mahan
Hall Auditorium, 121 Blake Road, Annapolis, MD.
10:00 AM. The Senate Judiciary
Committee (SJC) will hold a hearing titled "Protecting Consumers by Protecting
Intellectual Property". The witnesses will be
Loren Yager (GAO), Brian Monks (Underwriters Laboratories), Mike Rose (Johnson
& Johnson), Jeffrey Thurnau (Gates Corporation). See,
notice. Location: Room 226,
12:15 - 1:30 PM. The
Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA)
Intellectual Property Practice Committee and Young Lawyers Committee will host a brown
bag lunch titled "Hollywood and Copyright: An Industry Perspective". See,
notice and registration page. Location: Motion Picture
Association of America, 1600 I St., NW.
12:30 PM. The DC
Bar Association will host a panel discussion titled "The Economy and Taxes -- Is
There a Path to Tax Reform?". The speakers will include Phillip Swagel,
Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the Department of the Treasury. The price to
attend ranges from $35 to $75. For more information, call 202-626-3463. See,
notice. Location: Arnold & Porter, 555 12th St., NW.
4:00 - 6:00 PM. The
American Enterprise Institute (AEI) will
host a panel discussion titled "Taiwan's Economic Future". The speakers
will be Claude Barfield (AEI), Rupert Hammond-Chambers (U.S.-Taiwan Business
Council), Rob Rogowsky (U.S. International Trade Commission), Chaw-hsia Tu
(Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research), and Dan Blumenthal (AEI). See,
notice. Location: AEI, 12th floor, 1150 17th St., NW.
6:00 - 8:00 PM. The
DC Bar Association will host a panel discussion and reception titled "Antitrust
and Consumer Protection: Career Strategies and Opportunities". The speakers will
include Sondra Mills (DOJ Office of Consumer Litigation), Laura Wilkinson (Weil Gotshal
& Manges), Maribeth Petrizzi (Chief, Litigation II Section, DOJ Antitrust Division),
Karin Moore (Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America), and Leonor Velazquez (FTC Bureau of
notice. For more information, call 202-626-3463. Location: Weil Gotshal & Manges,
Suite 900, 1300 I St., NW.
TIME?. The Department of State's (DOS)
Telecommunication Advisory Committee (ITAC) will meet. The agenda may include
advice for the U.S. government on the ITU World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly
2008 (WTSA 08), meetings of the Telecommunication Sector Advisory Group (TSAG), and group
meetings on the International Telecommunication Regulations, cybersecurity, and other
notice in the Federal Register, February 28, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 40, at Page
Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
Auction No. 77 is scheduled to begin. See also,
notice in the
Federal Register, May 8, 2008, Vol. 73, Number 90, at Pages 26112-26118.
Deadline to submit comments to the Department of Commerce's (DOC)
Bureau of Industry and Security's (BIS) Notice of
Inquiry related to its rules regulating crime control exports. These rules cover police and
military hardware, such as helmets, shields, and guns. However, these rules also
regulate the export of some computers and software. See,
notice in the Federal Register, March 19, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 54, at Pages
Deadline to submit comments to the Department of Commerce's
(DOC) Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) regarding
its proposed changes to its Export Administration Regulations (EAR). These changes affect,
among other things, "high performance computers" and "encryption commodities
and software". See, notice
in the Federal Register, April 18, 2008, at Vol. 73, No. 76, at Pages 21076-21083.
|Wednesday, June 18
The House will meet at 10:00 AM for legislative business. See, Rep. Hoyer's
schedule for week of June 16.
10:00 AM. The Senate Homeland
Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a hearing titled
"Protecting Personal Information: Is the Federal Government Doing Enough?".
The witnesses will be Linda Koontz (Government Accountability Office), Hugo Teufel (Chief
Privacy Officer, Department of Homeland Security), Peter Swire (Ohio State University
law school), and Ari Schwartz (Center for Democracy and Technology). See,
notice. Location: Room 342, Dirksen Building.
10:00 AM. The Senate
Commerce Committee (SCC) will hold a hearing titled "Privacy Implications of
Online Advertising". The witnesses will include Lydia Parnes,
Director of the Federal Trade Commission's
(FTC) Bureau of Consumer Protection. See,
notice. Location: Room 253, Russell Building.
12:00 NOON. The Cato Institute will host
a book forum. The speakers will be Jason Riley, author of the
book [Amazon] titled "Let Them In: The Case for Open Borders", Michael
Barone (US News and World Report) and Daniel Griswold (Cato). Lunch will be served after
the program. The event will be webcast by the Cato Institute. See,
notice and registration page.
Location: Cato, 1000 Massachusetts Ave., NW.
12:00 NOON - 1:30 PM. The
Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA)
Young Lawyers Committee will host an event titled "Copyright Office Tour".
The FCBA notice states "meet at 11:45 a.m. outside the Madison building".
For more information, contact Ben Golant at bgol at loc dot gov and Tarah Grant tsgrant
at hhlaw dot com. Location: Copyright Office, 101 Independence Ave., SE.
12:00 NOON - 5:00 PM. Day one of a two day invitation only conference of
the American Antitrust Institute (AAI). See,
Location: Holeman Lounge, National Press Club, 13th floor, 529 14th St., NW.
8:30 AM - 4:45 PM. The U.S.-China Economic
and Security Review Commission will hold a hearing titled "Access to Information
and Media Control in the People's Republic of China". See,
notice in the Federal Register,
June 2, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 106, at Pages 31545-31546. Location: Room 418, Russell Building,
|Thursday, June 19
The House will meet at 10:00 AM for legislative
business. See, Rep. Hoyer's
schedule for week of June 16.
9:00 AM. The Internal Revenue
Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee (ETAAC) will meet. See,
notice in the Federal
Register, May 30, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 105, at Page 31194. Location: IRS, Room 2116, 1111
Constitution Ave., NW.
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM. Day two of a two day invitation only conference hosted
by the American
Antitrust Institute (AAI). FTC Commissioner Thomas Rosch will
participate in a panel at 3:30 PM. See,
Location: Ballroom, National Press Club, 13th floor, 529 14th St., NW.
10:00 AM. The
House Small Business Committee will hold a hearing titled "Small
Business Exports in the Current Economic Climate". Location: Room 1539,
12:00 NOON - 2:00 PM. The DC Bar
Association will host a program titled "Shhhhh, it's a Secret: Litigating Cases
When the Government Claims Information is Secret". The speakers will be
Daniel Schwartz (Bryan Cave),
Barbara Van Gelder (Morgan Lewis & Bockius), Meredith Fuchs
(National Security Archive),
and William Leonard. The price to attend ranges from $10 to $20. For more information,
contact 202-626-3463. See,
notice. Location: DC Bar Conference Center, B-1 Level, 1250 H St., NW.
1:00 - 5:00 PM. The Progress & Freedom
Foundation (PFF) and the National
Chamber Foundation (NCF) will host a panel discussion of the
book [Amazon] titled "Let Them In: The Case for Open Borders". The
speakers will be Elizabeth Dickson (Ingersoll
Rand Company), Jacob Kirkegaard (The Peterson Institute), Jason Riley (Wall Street
Journal), James Sherk
(Heritage Foundation), Jenifer Verdery (Intel), and
Bret Swanson (PFF). See,
notice. Location: U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 1615 H St., NW.
2:30 PM. The
House Appropriations Committee
(HAC) will meet to mark up two items, including the commerce, justice, and
science appropriations bill. The HAC will webcast this meeting. Location:
Room 2359, Rayburn Building.
6:00 PM. Deadline to file short form applications to participate in
78 with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). This is the AWS-1 and Broadband
PCS auction. See,
Public Notice (DA 08-1090) and
notice in the
Federal Register, May 29, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 104, at Pages 30919-30938.
House Appropriations Committee (HAC) will meet to mark up the Commerce,
Justice, and Science appropriations bill. Location?
Deadline to submit reply comments to the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) in response to its Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (2ndFNPRM)
regarding satellite carriers' carriage obligations under Section 338 of the Communications
Act as the high definition (HD) carriage requirement becomes effective. The FCC adopted its
Second Report and Order, Memorandum Opinion, and 2ndFNPRM on March 19, 2008, and released
the text on March 28, 2008. It is FCC 08-86 in CS Docket No. 00-96. See,
notice in the Federal Register,
May 5, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 87, at Pages 24515-24519. See also, story titled "FCC Releases
DBS HD Carry One Carry All Order" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,738, March 27,
|Friday, June 20
schedule for week of June 16 states that "no votes are expected in the
10:00 AM. The Senate
Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on the
nomination of Elaine Duke to be Under Secretary for Management at the
Department of Homeland Security (DHS). See,
notice. Location: Room 342, Dirksen Building.
12:00 NOON - 1:30 PM. The Federal
Communications Bar Association (FCBA) will host a lunch. The speaker will be
Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), Chairman
of the House Commerce Committee's
(HCC) Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet. See,
notice and registration page. The price to attend is $70.00. Location: Mayflower Hotel,
1127 Connecticut Ave., NW.
Deadline to submit initial comments to the
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to
its Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (2ndFNPRM) regarding reauctioning the
D block of the 700 MHz auction
No. 73). The FCC adopted this item on May 14, 2008. See, story titled "FCC
Announces NPRM for D Block Auction" in TLJ Daily E-Mail Alert No. 1,766, May 14, 2008.
The FCC later released the
[101 pages in PDF]. It is FCC 08-128 in WT Docket No. 06-150 and PS Docket No.
06-229. See, notice in the
Federal Register, May 21, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 99, at Pages 29581-29623.
|Saturday, June 21
Deadline to submit replies to oppositions to the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) regarding a
petition for reconsideration [42 pages in PDF] in the FCC's universal service and access
charge reform proceedings (CC Docket No. 96-45, CC Docket No. 96-262, and WC Docket No.
06-122). See, notice in the
Federal Register, May 27, 2008, Vol. 73, No. 102, at Page 30393.
|About Tech Law Journal
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