AT&T Statement on Chairman
Pai’s Renomination to FCC

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on March 7, 2017 at 4:43 pm

The following statement may be attributed to Bob Quinn, AT&T Senior Executive Vice President of External and Legislative Affairs:

“President Trump’s decision to renominate Chairman Pai to the FCC is a recognition of the tremendous value he brings to the agency. In just a few short weeks, Chairman Pai has demonstrated his commitment to making the Commission more transparent and to working closely, and quickly, with his fellow Commissioners and Bureau Staff to remove outdated and unnecessary regulations.  We look forward to continue working with Chairman Pai and his team.”

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AT&T Statement on FCC Order Eliminating Outdated Accounting Rules

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on February 23, 2017 at 12:34 pm

The following may be attributed to Joan Marsh, AT&T Senior Vice President of Federal Regulatory:

“Despite dramatic upheavals in the telecom industry over the course of the last few decades, outdated accounting rules remained in place for price cap carriers until today.  At today’s meeting, the Pai Commission adopted an Order eliminating these costly and duplicative accounting rules that were relics of a bygone era, creating flexibility for ILECs to keep accounting records in the same manner as their competitors.  We support the Commission’s efforts to reform and streamline these rules and we will work with the Commission to ensure a smooth transition to the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles regime.”

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TOPICS: Other Thoughts
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AT&T Statement on FCC’s Action on Mobility Fund II and CAF II Auctions

Posted by: AT&T Blog Team on February 23, 2017 at 12:33 pm

The following may be attributed to Joan Marsh, AT&T Senior Vice President of Federal Regulatory:

“While many of us take broadband services for granted, many Americans living in rural communities remain unconnected.  Low population density, topographical barriers, and significant geographical distances make it economically unviable to deploy broadband in many rural areas. Today, the FCC, under Chairman Pai’s leadership, took significant steps toward addressing the digital divide and bringing mobile and fixed broadband services to hard-to-serve rural communities.  The FCC’s actions today move both the Mobility Fund II and CAF II Auctions closer to reality and are a big win for rural Americans.  By making these items a top priority for 2017, Chairman Pai is delivering on his commitment to Universal Service and his pledge to bring the benefits of the digital age to all Americans.”

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Walking in L.A.

Posted by: Joan Marsh on February 21, 2017 at 10:42 am

When I was a student at UCLA, my car (that was uninsured for theft) was stolen. I suddenly found myself without basic transportation in Los Angeles. The logistics of getting to school and work became quite challenging, forget about attempting a doctor’s appointment or a social event. I became a slave to bus schedules and favors from friends. And, contrary to the admonition in the Missing Persons’ song that was popular at the time, I walked in LA.

After six months, I scraped together enough money to buy a friend’s 10-year-old dented Subaru mini-wagon. I loved that car as if it was a Cadillac. To this day, I remember my first day in the car driving down Santa Monica Boulevard feeling an enormous sense of freedom and opportunity. I learned that transportation in LA was not a luxury – it was a necessity.

This week, the FCC will consider two items central to delivering broadband – the 21st century necessity – to rural communities that have been left behind. That these items are moving forward quickly is no surprise given Chairman Pai’s enduring commitment to closing the digital divide, particularly in rural America. The FCC’s Connect America Fund (CAF) and Mobility Fund Phase II (MF II) programs represent the best and perhaps only path to broadband deployment in these rural communities. And the MF II item now on circulation appears to take huge steps toward the adoption of a clear and fair framework that will increase both the efficiency and effectiveness of the program.

But the hard fact is that there are clear limits to the amount of subsidy money available in both programs, and tough policy cuts will need to be made on the breadth and scope of the services that will ultimately be delivered to these communities.

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FCC Reform: Let’s Start
With the Enforcement Bureau

Posted by: Joan Marsh on February 8, 2017 at 10:03 am

FCC reform is a topic of much discussion these days.  Indeed, Chairman Pai has already initiated some important process reforms and we anticipate that more are coming.  Clearer and more transparent processes will lead to better regulatory results.

We have also been contemplating reform and will, from time to time, be posting our ideas for regulatory and structural reform at the FCC.  We start with some ideas for reforming process at the Enforcement Bureau – a Bureau that operated for many years with professionalism but whose recent practices have been marked increasingly by bad process, novel and tenuous theories of liability, and Notices of Apparent Liability (NALs) that languish after adoption.

There are a number of areas where we believe the enforcement process can and should be significantly improved:

Rulemaking via Enforcement:  The Bureau recently has used enforcement actions to create substantive requirements that have not previously been articulated or formally adopted by the FCC. Concerns about this practice have been voiced by many in the industry as the Bureau offered strained and novel readings of FCC rules that were often at war with longstanding communications concepts.  Establishing substantive requirements within the context of an enforcement action runs counter to accepted notions of due process and fundamental fairness and should be avoided.

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