[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 126 (Monday, July 1, 2013)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 39233-39237]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-15643]


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FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

47 CFR Parts 51, 53, and 64

[CC Docket Nos. 95-20, 98-10; FCC 13-69]


Data Practices, Computer III Further Remand: BOC Provision of 
Enhanced Services

AGENCY: Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION: Further notice of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: In this Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Further 
Notice), the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) seeks 
comment on how to streamline or eliminate legacy regulations contained 
in the Computer Inquiry proceedings and that are applicable to the Bell 
Operating Companies (BOCs). The FNPRM: Seeks data on the changing 
market for narrowband enhanced services, in particular, the extent to 
which enhanced service providers (ESPs) continue to need access to the 
BOCs' basic network transmission services offered through comparably 
efficient interconnection (CEI) and open network architecture (ONA) 
services; proposes eliminating CEI requirements and seeks comment on 
whether to retain only limited ONA inputs that ESPs require in areas 
where there are no competitive alternatives; and seeks comment on the 
need for the continuing application of the All-Carrier Rule that 
requires non-BOC incumbent local exchange carriers (LECs) to offer non-
discriminatory access to basic network services for unaffiliated ESPs.

DATES: Comments are due July 31, 2013, and reply comments are due 
August 30, 2013. Written comments on the paperwork Reduction Act 
proposed or modified information collection requirements must be 
submitted by the public, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and 
other interested parties on or before [date].

ADDRESSES: Interested parties may submit comments, identified by CC 
Docket No. 00-175, by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Federal Communications Commission's Web site: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/. Follow the instructions for submitting 
comments.
     People with Disabilities: Contact the FCC to request 
reasonable accommodations (accessible format documents, sign language 
interpreters, CART, etc.) by email: FCC504@fcc.gov or phone: (202) 418-
0530 or TTY: (202) 418-0432.

For detailed instructions for submitting comments and additional 
information on the rulemaking process, see the SUPPLEMENTARY 
INFORMATION section of this document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jodie May, WCB, CPD, (202) 418-1580 or 
Jodie.May@fcc.gov. For additional information concerning the Paperwork 
Reduction Act information collection requirements contained in this 
document, send an email to PRA@fcc.gov or contact Judith Boley Herman 
at 202-418-0214.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a summary of the Commission's 
Further Notice in CC Docket Nos. 95-20, 98-10; FCC 13-69, released on 
May 17, 2013. The full text of this document, which is part of the 
Commission's Memorandum Opinion and Order and Report and Order and 
Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Second Further Notice of 
Proposed Rulemaking, is available for public inspection during regular 
business hours in the FCC Reference Center, Room CY-A257, 445 12th 
Street SW., Washington, DC 20554, and may also be purchased from the 
Commission's copy contractor, BCPI, Inc., Portals II, 445 12th Street 
SW., Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554. Customers may contact BCPI, 
Inc. via their Web site, http://www.bcpi.com, or call 1-800-378-3160. 
This document is available in alternative formats (computer diskette, 
large print, audio record, and Braille). Persons with disabilities who 
need documents in these formats may contact the FCC by email: 
FCC504@fcc.gov or phone: 202-418-0530 or TTY: 202-418-0432.
    Pursuant to Sec. Sec.  1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission's rules, 
47 CFR 1.415, 1.419, interested parties may file comments and reply 
comments on or before the dates indicated on the first page of this 
document. All pleadings are to reference CC Docket Nos. 95-20, 98-10; 
FCC 13-69. Comments may be filed using the Commission's Electronic 
Comment Filing System (ECFS). See Electronic Filing of Documents in 
Rulemaking Proceedings, 63 FR 24121 (1998).
     Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically 
using the Internet by accessing the ECFS: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/.
     Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must 
file an original and one copy of each filing. If more than one docket 
or rulemaking number appears in the caption of this proceeding, filers 
must submit two additional copies for each additional docket or 
rulemaking number.
     Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by 
commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. 
Postal Service mail. All filings must be addressed to the Commission's 
Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.
     All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings 
for the Commission's Secretary must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 
445 12th Street SW., Room TW-A325, Washington, DC 20554. The filing 
hours are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All hand deliveries must be held 
together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes and boxes must 
be disposed of before entering the building.
     Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service 
Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton 
Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743.
     U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority 
mail must be addressed to 445 12th Street SW., Washington DC 20554.
     People with Disabilities: To request materials in 
accessible formats for people with disabilities (braille, large print, 
electronic files, audio format), send an email to fcc504@fcc.gov or 
call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 
(voice), 202-418-0432 (tty).

Synopsis of Further Notice

I. Background

    1. In its Computer II proceedings, the Commission required AT&T 
(and subsequently the BOCs) to offer enhanced services through 
structurally separate subsidiaries. Amendment of Sec.  64.702 of the 
Commission's rules and regulations (Computer II Final Decision), 77 FCC 
2d 384 (1980), recon., 84 FCC 2d 50 (1980), further recon., 88 FCC 2d 
512 (1981), affirmed sub nom. Computer and Communications Industry 
Ass'n v. FCC, 693 F.2d 198 (DC Cir. 1982), cert. denied, 461 U.S. 938 
(1983). In the subsequent Computer III proceedings, the Commission 
determined that the benefits of structural separation were outweighed 
by the costs and that non-structural safeguards could protect competing

[[Page 39234]]

ESPs from improper cost allocation and discrimination by the BOCs while 
avoiding the inefficiencies of structural separation. The Commission 
adopted CEI and ONA as non-structural safeguards that require the BOCs 
to offer nondiscriminatory interconnection to basic transmission 
services that competitors purchase to provide enhanced services, 
primarily to end users that use narrowband telephone technology. 
Amendment of Sec.  64.702 of the Commission's rules and regulations, CC 
Docket No. 85-229, Phase I, 104 FCC 2d 958 (1986) (subsequent history 
omitted). The Commission has identified examples of narrowband enhanced 
services as voice mail, store and forward services, fax, data 
processing, alarm monitoring, and dial-up gateways to on-line 
databases. BOCs must comply with CEI and ONA requirements in order to 
offer enhanced services on an ``integrated'' basis instead of through a 
structurally separate affiliate as required by Sec.   64.702 of the 
Commission's rules.
    2. The BOCs' CEI plans detail how they provide unaffiliated ESPs 
with interconnection to basic transmission services on the same terms 
and conditions that the BOCs use for their own enhanced services 
offerings. The BOCs' ONA plans, based on the architecture of the BOCs' 
networks as they existed in the late 1980s, offer ESPs unbundled, 
tariffed access to basic transmission services regardless of whether 
the BOCs' affiliated enhanced services offerings use the same 
components.
    3. The Commission has had in place a long-standing examination of 
the substantive Computer III structure and what safeguards are 
appropriate to ensure the continued competitiveness of the enhanced 
services market. In 1998, the Commission sought comment on what 
safeguards for BOC provision of enhanced services made sense in light 
of technological, market, and legal conditions, particularly the 
passage of the market opening provisions in the Telecommunications Act 
of 1996 (1996 Act), such as the section 251 unbundling requirements, 47 
U.S.C. 251. 63 FR 9749-01 (Feb. 26, 1998); 66 FR 15064-01 (Mar. 15, 
2001).
    4. Since 1998, the Commission has modified or eliminated many of 
the Computer III non-structural separation requirements. In 1999, it 
streamlined the CEI requirements. 64 FR 14141-01 (Mar. 24, 1999). In 
2005, the Commission granted the BOCs significant relief from Computer 
III requirements for wireline broadband Internet access services. 
Appropriate Framework for Broadband Access to the Internet over 
Wireline Facilities, CC Docket No. 02-33, Report and Order and Notice 
of Proposed Rulemaking, 20 FCC Rcd 14853, 14875-76, para. 41 (2005) 
(WBIAS Order), aff'd, Time Warner Telecom v. FCC, 507 F.3d 205 (3rd 
Cir. 2007). The Commission has also granted forbearance from 
application of Computer Inquiry rules to the extent that the carriers 
offer other broadband services. See, e.g., Petitions of the Verizon 
Telephone Companies for Forbearance Pursuant to 47 U.S.C. 160(c) in the 
Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Providence, and Virginia 
Beach Metropolitan Statistical Areas, WC Docket No. 06-172, Memorandum 
Opinion and Order, 22 FCC Rcd 21293, 21318, para. 45 (2007). In light 
of these changes, the Computer III requirements currently apply only to 
the provision of enhanced services using narrowband telephone 
technology.

II. Discussion

    5. In order to determine how we may streamline or eliminate the 
remaining legacy Computer III obligations, we seek comment on the 
continued viability of the substantive CEI and ONA narrowband 
requirements. Recognizing that the enhanced services provider industry 
may continue to use the BOCs' narrowband networks to serve customers, 
we seek comment on how we might simplify and modernize efficient access 
to service elements that competitors still need while at the same time 
eliminating services that are no longer necessary. Below, we propose to 
eliminate CEI requirements and seek comment on a specific streamlined 
process we might adopt to review BOC requests to eliminate or modify 
their ONA offerings. We expect that this Further Notice will provide 
data that may allow us to grant some relief from these legacy 
regulations in an efficient and comprehensive manner.
    6. The Commission made clear when it adopted the Computer III 
requirements that a ``major goal of ONA is to increase opportunities 
for ESPs to use the BOCs' regulated networks in highly efficient ways, 
enabling ESPs to expand their markets for their present services and 
develop new offerings as well, all to the benefit of consumers.'' 
Computer III Remand Proceeding, CC Docket No. 90-368, 5 FCC Rcd 7719, 
7720, paras. 7, 11(1990). The Commission intended the ONA framework to 
evolve. It did not prescribe a specific network design for ONA services 
and stated that the BOCs, with input from the enhanced services 
industry, should implement ONA in a way that matched the capabilities 
of their networks, ``both current and future, with needs of the ESPs.'' 
Filing and Review of Open Network Architecture Plans, CC Docket No. 88-
2, Phase I, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 4 FCC Rcd 1, 11, para. 3 
(1988). The Commission intended originally that CEI plans would be an 
interim measure until the BOCs fully implemented ONA. Referring to CEI 
as a ``first phase,'' the Commission intended CEI to provide ESPs with 
interconnection to the BOCs' networks that was substantially equivalent 
to the interconnection the BOCs provided for their own enhanced 
services until the BOCs fully unbundled their networks to ESPs through 
ONA. Although the Commission eliminated formal approval of CEI plans, 
we have continued to require the BOCs to maintain their CEI plans and 
post them on the Internet.
    7. We propose to eliminate the requirement that BOCs maintain and 
post their CEI plans on the Internet. CEI plans were always intended to 
be an interim measure, designed to bridge the gap between the 
Commission's decision to lift structural separation in Computer III and 
the implementation of ONA. In light of the changing market for 
narrowband enhanced services, we expect that CEI plans are not 
necessary to protect against access discrimination. We seek comment on 
this proposal. ONA has provided ESPs a greater level of protection 
against access discrimination than CEI. Under ONA, not only must the 
BOCs offer network services to competing ESPs in compliance with the 
nine CEI ``equal access'' parameters, but they must also unbundle and 
tariff key network service elements beyond those they use to provide 
their own enhanced services offerings. To the extent that we find it 
necessary to retain any limited ONA requirements, we expect that ESPs 
will have adequate access to the BOCs' legacy network through those 
arrangements.
    8. We seek current information on whether ONA offerings continue to 
be an effective means of providing competitive ESPs with access to 
unbundled network services they need to structure efficient service 
offerings. To the extent that the requirements or offerings are 
ineffective, we request that commenters cite to specific instances to 
support their claims. The Commission is now examining the technological 
transition of legacy networks and protocols toward modern networks and 
services in several contexts. See, e.g., Pleading Cycle Established for 
AT&T and NTCA Petition, GN Docket No. 12-353, Public Notice, 27 FCC Rcd 
15766 (rel. Dec. 14, 2012) (seeking comment on

[[Page 39235]]

AT&T and National Telecommunications Cooperative Association petitions 
to open proceedings on the transition from TDM to IP networks); FCC 
Chairman Julius Genachowski Announces Formation of ``Technology 
Transitions Policy Task Force,'' News Release (Dec. 10, 2012); 
Technology Transitions Policy Task Force Seeks Comment on Potential 
Trials, GN Docket No. 13-5, Public Notice, DA 13-1016 (rel. May 10, 
2013), available at http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-13-1016A1.pdf. ONA requirements are legacy regulations aimed at 
giving competitors wholesale access to narrowband technologies for the 
provision of enhanced services, and we are therefore interested in 
whether competitors are using narrowband ONA offerings to offer new 
services or whether they are transitioning away from narrowband 
products. We seek comment on that question. We also ask the BOCs to 
provide information on specific narrowband ONA offerings that they 
currently provision for unaffiliated ESPs. In particular, we seek 
information about specific service inputs that ESPs may still require 
from the BOCs to serve narrowband customers and on whether we should 
eliminate all other services.
    9. We seek comment on the extent to which the BOCs themselves 
continue to provide narrowband enhanced services and whether there are 
sufficient alternatives such that the BOCs are prevented, at least in 
some areas, from engaging in harmful discrimination against 
unaffiliated ESPs. We seek data on the alternatives available and the 
specific markets in which such alternatives are available. Do ESPs 
still rely primarily on narrowband ONA services, or do they use other 
means to obtain services? We are interested in whether enhanced service 
competitors use a combination of inputs from different providers.
    10. The Commission originally required the BOCs to maintain a 
sufficient level of uniformity among their ONA services, in part so 
that ESPs could market national offerings. Is this requirement still 
necessary today for narrowband offerings or do ESPs seek more tailored 
arrangements based on their customer base? Commenters should identify 
what other network platforms, such as cable or broadband, offer viable 
options for re-structuring existing enhanced services that customers 
still use and whether ESPs would have access to those options in the 
areas in which their customers are located, including in rural areas. 
If alternatives are available, do they enable functionalities that ESPs 
require for specific narrowband products, such as alarm monitoring 
services or voice mail? Commenters should explain whether ESPs use ONA 
offerings for any public safety related offerings. In addition, we seek 
comment on whether ESPs obtain from the BOCs unbundled network elements 
under section 251 of the Act, 47 U.S.C. 251, if the providers are also 
telecommunications carriers or if they can obtain basic services from 
competitive telecommunications providers.
    11. The ONA framework consists of multiple requirements in addition 
to the tariffing of basic service offerings. These include the ONA 
amendment process under which a BOC that seeks to offer an enhanced 
service that uses a new basic service element, or otherwise uses 
different configurations of underlying basic services than those in its 
approved ONA plan, must amend its ONA plan at least 90 days before it 
offers the new enhanced service. In addition, an ESP can request a new 
ONA basic service from the BOC and must receive a response from the BOC 
within 120 days regarding whether the BOC will provide the service. The 
BOC must evaluate and justify its response using specific factors, 
including market area demand, utility to ESPs as perceived by the 
providers themselves, and cost and technical feasibility. We are 
interested in obtaining information about how often the BOCs received a 
request under the 120 day process, including the date of the most 
recent request, and the outcome of the request. The BOCs should also 
address the last time they amended their ONA plans. ESPs should address 
whether the 120 day process continues to be of value and whether they 
contemplate using it in the future. We seek comment on the extent to 
which the narrowband ONA obligations may increase the BOCs' costs of 
providing enhanced services. Commenters should identify costs with 
specificity wherever possible. We also ask commenters to address 
whether there are continuing benefits associated with the obligations 
that justify the costs.
    12. At the beginning of the ONA implementation process, the 
Commission found that it would not be reasonable for BOCs to withdraw 
any services listed in their approved ONA plans and that it would not 
look favorably on requests for withdrawal. It did, however, outline a 
process for BOCs to withdraw ONA services. It stated that, once an ONA 
service element was federally tariffed, the BOC must request and 
receive advance approval in writing before filing tariff revisions to 
discontinue offering of that service. Filing and Review of Open Network 
Architecture Plans, CC Docket No. 88-2, Phase I, Memorandum Opinion and 
Order, 6 FCC Rcd 7646, 7652-53, para. 10 (1991). The Commission, acting 
through the Wireline Competition Bureau, has granted such approvals in 
a few limited circumstances, each involving an extended proceeding. In 
those proceedings, the Bureau evaluated the reasonableness of the 
withdrawal request to see if circumstances justified the elimination of 
specific ONA services. It reviewed criteria including whether the BOC 
had existing customers for the service and whether suitable alternative 
services existed. It also accepted BOC proposals that existing 
customers should have an opportunity to continue to purchase the 
withdrawn ONA service element on a grandfathered basis. See BellSouth 
Open Network Architecture Plan Amendment, CC Docket No. 88-2, 
Memorandum Opinion and Order, 18 FCC Rcd 15844, 15847-48, para. 5 
(Wireline Comp. Bur. 2003); Qwest Petition for Permission to Withdraw 
ONA Services, WC Docket No. 02-355, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 19 
FCC Rcd 7164, 7167, para. 6 (Wireline Comp. Bur. 2004). We seek comment 
on what type of simplified process might now be feasible for BOCs to 
use to withdraw ONA service elements that they assert are no longer 
useful or for which there are alternative offerings. Should we use the 
same criteria the Bureau relied upon in reviewing past requests? We 
seek comment on how precisely a BOC should define the service area in 
which it requests to eliminate services. By requiring BOCs to 
demonstrate with specificity which ONA services they seek to retire and 
what alternatives are available, we can move toward an orderly and 
efficient process for eliminating services that may no longer be 
necessary.
    13. We seek comment on what type of process would be most efficient 
for us to review requests to reduce or eliminate ONA service offerings 
that are included in the BOCs' ONA plans and tariffs. Because the 
elimination of basic narrowband service elements currently available 
under the ONA plans could impact ESPs that have limited alternatives 
for these services, we seek comment on adopting a discontinuance 
process that allows for comments, a notice period, and affirmative 
action by the Commission. This would allow more time for ESPs to 
transition to other arrangements whether from the BOCs, themselves, or 
alternative providers. We seek comment on adopting a process

[[Page 39236]]

that is similar to the standard streamlined process for service 
discontinuance applications under section 214 of the Act, 47 U.S.C. 
214. Under the section 214 process, a dominant carrier such as a BOC 
that seeks to discontinue, reduce, or impair service must notify 
affected customers and file an application with the Commission. The 
application is automatically granted on the 60th day after its filing 
unless the Commission has notified the applicant that the grant will 
not automatically be effective. 47 CFR 63.71. Specifically, we seek 
comment on the following proposal:
    A BOC that seeks to withdraw and discontinue narrowband Open 
Network Architecture (ONA)-related services shall be subject to the 
following procedures:
    The BOC shall notify all affected customers of the planned 
withdrawal and discontinuance in writing. The notification shall 
include the name and address of the carrier, date of planned service 
withdrawal and discontinuance, points of geographic areas of service 
affected, and a brief description of the type of service affected. The 
notification shall also include a statement to customers as follows:

    The FCC will normally authorize this proposed withdrawal and 
discontinuance of service unless it is shown that customers would be 
unable to receive service or a reasonable substitute from another 
carrier or that the public convenience and necessity is otherwise 
adversely affected. If you wish to object, file your comments as 
soon as possible, but no later than 30 days after the Commission 
releases public notice of the proposed withdrawal or discontinuance. 
Comments should include specific information about the impact of 
this proposed withdrawal and discontinuance on you or your company, 
including any inability to acquire reasonable substitute service. 
Comments must be filed electronically using the Internet through the 
Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) and reference 
the proceeding number on the public notice. ECFS is accessible at 
http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/.

    The BOC shall file with this Commission, on or after the date on 
which it has given notice to all affected customers, an application 
which shall contain the name and address of the carrier, date of 
planned service withdrawal and discontinuance, points of geographic 
areas of service affected, brief description of the type of service 
affected, brief description of the dates and methods of notice to all 
affected customers, or a statement that no customers are currently 
using the service, and any other supplemental information the 
Commission may require.
    The application to withdraw and discontinue ONA services shall be 
automatically granted on the 60th day after its filing with the 
Commission without any notification to the applicant unless the 
Commission has notified the applicant that the grant will not be 
automatically effective. For purposes of this section, an application 
will be deemed filed on the date the Commission releases public notice 
of the filing.
    14. Such a process would set a threshold showing for a BOC to 
withdraw an ONA service and allow ESPs an orderly notice and comment 
process to object to the withdrawal. We seek comment on whether we 
should permit BOCs to include multiple services in a single notice for 
a particular geographic area. The process would also allow affected 
ESPs the opportunity to address whether they would be unable to serve 
customers without access to the service.
    15. Because we propose to eliminate CEI and seek comment on 
streamlining or eliminating ONA requirements, it is important for ESPs 
to have sufficient detail to understand the impact of any possible 
reduction in availability. BOCs should comment on what types of 
transition arrangements might be possible to ensure that ESPs can still 
serve their narrowband customers. We seek comment on whether BOCs would 
continue to make CEI and ONA service offerings and network 
functionalities available through alternative means, including through 
the use of other tariffed services. Would they be available through a 
transition to unbundled network elements or resold services? We seek 
information from the BOCs on whether grandfathering arrangements would 
be available based on existing prices, terms, and conditions. Should we 
require BOCs to grandfather existing customers for a period of time 
(e.g., three years), and if so, what would be an appropriate time 
limit?
    16. Non-BOC facilities-based common carriers must provide the basic 
transmission services underlying their enhanced services on a 
nondiscriminatory basis pursuant to tariffs under the All-Carrier Rule. 
Computer II Final Decision, 77 FCC 2d at 474-75, para. 231. The rule 
requires common carriers to provide basic transmission services at the 
same prices, terms, and conditions to all ESPs, including themselves. 
We seek comment on the extent to which ESPs continue to rely on these 
tariffed transmission services to provide narrowband services to 
customers and whether there are alternative providers available. In 
particular, we seek comment on whether we should retain network access 
requirements under the All-Carrier Rule beyond the time that CEI and 
ONA may sunset. Would ESPs, including those offering certain services 
such as alarm monitoring, continue to require access to incumbent LEC 
networks in non-BOC territory because there are more limited 
alternatives in those areas, or do cable, wireless, and VoIP platforms 
offer ESPs viable alternatives? We also seek comment on whether the 
incumbent carriers themselves continue to provide narrowband enhanced 
services such that is important to retain the All-Carrier Rule to 
prevent discriminatory conduct against unaffiliated ESPs.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    17. This Further Notice seeks comment on a potential new or revised 
information collection requirements. If the Commission adopts any new 
or revised information collection requirement, the Commission will 
publish a separate notice in the Federal Register inviting the public 
to comment on the requirement, as required by the Paperwork Reduction 
Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). In addition, 
pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 
107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4), the Commission seeks specific 
comment on how it might ``further reduce the information collection 
burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.''

Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    18. The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (RFA), 
requires that an initial regulatory flexibility analysis be prepared 
for notice-and-comment rulemaking proceedings, unless the agency 
certifies that ``the rule will not, if promulgated, have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.'' 5 U.S.C. 
601(6). The RFA generally defines the term ``small entity'' as having 
the same meaning as the terms ``small business,'' ``small 
organization,'' and ``small governmental jurisdiction.'' 5 U.S.C. 
601(6). In addition, the term ``small business'' has the same meaning 
as the term ``small business concern'' under the Small Business Act. 5 
U.S.C. 601(3). A ``small business concern'' is one which: (1) Is 
independently owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in its field of 
operation; and (3) satisfies any additional criteria established by the 
Small Business Administration (SBA). SBA defines small 
telecommunications entities as those with 1,500 or fewer

[[Page 39237]]

employees. 15 U.S.C. 632. This proceeding pertains to the BOCs, which, 
because they would not be deemed a ``small business concern'' under the 
Small Business Act and have more than 1,500 employees, do not qualify 
as small entities under the RFA. Therefore, we certify that the 
proposals in this Further Notice, if adopted, will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.
    19. The Commission will send a copy of the Notice, including a copy 
of this Initial Regulatory Flexibility Certification, to the Chief 
Counsel for Advocacy of the SBA. This initial certification will also 
be published in the Federal Register.

Ex Parte Presentations

    20. This proceeding shall be treated as a ``permit-but-disclose'' 
proceeding in accordance with the Commission's ex parte rules. Persons 
making ex parte presentations must file a copy of any written 
presentation or a memorandum summarizing any oral presentation within 
two business days after the presentation (unless a different deadline 
applicable to the Sunshine period applies). Persons making oral ex 
parte presentations are reminded that memoranda summarizing the 
presentation must (1) list all persons attending or otherwise 
participating in the meeting at which the ex parte presentation was 
made, and (2) summarize all data presented and arguments made during 
the presentation. If the presentation consisted in whole or in part of 
the presentation of data or arguments already reflected in the 
presenter's written comments, memoranda or other filings in the 
proceeding, the presenter may provide citations to such data or 
arguments in his or her prior comments, memoranda, or other filings 
(specifying the relevant page and/or paragraph numbers where such data 
or arguments can be found) in lieu of summarizing them in the 
memorandum. Documents shown or given to Commission staff during ex 
parte meetings are deemed to be written ex parte presentations and must 
be filed consistent with Sec.  1.1206(b). In proceedings governed by 
Sec.  1.49(f) or for which the Commission has made available a method 
of electronic filing, written ex parte presentations and memoranda 
summarizing oral ex parte presentations, and all attachments thereto, 
must be filed through the electronic comment filing system available 
for that proceeding, and must be filed in their native format (e.g., 
.doc, .xml, .ppt, searchable .pdf). Participants in this proceeding 
should familiarize themselves with the Commission's ex parte rules.

Ordering Clauses

    21. It is ordered that, pursuant to Sec. Sec.  1, 2, 4, 11, 201-
205, 251, 272, 274-276, and 303(r) of the Communications Act of 1934, 
as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 152, 154, 161, 201-205, 251, 272, 274-276, 
and 303(r) this Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in CC Docket Nos. 
95-20 and 98-10 is adopted.
    22. It is further ordered that the Commission's Consumer and 
Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, shall send a 
copy of this Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in CC Docket Nos. 
95-20 and 98-10, including the Initial Regulatory Flexibility 
Certification, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business 
Administration.

Federal Communications Commission.
Sheryl Todd,
Deputy Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2013-15643 Filed 6-28-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6712-01-P