[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 127 (Tuesday, July 2, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 39617-39619]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-15642]


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FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

47 CFR Parts 51, 53, 63, and 64

[CC Docket Nos. 95-20, 98-10, WC Docket No. 10-132; FCC 13-69]


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

AGENCY: Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Report and Order eliminates comparably efficient 
interconnection (CEI) and open network architecture (ONA) narrowband 
reporting requirements applicable to the Bell Operating Companies 
(BOCs). These requirements have been in place to monitor the BOCs' 
compliance with access and interconnection services that they must 
offer to competitive enhanced service providers (ESPs). The Commission 
no longer relies on the reports in the course of its decision making, 
and there is nothing in the record indicating that the reports contain 
information that is useful to ESPs. Eliminating them will improve the 
way the Commission collects, uses, and disseminates data, including by 
altering or eliminating collections that are no longer useful or 
necessary to carry out our statutory responsibilities.

DATES: Effective August 1, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jodie May, WCB, CPD, (202) 418-1580 or 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In this Report and Order, we permanently 
eliminate annual, semi-annual, quarterly, and non-discrimination 
reporting requirements applicable to the BOCs' narrowband CEI and ONA 
services. The Commission implemented these reporting requirements under 
its Computer III framework to monitor the BOCs' compliance with the 
obligation to provide non-discriminatory access to basic network 
services for unaffiliated ESPs. In August 2011, the Commission Bureau 
waived the reporting requirements pending resolution of the issues in 
the Report and Order. The Report and Order furthers the Commission's 
efforts to modernize agency data collections and reduce reporting 
burdens where appropriate and consistent with the public interest.

I. Background

    1. On February 8, 2011, in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (CEI/ONA 
Notice), the Commission proposed eliminating the legacy CEI/ONA 
narrowband reporting requirements required under the Computer III 
safeguards ``due to a lack of continuing relevance and utility.'' 76 FR 
11407-01 (Mar 2, 2011). The CEI/ONA Notice stated that the Commission 
does not rely on any of the submissions in the course of its decision 
making. On August 11, 2011, the Bureau granted on its own motion a 
waiver of the CEI/ONA narrowband reporting requirements pending 
resolution of the CEI/ONA Notice. The Bureau stated that, while it did 
not prejudge the outcome of the rulemaking, the record suggested that 
the reports are of limited utility and did not justify the burden and 
expense of preparing them. Review of Wireline Competition Bureau Data 
Practices, Computer III Further Remand Proceedings: Bell Operating 
Company Provision of Enhanced Services; 1998 Biennial Regulatory 
Review--Review of Computer III and ONA Safeguards and Requirements, 
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, WC Docket No. 10-132, CC Docket Nos. 95-
20, 98-10, 26 FCC Rcd 11280, 11280-81, para. 3 (2011). No commenter to 
the CEI/ONA Notice supported retaining the reporting requirements.
    2. The CEI/ONA Notice sought comment on eliminating the BOCs' 
annual, semi-annual, quarterly, and non-discrimination reporting 
requirements. Prior to the waiver described above, the BOCs filed 
annual reports containing projected deployment schedules for ONA 
services by type of service and percentage of access lines and by 
market area; disposition of individual requests for ONA services, 
including action on requests deemed technically infeasible; information 
about ONA services that were offered through technologies that were new 
at the time the Commission adopted the requirements, such as Signaling 
System 7 and Integrated Services Digital Network systems; information 
about operations support services and billing; and extensive lists of 
services that the BOC used for its own enhanced services operations. 
The BOCs were also required to file semi-annual reports containing a 
consolidated nationwide matrix of ONA services and corresponding state 
and federal tariff descriptions, computer diskettes and printouts of 
all tariffs, information on 118 categories of network capabilities 
requested by ESPs, and the BOC's ``ONA Services User Guide,'' all on 
paper and diskette. They filed non-discrimination reports or 
affidavits, most on a quarterly basis, that published intervals for 
installation, repair dates, trouble reports, and timelines for BOC

[[Page 39618]]

operations as compared to BOC provisioning of service to competitors. 
For CEI, the Commission permits the BOCs to post their substantive CEI 
plans on the Internet and then notify the Bureau at the time of the 
postings. The BOCs are no longer required to obtain Commission pre-
approval before posting the plans, but CEI reporting obligations 
required the BOCs to file paper reports demonstrating compliance with 
certain nondiscrimination standards.

II. Report and Order

    3. In this Report and Order, we eliminate the CEI/ONA narrowband 
reporting requirements. The Commission no longer relies on any of the 
reports in the course of its decision making, and there is nothing in 
the record indicating that the reports contain information that remains 
useful to competitive ESPs. No commenter has indicated that it uses the 
reported data.
    4. The narrowband reporting requirements are outdated in many 
respects. For example, the BOCs are required to report on installation 
and maintenance intervals for detailed categories of ONA service that 
the Commission established in 1990. Those reporting categories were 
based on service codes that were in use by the BOCs' provisioning 
systems during the 1980s. Recent ONA reports contain data for reporting 
categories that are still active, such as business and Centrex-based 
services, but many of the original category codes contain no 
provisioning data.
    5. The BOCs argue that the reports increased their costs of 
providing service. CenturyLink states that, for each semi-annual 
report, which was over 500 pages and filed in older file formatting 
technology, it incurred internal costs plus the cost of outside 
consultants to prepare the reports. It further states that it incurred 
costs associated with having to prepare the reports jointly with other 
BOCs. The Commission itself has identified inefficiencies associated 
with requiring each BOC to file its own ONA information even though 
some of this information does not vary among providers. For example, 
each BOC reported on the network capabilities it used to provide basic 
narrowband services even if the capabilities did not vary in the 
industry. In addition, the Commission has previously inquired about 
whether the annual and semi-annual reports required redundant 
information on ONA service availability, some of which is already 
delineated in state and federal tariffs filed by the BOCs. Overall, the 
record in the CEI/ONA Notice contains no evidence that continuing the 
reports would provide useful information, and we are convinced that the 
costs and burdens of preparing them outweigh the benefits. The 
Commission has stated that it must ``collect the data it needs, and 
only the data it needs to carry out its statutory responsibilities.'' 
Reporting Requirements for U.S. Providers of International 
Telecommunications Services, Amendment of Part 43 of the Commission's 
Rules, IB Docket No. 04-112, First Report and Order and Further Notice 
of Proposed Rulemaking, 26 FCC Rcd 7274, 7275, para. 1 (2011). 
Unnecessary filing and reporting requirements impose administrative 
costs on carriers that can lead to increased rates for consumers and 
are not in the public interest.
    6. In light of these conclusions, we find that continued 
application of the narrowband CEI and ONA reporting requirements is no 
longer necessary. Since the Bureau waived the requirements in 2011, no 
commenters have indicated that the elimination of the required reports 
has impeded their enhanced service offerings or otherwise prevented 
them from obtaining non-discriminatory access to CEI/ONA services. We 
find that it is more efficient to detect possible access discrimination 
by looking at specific, focused information in the context of an 
individual complaint proceeding under section 208 of the Act than 
through these outdated monitoring reports. 47 U.S.C. 208.

III. Procedural Matters

A. Paperwork Reduction Analysis

    7. This document does not contain proposed information collection 
requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 
104-13, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3520. In addition, therefore, it does not 
contain any proposed information collection burden for small business 
concerns with fewer than 25 employees, pursuant to the Small Business 
Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 
3506(c)(4).

B. Congressional Review Act

    8. The Commission will send a copy of this Report and Order to 
Congress and the Government Accountability Office pursuant to the 
Congressional Review Act, see 5 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A).

C. Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    9. Final Regulatory Flexibility Certification. The Regulatory 
Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., 
requires that a regulatory flexibility analysis be prepared for 
rulemaking proceedings, unless the agency certifies that ``the rule 
will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of 
small entities.'' 5 U.S.C. 605(b). The RFA generally defines ``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). 15 U.S.C. 632.
    10. This Report and Order eliminates CEI/ONA narrowband reporting 
requirements that have been in place to monitor the BOCs' compliance 
with access and interconnection services that they must offer to 
competitive ESPs. It finds that the Commission does not rely on any of 
the reports in the course of its decision making, and there is nothing 
in the record indicating that the reports contain information that is 
currently useful to competitive ESPs. In addition, no commenter to the 
proceeding indicated that we should retain the reports. The underlying 
substantive requirements associated with CEI and ONA with which the 
BOCs must comply will remain in effect.
    11. SBA defines small telecommunications entities as those with 
1,500 or fewer employees. 13 CFR 121.201, NAICS Code 517110, Wired 
Telecommunications Carriers. 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 
requirements of this Report and Order will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The 
Commission will send a copy of the Report and Order including a copy of 
this final certification in a report to Congress pursuant to the Small 
Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. 5 U.S.C. 
801(a)(1)(A). In addition, the Report and Order and this certification 
will be sent to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business 
Administration, and is published in the Federal Register. 5 U.S.C. 
605(b).

IV. Ordering Clause

    12. It is ordered that, pursuant to Sections 1, 2, 4, 11, 201-205, 
251, 272, 274-276, and 303(r) of the

[[Page 39619]]

Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 152, 154, 161, 
201-205, 251, 272, 274-276, and 303(r) this Report and Order in WC 
Docket No. 10-132 is adopted. The requirements of this Report and Order 
shall be effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

Federal Communications Commission.
Sheryl Todd,
Deputy Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2013-15642 Filed 7-1-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6712-01-P