As part of the FCC’s 2016 Biennial Review of Telecommunications Regulations, U.S. wireless carrier Verizon has asked the Commission to revisit, revise, and repeal a number of regulations it called “outdated.”
“This biennial review is a chance for the Commission to eliminate many rules that have outlived their usefulness ‘given the vast changes in the communications marketplace,’” Verizon wrote.
Among the measures on Verizon’s “repeal or modify” chopping block are the Commission’s treatment of the acquisition of sub-1 GHz spectrum as an “enhanced factor” in transaction reviews; a clunky approval process for block-for-clock spectrum swaps; penalties related to interim spectrum build requirements; the “labyrinth” of rules surrounding spectrum lease approvals; and the Commission’s determination that all facilities siting – including for the construction of new towers and mounting antennas on existing structures – is a federal undertaking.
In its filing, the carrier called the “enhanced factor” requirement for sub-1 GHz spectrum an “arbitrary band-specific aggregation limit” that not only doesn’t address “valid public policy objectives” but also risks consumer harm.
“Band-specific aggregation limits are inconsistent with the current spectrum screen and the Commission’s acknowledgement that ‘holding a mix of spectrum bands is advantageous to providers,’” Verizon noted in asking the FCC to toss the classification.
Verizon also asked the FCC to streamline its “unnecessarily burdensome review” process for block-for-block spectrum swaps and spectrum lease approvals; revise ineffective spectrum build rules meant to keep speculators from sitting on spectrum; and “eliminate the requirement that mounting small wireless facilities on existing structures requires pre-construction environmental review and conclude that such activity is not a federal undertaking and therefore does not require historic preservation review.”
Industry association CTIA also called on the Commission to condense and streamline its spectrum leasing rules, while fellow Tier-1 carrier Sprint asked for the repeal of the payphone compensation audit requirement and rate averaging and rate integration certification.
The suggestions came in response to the FCC’s call for comments in its review of telecom regulations that occurs every other year. The directive for the review comes from Section 11 of the Communications Act of 1934, which directs the Commission to “repeal or modify any regulation that it finds are no longer in the public interest.”
Filed Under: Industry regulations