The Regulatory Mix, TMI’s daily blog of regulatory activities, is a snapshot of PUC, FCC, legislative, and occasionally court, issues that our regulatory monitoring team uncovers each day. Depending on their significance, some items may be the subject of a TMI Regulatory Bulletin.
The FCC denied a petition for rulemaking asking it to allow class actions to be brought against common carriers for alleged violations of FCC rules or the Communications Act. The FCC said there was no need to entertain class actions because such suits may be brought in federal court. It also concluded that allowing class actions would “needlessly divert limited resources from the Commission’s existing duties without benefiting the public.”
The FCC noted that class action are “fact-intensive, complex, and time-consuming” while its complaint rules “emphasize streamlined and expeditious dispute resolution, with formal complaints regularly resolved on the basis of the pleadings alone, and discovery and briefing kept to a minimum.” In contrast, federal courts have “decades of experience handling class actions” and can always refer an issue to the FCC if the FCC’s expertise is needed.
The petition was filed by Solvable Frustrations, Inc., entity that states it has established an “online social network [that] aggregates customer complaints,” and that it “will use legal and media resources to convince or require wayward corporations or other entities to fix the damage they caused.”
The FCC announced the final agenda and session participant information for the workshop on “Public Safety Imperatives for All-IP Networks” scheduled for April 17, 2014 and April 18, 2014. See the Regulatory Mix dated April 11, 2014. The first day will feature three public sessions that can be viewed over the Internet at http://www.fcc.gov/live. The FCC will also be accepting questions on issues presented during the public session discussions via email at email@example.com and Twitter by using “#TechTransitions” hashtag. To facilitate ongoing dialogue during and after the workshop, the FCC will also host an online discussion forum that can be accessed through the FCC event page at http://www.fcc.gov/events/technology-transitions-and-public-safety. The forum will be open for comments until close of business on May 1, 2014. Session materials will be available on the workshop’s event page at http://www.fcc.gov/events/technology-transitions-and-public-safety.
The FCC also announced the final agenda for its Wednesday, April 23, 2014, Open Meeting. The meeting will be broadcast live at www.fcc.gov/live. The FCC will consider:
- A Report and Order, Declaratory Ruling, Order, Memorandum Opinion and Order, and Seventh Order on Reconsideration taking significant steps to continue the implementation of the landmark reforms adopted in the 2011 USF/ICC Transformation Order to modernize universal service for the 21st century. An accompanying Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposes measures to update and further implement the framework adopted by the Commission in 2011. (WC Docket 10-90 et al)
- A Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would implement an innovative three-tier spectrum sharing approach to make up to 150 megahertz of spectrum available for wireless broadband use in the 3550-3700 MHz band. (GN Docket No.12-354).
The agenda also includes a consent agenda with five Media Bureau items that will not be presented individually.