oversight

FCC: Competitive Service Safeguards for Local Exchange Carrier Provision of Commercial Mobile Radio Services and Implementation of Section 601(d) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1997-12-22.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

      United States
GAO   General Accounting Office
      Washington, D.C. 20548

      Office of the General Counsel


      B-278832


      December 22, 1997

      The Honorable John McCain
      Chairman
      The Honorable Ernest F. Hollings
      Ranking Minority Member
      Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
      United States Senate

      The Honorable Thomas J. Bliley, Jr.
      Chairman
      The Honorable John D. Dingell
      Ranking Minority Member
      Committee on Commerce
      House of Representatives

      Subject:   Federal Communications Commission: Competitive Service Safeguards
                 for Local Exchange Carrier Provision of Commercial Mobile Radio
                 Services and Implementation of Section 601(d) of the
                 Telecommunications Act of 1996

      Pursuant to section 801(a)(2)(A) of title 5, United States Code, this is our report
      on a major rule promulgated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC),
      entitled "Competitive Service Safeguards for Local Exchange Carrier Provision
      of Commercial Mobile Radio Services and Implementation of Section 601(d) of
      the Telecommunications Act of 1996" (WT Docket No. 96-162; FCC 97-352). We
      received the rule on December 11, 1997. It was published in the Federal Register as
      a final rule on December 3, 1997. 62 Fed. Reg. 63864.

      In the final rule, the FCC modifies the current structural separation requirement for
      the provision of cellular service by the Bell Operating Companies and adopts a new
      requirement that all incumbent local exchange carriers provide in-region broadband
      commercial mobile radio service (CMRS), including cellular services, through a
      CMRS affiliate.

      Enclosed is our assessment of the FCC's compliance with the procedural steps
      required by section 801(a)(1)(B)(i) through (iv) of title 5 with respect to the rule.
      Our review indicates that the FCC complied with the applicable requirements.


                                                                            GAO/OGC-98-21
If you have any questions about this report, please contact James Vickers, Assistant
General Counsel, at (202) 512-8210. The official responsible for GAO evaluation
work relating to the Federal Communications Commission is John Anderson,
Director of Transportation Issues. Mr. Anderson can be reached at (202) 512-2834.




Robert P. Murphy
General Counsel

Enclosure

cc: Mr. Peter W. Herrick
    AMD-Performance Evaluation and
     Records Management
    Federal Communications Commission




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                                                                         ENCLOSURE

      ANALYSIS UNDER 5 U.S.C. § 801(a)(1)(B)(i)-(iv) OF A MAJOR RULE
                               ISSUED BY
             THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
                               ENTITLED
   "COMPETITIVE SERVICE SAFEGUARDS FOR LOCAL EXCHANGE CARRIER
        PROVISION OF COMMERCIAL MOBILE RADIO SERVICES AND
             IMPLEMENTATION OF SECTION 601(d) OF THE
                 TELECOMMUNICATIONS ACT OF 1996"
                   (WT Docket No. 96-162; FCC 97-352)

(i) Cost-benefit analysis

The FCC, in its report to our Office, states that it was not required to prepare and
did not prepare a cost-benefit analysis of the final rule.

(ii) Agency actions relevant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 603-605,
607, and 609

The FCC prepared both an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis and a Final
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, which appeared in the preambles to the proposed
and final rules, respectively.

The analyses describe the reason for the rule and the legal basis for it. They also
include descriptions and estimates of the number of small entities affected by the
rule; discussions of the recordkeeping, reporting, and other compliance
requirements; and the steps taken to minimize the burdens on small entities.

In the Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, the FCC points out that in an effort to
minimize the burden on small entities, it has exempted rural telephone companies
from the separate affiliate requirement. Also, it is allowing incumbent local
exchange carriers with fewer than 2 percent of the nation's subscriber lines to
petition the FCC for suspension or modification of the separate affiliate
requirement.

(iii) Agency actions relevant to sections 202-205 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform
Act of 1995, 2 U.S.C. §§ 1532-1535

As an independent regulatory agency, the FCC is not subject to title II of the
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.




                                                                     GAO/OGC-98-21
(iv) Other relevant information or requirements under acts and executive orders

Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.

The final rule was issued using the notice and comment procedures contained in
5 U.S.C. § 553. On September 3, 1996, the FCC published in the Federal Register a
notice of proposed rulemaking. 61 Fed. Reg. 46420. In response, the FCC received
20 initial comments and 13 reply comments. The comments, as well as the actions
taken as a result of the comments, are discussed in the preamble to the final rule.

Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. §§ 3501-3520

The final rule contains a modified information collection requirement that is subject
to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork
Reduction Act. The FCC has submitted the request for approval on an emergency
basis to OMB. The total annual burden hours imposed by the collection is
estimated to be 116,456 with a total respondent cost of $1,003,000.

Statutory authorization for the rule

The final rule was issued pursuant to the authority contained in sections 4(i),
303(r), 309(c), 309(j), and 332 of the Communications Act, as amended.
47 U.S.C. §§ 154(i), 303(r), 309(c), 309(j), and 332.

Executive Order No. 12866

The rule, promulgated by an independent regulatory agency, is not subject to the
review requirements of Executive Order No. 12866.




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