FCC Chairman Wheeler Releases Blog Post on April Items

FCC Chairman Wheeler has released a blog post titled, “Out with the Old, In with the New” addressing the two items placed on April’s tentative agenda: the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking addressing the transition from TTY to RTT technology and the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing a new regulatory framework for the provision of business data services.

In the blog post, Chairman Wheeler states that the two items aim to “sweep away old, 20th-century regulations and replace them with new rules that reflect 21st-century technologies and markets.”


The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking addressing the transition from TTY to RTT technology will replace the outdated rules requiring that equipment manufacturers support TTY technology, with new rules requiring these entities to support real-time text over IP-based wireless services.  Chairman Wheeler highlights the benefits of RTT and notes that, not only is it designed for IP networks, but is also superior to TTY technology with respect to its speed, latency, reliability, features, and ease of use.

Chairman Wheeler hopes that, by adopting rules, “millions of Americans with disabilities who rely on text to communicate have accessible and effective telephone access as communications technologies make the transition from circuit-switched to IP-based technologies.”

Business Data Services FNPRM

The FNPRM addressing special access aims to meet the following goals:

  • identify those markets that are competitive, and those that are not, and to adopt a tailored regulatory framework to mirror those distinctions;
  • adopt technology neutral rules so that BDS services are governed by the same overarching legal principles; and
  • cease the tariffing of BDS in all markets for all BDS products.

Chairman Wheeler also states that the item will contain a Tariff Order proposing to bar certain specific contractual practices that slow down the switch from legacy TDM services to newer IP-based services.  Chairman Wheeler hopes that the Commission will be able to adopt a final Order in 2016.

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