On August 6, 2021, the FCC released a Third Report and Order (R&O) in the STIR/SHAKEN proceeding that establishes a process for voice service providers to appeal token authentication revocation decisions to the Commission, which was adopted at the August Open Meeting and adopts the following provisions:
- Exhaustion of Appeals Process: The R&O would require parties seeking review to first exhaust the entire Governance Authority appeals process.
- Parties Permitted to Seek Review: The R&O would only allow appeals by the aggrieved party that suffered the token revocation, but would allow third parties to participate by filing oppositions and replies.
- Filing Deadlines and Requirements: The R&O would require aggrieved parties to file a request for review within 60 days after the Governance Authority upholds its adverse token revocation decision, and commenters would be required to adhere to the traditional deadlines for filling oppositions and replies. Further, the FCC established a 180 day “shot clock” for the Bureau’s review. All filings would be filed in a specialized ECFS docket.
- Commission Review: The R&O would require the Wireline Competition Bureau (“the Bureau”) to review and issue decisions in the first instance of all appeals from the Governance Authority. The Bureau would review all appeals de novo, however, the Draft R&O encourages the Governance Authority to submit the full record of a token revocation appeal within five days of a voice service provider’s request for review, to be used as an aide during the review process.
- Status During Pendency of Appeals: The R&O would establish that throughout the review period (beginning with the Governance Authority’s initial revocation and until the Bureau issues a decision on the appeal) the voice service provider will not be judged to be in violation of the STIR/SHAKEN rules. However, the voice service provider will not be able to continue to exchange STIR/SHAKEN-authenticated traffic during the appeal.
On Thursday, July 15, 2021, the FCC released a Draft Third Report and Order (“Draft R&O”) in the STIR/SHAKEN proceeding that establishes a process for voice service providers to appeal token authentication revocation decisions to the Commission. The following changes were made from the Draft R&O:
- ¶¶ 17-19 – establishing a 180-day “shot clock” for the Bureau’s review period, similar to the one used in the pole access complaint resolution process. The Bureau is expected to meet the shot clock except in extraordinary circumstances. The shot clock will start when the request for review is filed in ECFS, and the Bureau will have discretion to pause the 180-day review period when actions outside the Bureau’s control delay the review process. The Bureau will be required to provide written notice of the pause and when the clock is resumed.
- ¶ 25 – noting that the FCC disagrees with VON’s argument that the FCC not judge “delegated certificate customers” of a provider during the pendency of an appeal because a provider can seek a waiver of the FCC’s rules if the token it relies upon is revoked.
- ¶ 26 – clarifying that a provider subject to revocation will not be in violation of the STIR/SHAKEN rules as a result of the revocation during: (1) the time period in which it may file an appeal to the Governance Authority; (2) the pendency of any appeal before the Governance Authority; (3) the time period in which it may file an appeal to the Bureau; and (4) if it files an appeal with the Bureau, until the Bureau releases a final decision regarding the appeal. The exclusion from liability applies specifically to rule 64.6301, which requires implementation of STIR/SHAKEN.
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