Guess What’s Not On The FCC’s Agenda


The FCC on Thursday released the official agenda for its November 2016 Open Meeting, and just like its October Open Meeting agenda, it’s missing something that’s grabbed many headlines over the last three months — Chairman Wheeler’s controversial set-top box proposal.

The proposal, which was hastily pulled from the September Open Meeting agenda just 20 minutes before its start, now sits in limbo.

There has been no issue of a “Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking,” the action that allows those outside of the FCC to view word-for-word the proposed new regulation of pay-TV set-top boxes Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Sen. John Thune (R-S. Dakota) urged the FCC Chairman and the Commission to make.

Meanwhile, trickles of information about what is going on inside Commission offices is yielding little insight into whether or not Wheeler’s proposal can win over Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, who has emerged as the one individual who stands in the way of a Wheeler win or a dastardly defeat.

As of Oct. 6, official conversations with FCC staff by outside parties regarding their thoughts — and concerns — on Chairman Tom Wheeler‘s much-debated TV set-top box proposal became permissible. That’s when the Commission released a public notice stating that it has lifted the sunshine period prohibition on the proposal.

On Monday (Oct. 24), RBR + TVBR learned that representatives of Microsoft Corp. spoke with Commission staff on Oct. 13 to discuss the presently tabled rule proposal.

Otherwise, the fate of the STB plan remains a mystery to those outside of the FCC, and those who have spoken with FCC staff about the plan.


FCC Chairman Wheeler announced that the following items are tentatively set for discussion at the November Open Commission Meeting, scheduled for Thursday, November 17:

  • Mobility Fund: The Commission will consider a Report and Order that would adopt rules for the second phase of the Mobility Fund, which would provide ongoing universal service support dedicated to expanding the availability of mobile broadband networks.
  • Roaming Obligations of Commercial Mobile Service Providers and Regulatory Classification of Voice over LTE Service: The Commission will consider a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would seek comment on proposals to implement a unified roaming standard and to classify Voice over LTE.
  • Business Data Services: The Commission will consider a Report and Order and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would allow for light-touch regulation of packet-based Business Data Services and retain and update price cap regulation for lower-bandwidth TDM-based Business Data Services to ensure that lack of competition does not unfairly harm commercial customers or the consumers who rely upon these services.
  • Video Description: Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010: The Commission will consider a Report and Order which addresses the amount of video described programming required to be made available to consumers.

The Open Meeting is scheduled to commence at 10:30 a.m. in Room TW-C305 of the FCC’s headquarters in Washington, DC.