For broadcasters, the main reason for attending the FCC Open Meeting for April may simply be to see who shows up. There isn’t much of anything of interest on the agenda. Our suspicion is that this Thursday 4/18/13 session will be the last day (or second to last) for a few prominent FCC employees.
Both Chairman Julius Genachowski and Commissioner Robert McDowell have announced their intention to leave the agency, both with a nebulous in-a-few-weeks timetable. This event would be a logical time to make the departure official and effective.
Anyway, there are three items on the agenda. One concerns making it easier to attract foreign investment funds, which is of interest to some in the broadcasting business – but the topic in this case is common carrier and aeronautic radio, not AM-FM.
From the FCC, here’s the agenda:
* Reducing Regulatory Burdens and Facilitating Investment by Streamlining Foreign Ownership Review: The Commission will consider a Second Report and Order to streamline the foreign ownership policies and procedures that apply to common carrier radio licensees and certain aeronautical radio licensees under section 310(b) of the Act, significantly reducing regulatory burdens while ensuring the Commission continues to receive the necessary information to protect the public interest.
* Promoting Innovation and Competition by Facilitating Direct Access to Numbers: The Commission will consider a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Notice of Inquiry on expanding direct access to telephone numbers to promote competition and innovation by IP-based providers, while protecting consumers and the reliability of phone calls. It will also consider an Order to allow a limited trial of direct access to numbers for VoIP providers.
* Presentation on the Status of Alerts to Prevent Bill Shock: Pursuant to CTIA’s revision to its Code of Conduct for Wireless Service, April 17, 2013 is the deadline by which the participating CTIA member wireless carriers must provide their subscribers with four specified types of alerts to allow consumers to avoid unexpected charges for wireless usage exceeding their plan limits, and for additional charges for international roaming. The Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau will provide a status report of the participating carriers’ compliance with this requirement.