FCC Adopts New Rules on Transparency and Timeliness of Foreign Ownership Review

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The FCC has adopted new rules to improve the transparency and timeliness of the cross-agency review process for applications with foreign ownership seeking to participate in the U.S. telecommunications market. These changes formalize the long-standing review process informally known as Team Telecom review. The rules establish firm timeframes for the Executive Branch agencies to complete their review of applications and petitions for declaratory ruling that the FCC refers. The rules are consistent with the President’s April 4, 2020 Executive Order that established the Committee for the Assessment of Foreign Participation in the United States Telecommunications Services Sector. In short, the rules require the FCC to continue to refer for review to the Executive Branch Committee applications with reportable foreign ownership including those for international telecommunications services, submarine cable licenses, and transfers of control, subject to certain exclusions. The rules also require parties to answer a set of national security questions when filing an application with the FCC.

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