Oppositions to USTelecom Petition for Reconsideration of Section 214 Declaratory Ruling Due January 23

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On December 23, 2014, the United States Telecom Association (USTelecom) filed a petition for reconsideration of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) November 2014 Declaratory Ruling, in which the FCC clarified its analysis under Section 214 of the Communications Act. In its petition, USTelecom states that the FCC’s Declaratory Ruling changed the long-standing definition of what constitutes a Section 214 discontinuance, reduction, or impairment of a service, and in doing so, “imposed new substantive requirements, or rules, on providers without any notice or opportunity for comment.” USTelecom argues that the new definition is impermissibly vague, and requests that the FCC withdraw its Declaratory Ruling and initiate a rulemaking to allow all parties to comment on a new Section 214 interpretation. Public Knowledge, a consumer advocate group, requested an extension of time to file oppositions to USTelecom’s petition because the timeframe in which to file an opposition overlaps with two of the most popular holiday vacation weeks of the year. The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau has issued an order granting Public Knowledge’s request for an extension. Accordingly, oppositions to the petition are due on or before January 23, 2015, and replies are due on or before January 30, 2015.

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