The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC or Commission) Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) has again extended the deadlines for submitting comments in its special access rulemaking proceeding. On December 11, 2012, the Commission adopted an Order requiring providers and purchasers of special access and certain entities providing “best efforts” service to submit data and information for a comprehensive evaluation of the special access market. The Commission sought comment on possible changes to its rules for the special access services provided by incumbent local exchange carriers in price cap areas. The Commission set the comment deadlines on this portion of the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking accompanying the Order several months after its release, in order to give interested parties an opportunity to review the information collected before filing comments. The Bureau subsequently extended the comment deadlines since the Bureau had not yet made the data available.
The Bureau is in the process of allowing access to the data collected for interested
parties to review pursuant to restrictions in a previously issued protective order, but has yet to make the data available. The Bureau has again decided to extend the deadlines. Comments will now be due by September 25, 2015 and replies by October 16, 2015. The Bureau is now receiving executed Acknowledgments of Confidentiality pursuant to the protective order governing the data collection, and encourages parties to file their Acknowledgments by July 2, 2015 to ensure timely data access.