FCC's O'Rielly Calls For Universal Deadline Policy At Commission
February 9, 2017 at 4:04 AM (PT)
FCC Commissioner MICHAEL O'RIELLY is calling for a universal deadline policy to deal with late filings. In a post on the Commission's blog, O'RIELLY called the FCC bureaus' inconsistent responses to late filings "arbitrary and capricious," with some bureaus dismissing filings made one day late but others being more forgiving. "This makes little sense," O'RIELLY said, "and unfairly penalizes those industry sectors that do not receive such benevolence."
O'RIELLY offered the example of the renewal of the license of ATLANTIC CITY BOARD OF EDUCATION noncommercial WAJM/ATLANTIC CITY despite the application being four years late, and the Wireline Competition Bureau's policy change to allow Universal Service Fund high-cost recipients to miss interim buildout deadlines but still get all of their funds if they cure at a later date, with only a 10% penalty if they miss deadlines and fail to cure within 12 months.
"Let me be clear that I am not blaming any particular bureau or staff for the current state of affairs," O'RIELLY wrote. "That’s a bit like debating how the boat sank when you’re surrounded by sharks. Instead, let’s focus on correcting the situation going forward. This means showing leadership on the Eighth Floor; we have an overarching view of the Commission’s deadlines and how they are being enforced. So, if we take that knowledge and compose a firm policy on deadlines, it would improve Commission functionality, bring clarity to regulated entities and help stabilize our overall enforcement mechanisms.... As it stands now, the Commission is unintentionally favoring some parties over others through its disparate treatment of its deadlines. Moreover, combining a short amnesty window to rectify current instances where licensees may not be in compliance with the implementation of firm deadlines, going forward, would help restore administrative certainty, transparency, parity, and confidence in our enforcement process."