Category Archives: FCC News

Area Code Overlay 336 and 743

area-code-743

 

New Dialing Pattern

Residential and business customers assigned to the existing 336 area code should prepare for the introduction of the new 743 area code.  Use of an overlay area code requires that customers must dial 10 digits (area code + 7-digit local telephone number) to complete local calls within their area code calling area. To help customers prepare for this change and ensure a smooth transition, beginning October 24, 2015, customers may begin placing local calls by using the new 10-digit local dialing pattern.  Customers may continue to use 7-digit local dialing until April 22, 2016, when that option will come to an end.  Effective on April 23, 2016, all local calls must be placed using the 10 digit telephone number (336 or 743 plus the 7-digit local telephone number). Beginning May 23, 2016, customers in the 336 area code region requesting new service, adding an additional line, or in some cases moving their service, may be assigned new numbers using either 336 or the new 743 area code. 

Facts About the New Area Code

The most important facts that consumers and businesses need to know about the upcoming 743 area code overlay are:

  • Your telephone number, including current area code, will not change, but may if you move your service
  • You will need to dial area code + 7-digit local telephone number for all local calls.
  • For billing purposes, what is a local call now will remain a local call regardless of the number of digits dialed.
  • The price of a call, coverage area, or other rates and services will not change due to the overlay.

Planning for the New Area Code

Customers should identify their telephone number as a ten digit number (area code + 7-digit local telephone number), and include the area code when giving the number to their friends, family, business associates and business customers, etc.

Customers should ensure that all services, automatic dialing equipment, applications, software, or other types of equipment recognize the new 743 area code as a valid area code.  Some examples are life safety systems, fax machines, Internet dial-up numbers, alarm and security systems, gates, speed dialers, mobile phone contact lists, call forwarding settings, voicemail services, and similar functions. Be sure to check your business stationery, website, advertising materials, personal checks, and your personal or pet ID tags to ensure the area code is included in your telephone number. If you have any questions regarding the new area code overlay or dialing procedures please call 336-544-4000.

FCC Rules VoIP Providers Can Directly Request Numbers

FCC_NewsWashington, D.C. (June 18, 2015) – The Federal Communications Commission today modernized and streamlined its rules governing the distribution of phone numbers by leveling the playing field for interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers, which are increasingly popular with consumers.

Interconnected VoIP providers – defined as those capable of placing and receiving calls to and from the traditional phone network — currently must get numbers from third-party carriers. Allowing these providers to go directly to numbering administrators for phone numbers will benefit consumers by reducing costs and promoting additional competition from these innovative VoIP providers, the FCC found.

The Order adopted unanimously by the FCC also facilitates the ongoing transitions in communications technology that are sweeping the nation and improves FCC oversight of the numbering system. These improvements will help ensure that calls connect nationwide and provide more accountability in and protections for the numbering system.

Nearly one-third of all retail local telephone connections – about 48 million connections – were served by VoIP at the end of 2013. Giving VoIP providers direct access to numbers will promote competitive choice for consumers, including by speeding the transfer of a customer’s existing number to or from an interconnected VoIP provider, known as “porting” a number.

The Order also imposes a number of conditions to protect and enhance the security and integrity of the numbering system. Conditions will also ensure that all numbers distributed are used, protecting the system from running out of phone numbers.

Action by the Commission June 18, 2015 by Report and Order (FCC 15-70). Chairman Wheeler, Commissioners Clyburn, Rosenworcel, Pai and O’Rielly. Chairman Wheeler, Commissioners Clyburn, Rosenworcel, Pai and O’Rielly issuing statements.

Posted on June 18, 2015, 8:20 pm By
Categories: FCC News
Boehner Denounces FCC’s ‘Secret Plan to Put the Federal Government in Control of the Internet’

The future of the Internet should remain free and open. Government bureaucrats claiming “net neutrality” should keep their hands off. 

John A. Boehner (bay-ner) serves as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. Elected to represent the Eighth Congressional District of Ohio for a 12th term in November 2012, John is a national leader in the drive for a smaller, less costly, and more accountable federal government. - See more at: http://www.speaker.gov/about#sthash.cyfqqSik.dpuf

John A. Boehner (bay-ner) serves as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.

WASHINGTON, DC – February 26, 2015 – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) released the following statement today after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to impose new federal “net neutrality” regulations that would undermine a free and open Internet and hurt our economy:

“Overzealous government bureaucrats should keep their hands off the Internet. Today, three appointed by President Obama approved a secret plan to put the federal government in control of the Internet. The text of the proposal is being kept hidden from the American people and their elected representatives in Congress, and the FCC’s chairman has so far refused to testify about it. This total lack of transparency and accountability does not bode well for the future of a free and open Internet, not to mention the millions of Americans who use it every day.

“The FCC is supposed to be an independent agency, but the White House has once again meddled where it shouldn’t in order to advance what one commissioner has described as ‘a solution that won’t work to a problem that doesn’t exist.’ And like ObamaCare, the Obama administration’s plan for the Internet may not work, but it will create years of uncertainty and lead to expensive legal fights. More mandates and regulations on American innovation and entrepreneurship are not the answer, and that’s why Republicans will continue our efforts to stop this misguided scheme.”

NOTE: Nearly a year ago, House Republican leaders sent a letter to the FCC’s chairman urging him to drop consideration of federal net neutrality regulations. In November, Speaker Boehner warned that they would hurt our economy.

Good news: FCC promotes broadband competition

You may have heard that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) just put in place rules to protect ‘net neutrality.’ That’s big news. But there was another important decision today to help keep the Internet competitive and open — and while it’s getting less attention, it may be just as important.

As part of its agenda to encourage meaningful competition in high speed broadband for all Americans, the FCC supported allowing cities to make their own decisions about investing in new broadband networks. More needs to be done to drive innovation in bigger, faster broadband, but this is a good step. Click on the image below to take action.

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FCC Adopts Strong, Sustainable Rules to Protect The Open Internet

The Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to implement new net neutrality rules designed to make sure Internet service providers treat all legal content equally. The historic vote on the proposal by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler elicited hearty cheers from a wide array of technology companies and consumer groups while setting the table for further legal challenges from Internet service providers. The controversial proceedings that led up to the vote generated heated lobbying in Washington and public clamor on social media, all in efforts to steer the future direction of the rules that guide Internet traffic.

“No one … should control free and open access to the Internet,” Wheeler said to applause from the standing room-only crowd gathered before the FCC panel. “It’s the most powerful and pervasive platform on the planet. The Internet is too important to allow broadband providers to make the rules.”

The Commission, once and for all, enacts strong, sustainable rules, grounded in multiple sources of legal authority, to ensure that Americans reap the economic, social, and civic benefits of an Open Internet today and into the future.  These new rules are guided by three principles:  America’s broadband networks must be fast, fair and open—principles shared by the overwhelming majority of the nearly 4 million commenters who participated in the FCC’s Open Internet proceeding. Complete presss release can be viewed at http://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-adopts-strong-sustainable-rules-protect-open-internet

Bright Line Rules: The first three rules ban practices that are known to harm the Open Internet:

  • No Blocking: broadband providers may not block access to legal content, applications, services,
    or non-harmful devices.
  • No Throttling: broadband providers may not impair or degrade lawful Internet traffic on the
    basis of content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices.
  • No Paid Prioritization: broadband providers may not favor some lawful Internet traffic over
    other lawful traffic in exchange for consideration of any kind—in other words, no “fast lanes.”

This rule also bans ISPs from prioritizing content and services of their affiliates. The bright-line rules against blocking and throttling will prohibit harmful practices that target specific
applications or classes of applications. And the ban on paid prioritization ensures that there will be no fast lanes.

A Standard for Future Conduct: Because the Internet is always growing and changing, there must be a known standard by which to address any concerns that arise with new practices. The Order establishes that ISPs cannot “unreasonably interfere with or unreasonably disadvantage” the ability of consumers to select, access, and use the lawful content, applications, services, or devices of their choosing; or of edge providers to make lawful content, applications, services, or devices available to consumers. Today’s Order ensures that the Commission will have authority to address questionable practices on a case-by-case basis, and provides guidance in the form of factors on how the Commission will apply the standard
in practice.

Has the FCC really Adopted a Strong, Sustainable Rules to Protect The Open Internet? My opinion will be posted tomorrow on how this new ruling will affect businesses and consumers.

Questions Remain Ahead: Net Neutrality FCC Vote is Today

tom wheelerI have never liked Tom Wheeler, Chairman of the FCC. I always thought he was on the wrong side of the argument when he was Chairman of the National Cable Television Association. I just don’t trust the man and now he is going to plop down a 317-page+ piece of regulation that most people interpret as “net neutrality”. Guess what, it’s not.

Posted on CNET are 8 burning questions about Net neutrality you should read. CNET breaks down everything you need to know about complicated, but critical, issue.

I think everyone wants net neutrality, but for some reason I don’t think it takes more than 300 pages to get the job done. What is he trying to fix, and more important what is broken? The FCC is voting during an open meeting today, Thursday February 26th at 10:30 am ET on whether to reclassify broadband access as a telecommunications service under Title II which by the way is very outdated, was originally written in 1988 before the internet was readily available to the public.

  • Will it contain fees?
  • Will it contain restrictions?
  • Will the Internet be regulated?
  • Will it impinge upon some content?
  • Will it add operating expense to your business?
  • Will it include net neutrality? I guarantee it, I just don’t know the flavor.

I found another great post on NPR everyone should read The FCC’s Net Neutrality Vote: Here’s What You Need To Know

I can’t write a blog outlining the horrors or even the beautiful free skies of net neutrality until I see the regulation. I can’t because I am not an FCC commissioner and only their eyes are allowed to see.

FCC wants to regulate Internet like phone service

tom wheelerThe chairman of the Federal Communications Commission is proposing unprecedented rules to regulate Internet service providers — including mobile broadband — like a public utility, in a far-reaching move that could be one of the most divisive plans to emerge from the agency in years.

In an op-ed in Wired magazine posted online, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said his plan would regulate Internet service much like phone service or any other public utility by applying Title II of the 1934 Communications Act.

In doing so, the agency would prohibit providers from slowing down, speeding up or blocking web content.

“I am submitting to my colleagues the strongest open internet protections ever proposed by the FCC,” he wrote. “My proposal assures the rights of internet users to go where they want, when they want, and the rights of innovators to introduce new products without asking anyone’s permission.”

Net neutrality is the idea that Internet providers should not move some content faster than others or enter into paid agreements with companies such as Netflix to prioritize their data. Advocates for this approach say it would keep the Internet free and open — making content equally available to everyone and treating the Internet as a pipeline that must not restrict access.

“Reclassifying the Internet as a utility — equally accessible to all — is hugely popular with voters of all political stripes, who don’t want old corporations writing the rules,” Progressive Change Campaign Committee co-founder Adam Green said in a statement praising Wheeler’s plan.

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FCC Order Increases E-rate Program by $1.5 Billion Annually

New FCC Order Increases E-rate Program by $1.5 Billion Annually, and Introduces a Number of New Changes Including “Equalizing” Treatment of Lit and Dark Fiber

On December 19, the FCC released the text of its Second Report and Order in its E-rate modernization proceeding. The new Order increased the annual spending cap on the E-rate program by an additional $1.5 billion—taking the cap from $2.4 billion to $3.9 billion per year starting in the 2015-2016 funding year. This increase was expected after its prior order in July announced a new two-year initiative to fund deployment of WiFi but stopped short of raising the cap. The FCC predicts that requests for funding will “not . . . immediately” reach the new cap, although it notes that it is not possible to “perfectly predict” what levels of funding school and libraries will seek in upcoming funding years. (The new Order also extends the $1 billion annual WiFi initiative for an additional three years, without explicitly noting whether those funds are subject to the overall cap.)

Among the key assumptions driving the FCC’s cost model are that there will be ever-increasing demand for bandwidth (driven in part by the FCC’s new speed goals), and that build-out costs for E-rate supported services will range from $600-800 million annually. It predicts that increased demand for bandwidth will continue to increase by “up to” 50% annually, which will only be somewhat mitigated by a 10% predicted annual decline in per megabit pricing. Other assumed mitigating factors are cost savings the FCC hopes to achieve through its recent reform efforts, including the phase out of voice services. Elimination of support for voice services is estimated to save the program approximately $3 billion over the next five years.

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