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FOLLOWING THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS INDUSTRY AND RELATED LEGAL TOPICS

Thursday, April 27, 2006

FCC Releases Proposed Rulemaking on DE Rules

On Wednesday the FCC released an FNPRM proposing revised rules regarding how bidding credits will be provided to "Designated entities" (DEs)(small and woman/minority owned small businesses or rural telcos). The FCC's proposed rules prohibit the awarding of DE credits to companies that have a "material relationship" with large in-region incumbent wireless companies, but the FCC is considering whether to expand the ban to other large companies like big manufacturers of equipment, cable companies or others. Some stakeholders who had urged reform of the DE rules are not at all happy with the revised rules, but the Chairman said in his statement that the revised rules will ensure that small businesses are able to compete in the upcoming spectrum auctions. Comment deadlines on the new rules have not been established yet.

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