Friday, June 21, 2013

FCC Slow-Moving Forbearance Process Isn't Getting Any Faster

My March 14 blog "FCC Opts for Delay over Deregulation in Forbearance Process," I cited a dozen sorry examples of agency delay in deciding forbearance petitions. At the time of posting, two significant petitions were pending—a USTelecom petition seeking relief from 17 categories of legacy voice service regulations and a CenturyLink relief from enforcement of legacy regulations with respect to its enterprise broadband services. And I observed the FCC granted itself 90-day extensions in reviewing both of those pending petitions. 
Ultimately, the FCC's stuck to its delay-prone pattern. The final bylines for both petitions could just as well be added to the dozen examples I cited earlier. To wit:
  • USTelecom Forbearance Order (2013), granting, in part forbearance from legacy voice services regulations (petition filed, Feb. 16, 2012; order granting relief, in part, and granting extension, Feb. 19, 2013; final order adopted, May 10, 2013; final order released, May 17, 2013)
  • CenturyLink Broadband Enterprise Petition (2012-3) seeking relief from legacy regulations with respect to enterprise broadband services (petition filed, Feb. 23, 2012; extension granted, Feb. 22, 2013; order requiring additional information and public notice requesting data, March 5; petition to withdraw granted, March 20)
This is a sorry addendum to make, particularly in the case of CenturyLink, which sought relief identical to that which was granted to other providers through the FCC's Enterprise Broadband Orders.