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August 02, 2015 2:45 PM ET

Commercial Services and Supplies

Company Overview of Federal Communications Commission

Company Overview

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent United States agency that regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable. The institution is based in Washington, District of Columbia with additional offices in Illinois, Missouri, California, Michigan, and New York.

445 12th Street S.W.

Washington, DC 20554

United States

Phone:

888-225-5322

Fax:

202-418-0710

Key Executives for Federal Communications Commission

Acting General Counsel and Interim Director of Technology Transitions Policy Task Force
Head of The Office of Media Relations and Communications Director
Senior Deputy Chief of Media Bureau
Acting Inspector General
Chief of Staff
Compensation as of Fiscal Year 2015.

Federal Communications Commission Key Developments

TerraCom, Inc. and YourTel America, Inc. to Pay $3.5 Million to Resolve Consumer Privacy & Lifeline Investigations

The Federal Communications Commission's Enforcement Bureau has entered into a $3.5 million settlement with TerraCom, Inc. and YourTel America, Inc., resolving an investigation into whether the companies failed to properly protect the confidentiality of personal information they received from more than 300,000 consumers. This settlement also resolves the FCC's investigation into YourTel's failure to comply with Commission instructions to remove ineligible Lifeline subscribers which resulted in over-billing of the federal program. A thorough Enforcement Bureau investigation found that the companies vendor stored consumers' personal information on unprotected servers that were accessible over the Internet. The companies' failure to provide reasonable protection for their customers' personal information - including names, addresses, Social Security numbers, driver's licenses, and other sensitive information - resulted in a data breach that permitted anyone with a search engine to gain unauthorized access to the information. As a condition of settlement, the companies will pay a $3.5 million civil penalty. The companies will also notify all consumers whose information was subject to unauthorized access, provide complimentary credit monitoring services for all affected individuals, and undertake additional measures to mitigate any potential harm to consumers. This information had been collected by the companies to demonstrate eligibility for the Lifeline program, which is a Universal Service Fund program that provides discounted phone services for low-income consumers. The settlement also resolves an investigation into YourTel's failure to timely de-enroll Lifeline subscribers. In 2012, the Commission instructed YourTel to de-enroll subscribers who were ineligible for Lifeline-supported service. The company continued to provide this service to a number of ineligible subscribers during 2012 and 2013. As a result, the company overbilled the Lifeline program by seeking reimbursement for serving those subscribers. Additionally, the companies have committed to improve their privacy and data security practices in concrete ways. They will conduct an assessment of any other privacy risks, implement a security program to protect written information, maintain strict oversight of their vendors, and assure that a senior corporate manage is a certified privacy professional. They will also implement a data breach response plan, train their employees on privacy and security awareness, and file regular compliance reports with the Commission. The failure to reasonably secure customers' proprietary information, including their personal data, violates a carrier's duty under Section 222 of the Communications Act, and also constitutes an unjust and unreasonable practice in violation of Section 201 of the Act. The settlement with YourTel also requires the company to implement strong measures to improve its compliance with Lifeline program rules. YourTel must designate a senior corporate manager to serve as a compliance officer, develop a comprehensive compliance plan, and report regularly to the Enforcement Bureau on compliance, as well as take other steps designed to ensure the company does not overbill the Lifeline program.

The Federal Communications Commission Announces Appointment of Mike Dabbs as Director of Legislative Affairs

The Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler announced the appointment of Mike Dabbs as Director of the FCC Office of Legislative Affairs. Mr. Dabbs and his team will lead the Commission's communications with the U.S. House and Senate. Prior to joining the Commission, Mr. Dabbs led U.S. federal government affairs for Applied Materials Inc.

North Carolina Department of Utilities Commission Issues Order Granting Numbering Resources

BellSouth Telecommunications, LLC d/b/a AT&T North Carolina submitted a request to Neustar, acting as the Number Pooling Administrator, for the assignment of four thousand number blocks in the Charlotte rate center to address the needs of one of its customers, Babson Capital Management. Federal Communications Commission rules require that a service provider must be within six months of exhaust of its numbering resources and have achieved a 75% utilization of its numbering resources in the rate center before Neustar may grant additional numbering resources. The FCC has delegated authority to state commissions to grant an exception to the rate center months-to-exhaust and/or utilization criteria in instances wherein a service provider has not met the criteria but has a known customer in need of numbering resources. Numbering Resource Optimization, Implementation of the Local Competition Provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Third Report and Order and Second Order on Reconsideration, FCC 01-362, 17 FCC Rcd 252 (2001). After careful consideration, the commission concludes that Neustar should provide AT&T the numbering resources required to meet the needs of its customer. The commission finds that AT&T, as a telecommunications service provider, should be allowed to meet the specific requirements of its customer. It is, therefore, ordered as follows: that Neustar shall provide AT&T the specific numbering resources it has requested in order to meet the service requirements of its customer; that the numbering resources assigned by AT&T to its customer shall be done in a sequential manner in order to optimize the use of these resources; that these numbering resources shall be subject to reclamation if not used within the allowable reservation period according to industry guidelines.

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