All service providers currently participating in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), as well as those planning to participate, should take note of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) new rules requiring providers to submit 103 separate pieces of information as part of the agency’s ACP Transparency Data Collection.
As JSI previously reported, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act mandated that the FCC develop rules to help the agency determine the value of the affordable connectivity benefit. On November 23, 2022, the FCC adopted a Fourth Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking establishing the new ACP Transparency Data Collection reporting requirement, which would collect information on the price, subscription rates, and plans of the covered ACP participating providers.
To implement those rules, the FCC is developing an online portal where ACP participating providers will electronically submit all of the requested data.
Where We Are Now
Under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), if a new rule imposes an information-collection burden on the public, then the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) must review and approve the rule before the FCC can begin collecting the data.
Typically, that involves a separate notice and comment process (with 30 days allotted for comments and 60 days for reply comments) that is recorded in the Federal Register. The OMB approval process can then take approximately 120 days.
OMB is currently reviewing the ACP Transparency Data Collection rules, and on March 14, 2023, as required by the PRA, the FCC published a notice in the Federal Register seeking comment on the proposed ACP information-collection process.
What the FCC Is Proposing
Although the FCC has indicated that there will be no cost to participating providers to comply with the collection requirements, the agency has also estimated that it will take providers approximately 21 hours to collect and submit their data each year.
In a draft version of the data fields to be collected through the online ACP Transparency Data Collection portal, the FCC has proposed that providers complete 103 separate data fields, one of which is the unique identifier for each broadband plan, which is the same number that providers will need to include in the new broadband consumer labels.
How This Impacts Your Business
Comments on the ACP Transparency Data Collection rules are due on or before May 15, 2023. As this will be participating providers’ final opportunity to raise their concerns and let OMB know how compliance with the ACP data collection will impact their businesses, JSI strongly encourages all interested parties to begin preparing their comments as soon as possible.
If you would like JSI’s assistance with the preparation of those comments or you have questions concerning any other ACP-related matter, then please contact Lans Chase (Lans.Chase@jsitel.com) or Dounia Chikhoune (Dounia.Chikhoune@jsitel.com) by simply clicking the button below. Additionally, if you would like to learn more about JSI’s ACP Compliance Package, then please visit the following page today for complete details: https://jsitel.com/acpcompliance.