FCC Announces Anticipated Renewal Of Its Consumer Advisory Committee And Solicits Applications For Membership On The Committee

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Through a public notice yesterdaythe Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the anticipated renewal of its Consumer Advisory Committee (CAC) and solicited applications for membership, subject to renewal of the Committee’s charter. It is expected that the two-year membership term on the Committee, would commence on October 22, 2016. Applications for membership are due by 11:59 P.M., July 25, 2016.

Per the public notice:

“The mission of the Committee is to make recommendations to the Commission regarding consumer issues within the jurisdiction of the Commission and to facilitate the participation of consumers (including underserved populations, such as Native Americans, persons living in rural areas, older persons, people with disabilities, and persons for whom English is not their primary language) in proceedings before the Commission. The Committee may consider issues including, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • Consumer protection and education;
  • Implementation of Commission rules and consumer participation in the FCC rulemaking process; and,
  • The impact of new and emerging communication technologies (including availability and affordability of broadband service and Universal Service programs).

The duties of the Committee include providing guidance to the Commission, to gather data and information, and to perform those analyses that are necessary to respond to the questions or matters before it.”

In November 2000, the Committee was established for a period of two years from the original charter date. Following expiration of the original charter, the Committee has been renewed several times. The FCC anticipates that the Committee will hold the final meeting of its current term in September or October 2016. Thereafter the Committee’s charter and all member appointments will terminate on October 21, 2016. However, the FCC expects that the charter will be renewed effective October 22, 2016 for another two-year term, with membership appointments or re-appointments starting on that date.

The Commission seeks applications from interested corporations, nonprofits, or other entities, from both the public and private sectors, that wish to be considered for membership. Selections will be made on the basis of factors such as expertise and diversity of viewpoints that are necessary to effectively address the questions before the Committee.

The Commission is particularly interested in receiving applications from individuals and organizations in the following categories:

  • Organizations and other entities representing consumers (including underserved populations, such as Native Americans, persons living in rural areas, older persons, people with disabilities, and persons for whom English is not their primary language);
  • State and/or local government agencies and organizations;
  • Federal government agencies;
  • Communications service providers and organizations representing communications service providers, including wireline and wireless communications service providers, broadcast radio and television licensees, cable television operators and other multichannel video programming distributors, satellite communications service providers, interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol and other IP-enabled service providers, and Internet Service Providers; and,
  • Qualified representatives of other stakeholders and interested parties with relevant expertise. (Emphasis added by insideARM)

Applications should be received by the Commission no later than 11:59 P.M. EST, July 25, 2016. Submit via an online application form (preferred) or mail to the Federal Communications Commission, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Attn.: Scott Marshall, 445 12th Street S.W., Room 3-A633, Washington, DC 20554.

Applications from corporations, nonprofits, or other entities should include the following information:

  • The name of the organizational applicant applying for Committee membership (including whether the organizational applicant has previously served on the Committee);
  • The name of the organizational applicant’s primary representative, including title, postal mailing address, e-mail address, and telephone number;
  • The name of the organizational applicant’s alternate representative, including title, postal mailing address, e-mail address, and telephone number;
  • A statement of the interests represented by the organizational applicant (e.g., consumer advocate, disability advocate, government regulator, tribal government, industry, trade association etc.);
  • A statement indicating the willingness of the organizational applicant to serve a two-year term; attend at least three plenary Committee meetings per year in Washington D.C.; serve on at least one working group or subcommittee; and an acknowledgement that the organizational applicant will serve without reimbursement of travel expenses or payment of honoraria; and,
  • A narrative statement detailing the organizational applicant’s previous involvement concerning issues relevant to the Committee’s work and the applicant’s ability and willingness to contribute substantively to the Committee’s deliberations.

In the case of an individual applicant the application should include the following:

  • The individual applicant’s specific knowledge or expertise that is relevant to issues to be addressed by the Committee, including a statement that the individual applicant is not a registered lobbyist (as noted above, financial and other additional disclosures may also apply to individual applicants.);
  • A statement by the individual applicant indicating a willingness to serve on the Committee for a two-year term; a commitment to attend at least three (3) plenary one-day meetings per year in Washington, D.C.; a commitment to work on at least one working group or subcommittee; and an acknowledgement that the individual applicant will serve without reimbursement of travel expenses or payment of honoraria; and,
  • Whether the individual applicant has served on the Committee previously.

insideARM Perspective

insideARM encourages members of the ARM industry to participate in this process.  FCC activities have had a dramatic impact on the industry; It is important to present critical information to the commission.

The CAC met just last week — a video recording of the proceedings is available at https://www.fcc.gov/news-events/events/2016/06/consumer-advisory-committee-meeting

Among the topics on last week’s agenda was a discussion of the FCC’s proposed rules regulating federal debt collection calls. It would have been nice to have ARM industry representation on the CAC when that topic was addressed.

 

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Posted in Collection Laws and Regulations, TCPA .

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