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International Visitors Program

The Federal Communications Commission's International Visitors Program (IVP) is part of the International Bureau. The International Bureau was established on October 11, 1994. It handles all international telecommunications and satellite programs and policies. The Bureau also has the principal representational role on behalf of the Commission at international conferences, meetings, and negotiations.

Purpose of the International Visitors Program
The International Visitors Program enables foreign delegations to interact in informal discussions with FCC personnel who provide legal, technical, and economic perspectives on a wide range of communications issues involving broadcasting, cablecasting, and telecommunications. Among the issues discussed during IVP briefings are the FCC's organizational structure, its multiple roles as an independent regulatory agency, including licensing, enforcement, and rule making procedures, and its statutory powers, regulations, and current proceedings. Such interdisciplinary exchanges are intended to benefit all parties who have a unique opportunity to gain insight into each others' regulatory agencies, policies, and procedures. These meetings are increasingly important as telecommunications networks become global in scope and many countries seek to modify their regulatory approaches to foster privatization and competition in the telecommunications marketplace.  IVP briefings assist in this process by providing delegations with an opportunity to examine firsthand the U.S. regulatory model as one possible approach. Furthermore, IVP briefings provide useful opportunities for exchanging information and perspectives as the U.S. government and other governments negotiate international agreements to reflect these marketplace and regulatory changes.

During the course of a year the IVP conducts briefings for an average of 400-500 visitors from approximately 100 countries.

Information Required to Schedule A Briefing
Since each delegation's visit is unique and requires considerable research and logistical planning, the party requesting a briefing should provide the IVP with the following information:

  1. the name, professional title, organizational affiliation, mailing address, telephone number, fax number, and e-mail address of the party requesting the briefing;
  2. the country or countries represented by the delegation;
  3. a preferred and alternate date and time for the briefing;
  4. background materials about the delegation, including the name, professional title, organizational affiliation, and biographical information or resume of each delegate. Also provide the following passport information for each member of the delegation: country issuing the passport, name as it appears on the passport, passport number, and passport expiration date.     
  5. the issues or specific questions the delegation would like to discuss, ranked in descending order of importance;
  6. briefing material or the address of a website discussing the current status of communications technology and regulation in the country or countries represented by the delegation;
  7. whether the delegation requires any audio-visual equipment for making a presentation to FCC staff;
  8. whether the delegation speaks English or will be using an interpreter, and whether the interpreter will provide simultaneous or consecutive translation (delegations must provide their own interpreters and interpreting equipment);
  9. the name and professional title of any interpreters or other persons accompanying the delegation;
  10. the name, telephone number, and e-mail address of a local contact for the delegation in the Washington area in the event of any last minute schedule changes;
  11. whether any member of the delegation has any disabilities or other needs that require reasonable accommodations.

How To Request A Briefing
Parties who would like to schedule briefings at the FCC should make their requests in writing at least two (2) weeks in advance of the requested briefing date. This time period is critical to enable the IVP to arrange for appropriate speakers from the FCC staff and coordinate the necessary logistics. Given the large number of requests for briefings, the IVP cannot accommodate all requests. Representatives from telecommunications regulatory bodies receive priority for briefings. Students and commercial tour groups are not eligible for IVP briefings.

All requests for briefings should be submitted in writing to:

Robert Somers
DIRECTOR
International Visitors Program
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
TEL#: (202) 418-1483
FAX#: (202) 418-2818 or (202) 418-0398
e-mail:  Robert.Somers@fcc.gov

Please e-mail briefing requests whenever possible. If this is not possible, then please fax requests.

Important Reminders

Location of FCC
The FCC headquarters is located in the Portals II Complex at 445 12th Street, S.W. in Washington, D.C., between Independence Avenue and the Southwest Freeway. Since Washington is divided into quadrants with identical addresses in each quadrant, please make sure that your delegation comes to the correct quadrant of the city (the Southwest or SW quadrant).

How to Get to the FCC
Parking near the FCC is extremely limited, so taxis, vans, limousines, or public transportation are strongly recommended. The nearest Metro (subway) stations are Smithsonian on the Orange and Blue lines and L'Enfant Plaza on the Orange and Blue and Yellow and Greenlines. Detailed directions listing.

Hotel Reservations, Local Transportation Arrangements, and Washington, D.C. Tourist Information
The FCC is not able to make hotel reservations or transportation arrangements for visitors. Visitors may wish to contact their embassies in Washington for assistance is selecting hotels, making hotel reservations, and arranging transportation in Washington. Some embassies may be able to arrange special diplomatic rates for hotels and local transportation. Contact information for embassies in Washington can be found at www.embassy.org. For an extensive listing of hotels in the Washington area and tourist information about Washington, visitors may wish to check the web site for the Washington D.C. Convention & Tourism Corporation at www.washington.org

When and Where To Report for Briefings
The delegation should report to the security desk inside the 12th Street entrance of the FCC at least 15 minutes before the briefing is scheduled to begin. Robert Somers, Director of the IVP, or another FCC staff person, will meet your delegation at the security desk.

Photo ID
Due to security requirements, every delegate and person accompanying the delegation must bring a passport or other photo identification.

Security Desk Procedures
All visitors to the FCC must go through a security checkpoint and x-ray machine before entering the FCC building.  All electronic equipment must be opened and inspected at the security checkpoint. To expedite the security checkpoint process, visitors may wish to minimize the amount of metal and electronic equipment they bring to the FCC.

Use of Audio and Visual Recording Devices
Visitors are requested not to make audio or visual recordings of briefing sessions.

 

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