November 21, 2023
As we enter the holiday season, the Commission is planning to close out the year with a flourish. Here’s what to expect at our December open meeting.
- We’re going after junk fees that harm consumers and hamper competition. Consumers can feel overwhelmed by fees, and that certainly includes cable and satellite TV subscribers. The Commission will consider a rulemaking to eliminate early termination fees, which make it costlier for consumer to switch service, and billing cycle fees, which require consumers to pay for services they no longer receive.
- We’re cracking down on illegal robotexts. We will consider rules to allow the FCC to “red flag” certain phone numbers and require mobile carriers to block texts from those numbers, in addition to making sure do-not-call list protections also apply to text messaging. The proposed rules would also prohibit lead generators, texters, and callers from using a single consumer consent to inundate consumers with unwanted texts and calls, closing a loophole that enables unwanted messages.
- We’re making smartphones more accessible to consumers with hearing loss. The Commission will consider a proposal that tentatively concludes that a 100% hearing aid compatibility requirement for wireless handset models is an achievable objective and seeks comment on proposals to implement this requirement.
- We’re removing barriers to broadband deployment. The Commission will consider rules to make the pole attachment process faster, more transparent, and more cost-effective. We will also vote to seek comment on ways to further facilitate the approval process for pole attachment applications.
- We’re improving health care in rural communities. The Commission will vote on multiple administrative improvements to our Rural Health Care Program, which helps rural providers afford the broadband connectivity needed to support telehealth and telemedicine services.
- We’re protecting consumer data. The Commission will consider updates to our 16-year-old data breach notification rules that would hold phone companies accountable for safeguarding sensitive customer information, while providing consumers new tools to protect themselves in the event that their data is compromised.
- We’re protecting local TV programming. The Commission will consider rules to implement the Low Power Protection Act and provide eligible low-power television stations with an opportunity to apply for primary status, better protecting their ability to deliver local programming to underserved audiences.
- We will also consider an item from our Enforcement Bureau.