FCC Seeks Comment on new International Authorization Proposals

The FCC this week released comment dates for its new international telecommunications service authorization proposals.[1] Most importantly, international authorization holders should be aware that the FCC is proposing new rules that:

1) Require carriers to renew, every 10 years, their international authorizations; or

2) In the alternative, would require all international authorization holders to periodically update information so the Commission can review the public interest and national security implications of those authorizations based on that updated information.

Among other proposed international authorization rules, the FCC also proposes to:

Cancel any authorizations of those international authorization holders that fail to respond to its one-time collection requirement, when it is implemented;

Adopt a new ownership reporting threshold that would require disclosure of certain 5% or greater direct and indirect equity and/or voting interests with respect to applications for international section 214 authority and modification, assignment, transfer of control, and renewal of international section 214 authority, noting the current 10% reporting threshold may not capture all foreign interests that may present national security, law enforcement, foreign policy, and/or trade policy concerns;

Require each applicant to provide information about its services, geographic markets, and facilities crossing the U.S. borders with Canada and Mexico (cross border facilities), and certify that their facilities-based equipment meets certain requirements;

Require all authorization holders to report their reportable ownership and other information on an ongoing basis, starting every three years after grant of a renewal application; and

Collect cross border international telecommunications facilities information by reporting the information sixty (60) days after the effective date established by the Office of International Affairs following i) the completion of review by the Office of Management and Budget, or ii) a determination by the Office of International Affairs that such review is not required.

Comments are due by August 31, 2023; and reply comments are due by October 2, 2023. If you have any questions or require additional information about the new international authorization proposals and new rules, please contact Dee Herman at [email protected].


[1] Review of International Section 214 Authorizations to Assess Evolving National Security, Law Enforcement, Foreign Policy, and Trade Policy Risks Order and NPRM, IB Docket No. 23-119 (released April 25, 2023).

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