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Localism Hearings; Captioning Exemption Petitions

To: Consumer Contact List
From: Karen Peltz Strauss, RERC-TA
Re: Consumer Contact List - Captioning Exemption Petition
Date: January 22, 2004

Below are a few items of interest:

1. Localism Hearings.

REMINDER: Next week, there will be "localism" hearings in San Antonio where consumers can speak to the FCC about problems they are having concerning access to television (including television emergencies). More information can be obtained at the FCC's Localism Task Force website:, or at the following contacts:

(202)418-7777, email: News Media Contact: Michelle Russo
at (202) 418-2358 or Meribeth McCarrick at (202) 418-0654


For those of you who are following this issue, there have been a couple of minor developments:

First, a petition for the FCC not to impose access charges on VoIP providers has been filed with the FCC. The FCC has put that petition out for public comment. Here is more info:

Notice, WC Docket No. 03-266, FR Doc 04-666
01/13/04 The FCC has published a notice in the Federal Register setting the comment and reply dates for Level 3 Communication's Petition for Forbearance from the assessment of access charges on voice-embedded IP communications. Comments are due on March 1, 2004. Reply Comments are due on March 31, 2004.

Released: 01/02/2004. PLEADING CYCLE ESTABLISHED FOR PETITION OF LEVEL 3 FOR FORBEARANCE FROM ASSESSMENT OF ACCESS CHARGES ON VOICE-EMBEDDED IP COMMUNICATIONS. (DA No. 04-1). (Dkt No 03-266). Comments Due: 03/01/2004. Reply Comments Due: 03/31/2004. WCB. Contact: Jennifer McKee at (202) 418-1530 <> <> <

Second, Senator John E. Sununu (R-NH) released a statement at the 2004 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas announcing his intent to introduce legislation that would prohibit regulation of VoIP by the states or the FCC. Sununu is quoted as saying, "Unfortunately, if left unattended, I'm afraid the benefits of VoIP will be smothered by state and federal regulators. A clear preemptive remedy is needed now: Congress must establish preeminence of federal authority in this area and provide major direction for any action by the Federal Communications Commission." He did not indicate when he planned to introduce the legislation.

3. Universal Service.

For those of you that follow universal service issues, you should be aware of the following new appointment of Lisa Zaina as the head of USAC. Lisa had been the senior legal advisor for FCC Commissioner Adelstein. Years ago - in the late 1980s, she helped to draft the relay section of the ADA in her capacity as legal counsel for the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC):

STMT. News Media Contact: Drema Johnson at (202) 418-2300 CMMR

4. Captioning Exemptions.

Additional captioning exemptions have been filed.

This page last updated:January 22, 2004

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