By Telecom Law Monitor
By Order dated April 22, 2014, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) eliminated the effective competitive opportunities (“ECO”) Test applicable to certain foreign carriers and submarine cable landing licensees. Going forward, once the rule changes become effective, international Section 214 applications and cable landing license applications filed by foreign carriers or licensees or their affiliates that have market power in countries that are not members of the World Trade Organization (“WTO”) (such providers and licensees referred to as (“Affected Providers”)), as well as foreign carrier affiliation notifications filed by Affected Providers, will be reviewed by the FCC using a less burdensome process. Such filings will still be subject to interested party comment, United States Trade Representative (and potentially other federal agency) input, and the FCC power to request additional information as part of the FCC review of whether they are in the public interest. The Commission will also retain its dominant carrier safeguards and reporting requirements and its “no special concession” rules.