47 CFR § 63.71 - Procedures for discontinuance, reduction or impairment of service by domestic carriers.

§ 63.71 Procedures for discontinuance, reduction or impairment of service by domestic carriers.

Any domestic carrier that seeks to discontinue, reduce or impair service shall be subject to the following procedures:

(a) The carrier shall notify all affected customers of the planned discontinuance, reduction, or impairment of service and shall notify and submit a copy of its application to the public utility commission and to the Governor of the State in which the discontinuance, reduction, or impairment of service is proposed; to any federally-recognized Tribal Nations with authority over the Tribal lands in which the discontinuance, reduction, or impairment of service is proposed; and also to the Secretary of Defense, Attn. Special Assistant for Telecommunications, Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301. Notice shall be in writing to each affected customer unless the Commission authorizes in advance, for good cause shown, another form of notice. For purposes of this section, notice by email constitutes notice in writing. Notice shall include the following:

(1) Name and address of carrier;

(2) Date of planned service discontinuance, reduction or impairment;

(3) Points of geographic areas of service affected;

(4) Brief description of type of service affected; and

(5) One of the following statements:

(i) If the carrier is non-dominant with respect to the service being discontinued, reduced or impaired, the notice shall state: The FCC will normally authorize this proposed discontinuance of service (or reduction or impairment) unless it is shown that customers would be unable to receive service or a reasonable substitute from another carrier or that the public convenience and necessity is otherwise adversely affected. If you wish to object, you should file your comments as soon as possible, but no later than 15 days after the Commission releases public notice of the proposed discontinuance. You may file your comments electronically through the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System using the docket number established in the Commission's public notice for this proceeding, or you may address them to the Federal Communications Commission, Wireline Competition Bureau, Competition Policy Division, Washington, DC 20554, and include in your comments a reference to the § 63.71 Application of (carrier's name). Comments should include specific information about the impact of this proposed discontinuance (or reduction or impairment) upon you or your company, including any inability to acquire reasonable substitute service.

(ii) If the carrier is dominant with respect to the service being discontinued, reduced or impaired, the notice shall state: The FCC will normally authorize this proposed discontinuance of service (or reduction or impairment) unless it is shown that customers would be unable to receive service or a reasonable substitute from another carrier or that the public convenience and necessity is otherwise adversely affected. If you wish to object, you should file your comments as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days after the Commission releases public notice of the proposed discontinuance. You may file your comments electronically through the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System using the docket number established in the Commission's public notice for this proceeding, or you may address them to the Federal Communications Commission, Wireline Competition Bureau, Competition Policy Division, Washington, DC 20554, and include in your comments a reference to the § 63.71 Application of (carrier's name). Comments should include specific information about the impact of this proposed discontinuance (or reduction or impairment) upon you or your company, including any inability to acquire reasonable substitute service.

(6) For applications to discontinue, reduce, or impair an existing retail service as part of a technology transition, as defined in § 63.60(i), except for applications meeting the requirements of paragraph (f)(2)(ii) of this section, in order to be eligible for automatic grant under paragraph (f) of this section:

(i) A statement that any service offered in place of the service being discontinued, reduced, or impaired may not provide line power;

(ii) The information required by § 12.5(d)(1) of this chapter;

(iii) A description of any security responsibilities the customer will have regarding the replacement service; and

(iv) A list of the steps the customer may take to ensure safe use of the replacement service.

(b) If a carrier uses email to provide notice to affected customers, it must comply with the following requirements in addition to the requirements generally applicable to the notice:

(1) The carrier must have previously obtained express, verifiable, prior approval from retail customers to send notices via email regarding their service in general, or planned discontinuance, reduction, or impairment in particular;

(2) A carrier must ensure that the subject line of the message clearly and accurately identifies the subject matter of the email; and

(3) Any email notice returned to the carrier as undeliverable will not constitute the provision of notice to the customer.

(c) The carrier shall file with this Commission, on or after the date on which notice has been given to all affected customers, an application which shall contain the following:

(1) Caption - “Section 63.71 Application”;

(2) Information listed in § 63.71(a) (1) through (4) above;

(3) Brief description of the dates and methods of notice to all affected customers;

(4) Whether the carrier is considered dominant or non-dominant with respect to the service to be discontinued, reduced or impaired; and

(5) Any other information the Commission may require.

(d) [Reserved]

(e) Discontinuance applications and all related attachments to the application filed under this section shall be filed through the “Submit a Non-Docketed Filing” module of the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System.

(f)

(1) The application to discontinue, reduce, or impair service, if filed by a domestic, non-dominant carrier, or any carrier meeting the requirements of paragraph (f)(2)(ii) of this section, shall be automatically granted on the 31st day after its filing with the Commission without any Commission notification to the applicant unless the Commission has notified the applicant that the grant will not be automatically effective. The application to discontinue, reduce, or impair service, if filed by a domestic, dominant carrier, shall be automatically granted on the 60th day after its filing with the Commission without any Commission notification to the applicant unless the Commission has notified the applicant that the grant will not be automatically effective. For purposes of this section, an application will be deemed filed on the date the Commission releases public notice of the filing.

(2) An application to discontinue, reduce, or impair an existing retail service as part of a technology transition, as defined in § 63.60(i), may be automatically granted only if:

(i) The applicant provides affected customers with the notice required under paragraph (a)(6) of this section, and the application contains the showing or certification described in § 63.602(b); or

(ii) The applicant:

(A) Offers a stand-alone interconnected VoIP service, as defined in § 9.3 of this chapter, throughout the affected service area, and

(B) At least one other alternative stand-alone facilities-based wireline or wireless voice service is available from another unaffiliated provider throughout the affected service area.

(iii) For purposes of this paragraph (f)(2), “stand-alone” means that a customer is not required to purchase a separate broadband service to access the voice service.

(g) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, a carrier is not required to file an application to discontinue, reduce, or impair a service for which the requesting carrier has had no customers or reasonable requests for service during the 30-day period immediately preceding the discontinuance.

(h) An application to discontinue, reduce, or impair an existing retail service as part of a technology transition, as defined in § 63.60(i), except for an application meeting the requirements of paragraphs (f)(2)(ii) and (k) of this section, shall contain the information required by § 63.602. The certification or showing described in § 63.602(b) is only required if the applicant seeks eligibility for automatic grant under paragraph (f)(2)(i) of this section.

(i) An application to discontinue, reduce, or impair a service filed by a competitive local exchange carrier in response to a copper retirement notice filed pursuant to § 51.333 of this chapter shall be automatically granted on the effective date of the copper retirement; provided that:

(1) The competitive local exchange carrier submits the application to the Commission for filing at least 40 days prior to the copper retirement effective date; and

(2) The application includes a certification, executed by an officer or other authorized representative of the applicant and meeting the requirements of § 1.16 of this chapter, that the copper retirement is the basis for the application.

(j) Procedures for discontinuance, reduction or impairment of international services are in § 63.19.

(k) Notwithstanding paragraphs (a)(5), (a)(6), and (f) of this section, the following requirements apply to applications for legacy voice services or data services operating at speeds lower than 1.544 Mbps:

(1) Where any carrier, dominant or non-dominant, seeks to:

(i)Grandfather any legacy voice service;

(ii)Grandfather any data service operating at speeds lower than 1.544 Mbps; or

(iii) Discontinue, reduce, or impair a legacy data service operating at speeds lower than 1.544 Mbps that has been grandfathered for a period of no less than 180 days consistent with the criteria established in paragraph (k)(2) of this section, the notice shall state:

The FCC will normally authorize this proposed discontinuance of service (or reduction or impairment) unless it is shown that customers would be unable to receive service or a reasonable substitute from another carrier or that the public convenience and necessity is otherwise adversely affected. If you wish to object, you should file your comments as soon as possible, but no later than 10 days after the Commission releases public notice of the proposed discontinuance. You may file your comments electronically through the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System using the docket number established in the Commission's public notice for this proceeding, or you may address them to the Federal Communications Commission, Wireline Competition Bureau, Competition Policy Division, Washington, DC 20554, and include in your comments a reference to the § 63.71 Application of (carrier's name). Comments should include specific information about the impact of this proposed discontinuance (or reduction or impairment) upon you or your company, including any inability to acquire reasonable substitute service.

(2) For applications to discontinue, reduce, or impair a legacy data service operating at speeds lower than 1.544 Mbps that has been grandfathered for a period of no less than 180 days, in order to be eligible for automatic grant under paragraph (k)(4) of this section, an applicant must include in its application a statement confirming that it received Commission authority to grandfather the service at issue at least 180 days prior to filing the current application.

(3) An application filed by any carrier seeking to grandfather any legacy voice service or to grandfather any data service operating at speeds lower than 1.544 Mbps for existing customers shall be automatically granted on the 25th day after its filing with the Commission without any Commission notification to the applicant unless the Commission has notified the applicant that the grant will not be automatically effective.

(4) An application filed by any carrier seeking to discontinue, reduce, or impair a legacy data service operating at speeds lower than 1.544 Mbps that has been grandfathered for 180 days or more preceding the filing of the application, shall be automatically granted on the 31st day after its filing with the Commission without any Commission notification to the applicant, unless the Commission has notified the applicant that the grant will not be automatically effective.

(l) Notwithstanding paragraphs (a)(5), (a)(6), and (f) of this section, the following requirements apply to applications for data services operating at or above 1.544 Mbps in both directions but below 25 Mbps download, and 3 Mbps upload, provided that the carrier offers alternative fixed data services in the affected service area at speeds of at least 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload:

(1) Where any carrier, dominant or non-dominant, seeks to:

(i)Grandfather such data service; or

(ii) Discontinue, reduce, or impair such data service that has been grandfathered for a period of no less than 180 days consistent with the criteria established in paragraph (l)(2) of this section, the notice to all affected customers shall state:

The FCC will normally authorize this proposed discontinuance of service (or reduction or impairment) unless it is shown that customers would be unable to receive service or a reasonable substitute from another carrier or that the public convenience and necessity is otherwise adversely affected. If you wish to object, you should file your comments as soon as possible, but no later than 10 days after the Commission releases public notice of the proposed discontinuance. You may file your comments electronically through the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System using the docket number established in the Commission's public notice for this proceeding, or you may address them to the Federal Communications Commission, Wireline Competition Bureau, Competition Policy Division, Washington, DC 20554, and include in your comments a reference to the § 63.71 Application of (carrier's name). Comments should include specific information about the impact of this proposed discontinuance (or reduction or impairment) upon you or your company, including any inability to acquire reasonable substitute service.

(2) For applications to discontinue, reduce, or impair such data service that has been grandfathered for a period of no less than 180 days, in order to be eligible for automatic grant under paragraph (l)(4) of this section, an applicant must include in its application a statement confirming that it received Commission authority to grandfather the service at issue at least 180 days prior to filing the current application.

(3) An application seeking to grandfather such a data service shall be automatically granted on the 25th day after its filing with the Commission without any Commission notification to the applicant unless the Commission has notified the applicant that the grant will not be automatically effective.

(4) An application seeking to discontinue, reduce, or impair such a data service that has been grandfathered under this section for 180 days or more preceding the filing of the application, shall be automatically granted on the 31st day after its filing with the Commission without any Commission notification to the applicant, unless the Commission has notified the applicant that the grant will not be automatically effective.

[64 FR 39939, July 23, 1999, as amended at 71 FR 65751, Nov. 9, 2006; 73 FR 56741, Sept. 30, 2008; 80 FR 1588, Jan. 13, 2015; 80 FR 63373, Oct. 19, 2015; 81 FR 62656, Sept. 12, 2016; 82 FR 25711, June 2, 2017; 82 FR 61478, Dec. 28, 2017; 83 FR 31675, July 9, 2018]