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ex parte NPRM Finally Published in Federal Register

Yesterday, more than a month after it was adopted by the Commission, the ex parte reform NPRM was finally published in the Federal Register. This has the effect of determining the comment period since it is always relative to FR publication:

This late publication raises two questions in view of the Commission’s stated interest in transparency:

1. Why did this important NPRM take so long to be published? Sometimes delays are due to unusual formatting problems such as tables, but that was not the case here.

2. Why doesn’t the Commission give a simple table with the actual due date of comments? OET used to publish such a table for its proceedings. Why does the public have to keep searching the for FR publication dates?

The key information on the comment dates is reprinted here for your convenience:

Comments must be submitted by May 10, 2010, and reply comments must be submitted by June 8, 2010.

(Actually, as I read §1.4, the reply comment date should be June 9. But let’s not quibble here.)


MSS has set a good example and has filed its comments in this proceeding early. They are the first comments filed in this proceedings, aside from another document that appears to be misfiled.

The comments include some of the MSS correspondence with FCC/OGC on a series of complaints it has made against the entity that appears to be the worst offender of the ex parte rules. For the first time these documents can now be reviewed on the FCC website. Parties filing comments may wish to consider whether a transparent ex parte system should hide the very existence of such correspondence and indicate their viewpoint in their comments.

They might also want to comment on the following sentence of the NPRM in para. 32 that seems the strangest part of the proposal: “We also seek comment on whether all ex parte sanctions, including admonitions, should be publicly announced.” The NPRM gives no hint on why such secrecy would be in the pubic interest.

(We note that the MSS ex parte complaint petition has been on circulation since 2/25/10. Oddly, the oldest item on circulation is the Petition for Determination of Effective Competition of Marcus Cable Associates, LLC which has been on circulation since 08/14/2007. Does the name “Marcus” cause delay on the 8th floor? In any case, there is no relationship at all between MSS and Marcus Cable Associates, LLC .)


As of 4/28/10 the Marcus Cable Associates, LLC item is no longer on circulation. Thus it was resolved after 2.5 years of circulation. Will the MSS issue take that long?

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