The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is taking steps to protect the confidentiality of certain information filed in connection with several recent spectrum proceedings initiated by the Commission.
In a Protective Order issued in late-August, the FCC has set forth procedures intended to limit access to certain confidential and/or proprietary information filed by interested parties in connection with a request to modify coordination procedures in spectrum bands shared between fixed services and fixed satellite services (RM-11778), and a separate petition for rulemaking to amend Parts 25 and 100 of the Commission’s Rules on the deployment of licensed point-to-multipoint fixed wireless broadband services in the 3.7-4.2 GHz band (RM-11791).
In more than a dozen separate articles, the Protective Order identifies specific procedures regarding the submission, use, and protection of confidential and highly confidential information. Examples of some of these procedures include:
- Challenging a designation of information as confidential or highly confidential (Article 4)
- Obtaining access to confidential and highly confidential information (Article 7)
- Objecting to the disclosure of confidential information and highly confidential information to a potential reviewing party (Article 8)
- The use of confidential and highly confidential information (Article 11)
In an effort to limit the application of the requirements of the Protective Order, Appendix A sets forth explicit definitions for “highly confidential information” or “stamped highly confidential documents” that fall under the scope of the Order. In addition to “information that provides detailed technical performance data and test results,” the requirements apply to a company’s “current or future costs, revenues, marginal revenues, market share, or customers,” as well as to information that details a company’s terms and conditions of contracts, current or future competitive strategies.