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FCC Issues Protective Order for Confidential Information

Updated: Dec 9, 2020

On August 26, 2019, the FCC issued a Protective Order, which establishes procedures to protect the confidentiality of information in regards to a recent petition to amend Parts 25 and 101 of the Commission’s Rules to Authorize and Facilitate the Deployment of Licensed Point-to-Multipoint Fixed Wireless Broadband Service in the 3.7 - 4.2 GHz band (RM-11791) as well as a request to modify coordination procedures in bands shared between the fixed service and fixed satellite service (RM-11778).

While the FCC is mindful of the public’s right to participate in proceedings, limiting access to competitively sensitive information—which, if released, could provide competitors an advantage—is essential. According to the FCC, limiting access to competitively sensitive information and material will allow the public to participate in this proceeding without negatively impacting Submitting Parties. Following are important procedures delineated in this Protective Order to protect the confidentiality of certain information:

  1. To designate submitted information as Highly Confidential, Submitting Parties must first receive written approval from the Commission staff. Information is only deemed Highly Confidential if it meets the description explicated in Appendix A. For more information, see Section 3.

  2. To challenge the designation of a document or section of a document as Confidential or Highly Confidential, one must file a challenge to the Commission and serve it to the Submitting Party. Challenged documents will maintain their confidentiality until the Commission addresses this challenge. For more information, see Section 4.

  3. To submit confidential documents, the Submitting Party must provide one copy of each Stamped Confidential Document and each Stamped Highly Confidential Document to the Secretary’s Office with an accompanying cover letter. For more information on the submission of confidential documents, see Section 5.

  4. If a confidential document contains highly classified information for which copying is restricted, the Submitting Party must mark the document with the legend “Additional Copying Restricted.” See Section 6 for additional information.

  5. Any person other than Support Personnel seeking access to confidential information must sign an Acknowledgement agreeing to the terms of this Protective Order and file it to the Commission. See Section 7 for details.

  6. A Submitting Party may object to the disclosure of confidential information to someone seeking access to such information. For more on this process, see Section 8.

  7. Submitting Parties must provide Stamped Confidential Documents and Stamped Highly Confidential Documents to the Reviewing Party seeking access to their information. For more details, see Sections 9 and 10.

  8. The use of confidential information under this Protective Order must remain for the preparation and conduct of this proceeding. See Section 11 for more information on use.

  9. For information on permissible disclosure, non-disclosure, and requests for additional disclosure, see Sections 12, 14, and 16, respectively.

  10. For further information on filing confidential documents with the Commission, refer to Section 13.

For additional information on this Protective Order, click here.

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