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FCC Settles SPIN Change Appeals

On March 5, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission released an Order addressing twelve appeals related to denial of SPIN change requests. In the Order, the Commission granted five appeals “where the applicant established a legitimate reason to change service providers, such as where the applicant experienced an unexpectedly long transition period to its new service provider or required a new vendor due to unsatisfactory service from the initial service provider” and denied seven requests “where the applicant failed to provide such a legitimate reason to change service providers after receipt of a funding commitment decision letter.”
Many of the appeals at issue were from the 2011 and 2012 Funding Years, shortly after the Commission’s Sixth Report and Order introduced a more rigid set of conditions which must be satisfied in order for a vendor change to be approved.  Four of the granted appeals involved situations where there was a delay in a new service provider starting service, and the fifth was “a situation where an applicant, nearing the end of a long-term contract, attempted to respond to unsatisfactory service in a manner that was reasonable.”
Topics for denied appeals included unsatisfactory service from original vendors, requests to shift unused funding between FRNs, delays in FCDLs, availability of better pricing from a different vendor, and other compliance issues.
The FCC Order may be found here.
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