The Regulatory Mix, TMI’s daily blog of regulatory activities, is a snapshot of PUC, FCC, legislative, and occasionally court, issues that our regulatory monitoring team uncovers each day. Depending on their significance, some items may be the subject of a TMI Regulatory Bulletin.
The Public Utilities Commission opened a proceeding to consider (1) Colorado High Cost Support Mechanism (HCSM) rule amendments in anticipation of applications for HCSM funding in areas deemed to be subject to effective competition for basic services; and (2) updates to the rules for HCSM generally pursuant to the triennial review.
The PUC’s Basic Service Competition Rules provide a framework and process for determining the geographic areas where there is effective competition for basic service. These areas are designated Effective Competition Areas (ECAs). In May 2013, the PUC opened a proceeding to begin making findings and ECA determinations pursuant to the Basic Service Competition Rules.
A new law in Illinois allows telecommunications carriers to offer their competitive retail services either by tariff or a written service offering. However, the written service offering must be available on the carrier’s website and describe the nature of the service, applicable rates and other charges, and the terms and conditions of service. Tariffs will continue to be required for non competitive telecommunications services, 911 service, switched access services, and telecommunications service referred to in an interconnection agreement as a tariffed service.
The new law also revises the service quality requirements applicable to CLECs. As a result, CLECs will no longer have to file service quality reports. However, they will still be subject to service quality standards and will have to provide customer credits for missed metrics.
The PSC approved a tariff change filed by Frontier Communications, Inc., to revise the late payment fee for residential customers from the current late payment fee of 1.5% to a fee of either 1.5% or $5, whichever is greater. The late payment fee will not be applicable to Lifeline customers, customers with serious illness, customers that have specific amounts in dispute or deferred payment agreements, and customers billed under a quarterly payment plan. Frontier said it plans to waive the charge on a first-time basis for one year following the effective date. In addition, Frontier said that it is planning to standardize its late payment fee policy across the states in which it operates
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