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 FCC has announced its plan for an orderly shut-down if there is a lapse of Congressional appropriations effective October 1, 2013. The FCC said that during a shutdown all FCC activities other than those immediately necessary for the protection of life or property will cease. Suspended activities include, among many others: consumer complaint and inquiry phone lines; consumer protection and local competition enforcement; licensing services, including broadcast, wireless, and wireline; management of radio spectrum and the creation of new opportunities for competitive technologies and services; and equipment authorizations. See TMI Blog 9/30/13 for additional information.
The FCC released the text of its Order limiting interstate inmate calling service rates. The rules adopting interim rate caps and prohibiting call blocking for lack of billing relationship will be effective 90 days after Federal Register publication. The mandatory data collection requirements and the annual reporting and certification requirements need Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval and will be effective immediately on announcement in the Federal Register of OMB’s approval.
In a separate order, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau issued a Declaratory Ruling finding that Inmate calling service providers are not allowed to unilaterally block innovative call routing services offered in the broad marketplace. The call routing service at issue is called ConsCallHome (CCH). CCH provides pre-paid VoIP service to customers who wish to communicate with an incarcerated friend or family member. Watch for TMI Blog scheduled for 10/1/13 for details.