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.
US House of Representatives
The House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology announced it will hold a hearing on the Evolution of Wired Communications Networks on Wednesday, October 23, 2013. The witnesses have not yet been announced. The hearing will “take a hard look at the evolution that is occurring in communications networks and ask the simple question, ‘are our laws keeping pace with innovation?’” Members will examine the evolution from traditional voice over copper networks to IP-enabled copper and fiber networks. They will also discuss the impact of current laws and regulations on advancement, innovation, and job growth in an increasingly Internet-driven world.
The FCC’s rules requiring express written consent for all telemarketing robocalls to wireless numbers and residential lines became effective on October 16, 2013. Previously, the rules allowed firms to make automated telemarketing calls with only oral consent.
Also effective October 16, 2013, the FCC did away with the established business relationship exemption to the prior consent requirement. As such, telemarketing robocalls calls to residential lines now require prior written consent, even where the caller and called party have an established business relationship. See TMI Bulletins dated March 5, 2012, and October 19, 2012.
The Public Service Commission approved a revised rule that will affect telephone service provided under the federal Lifeline program. Telecommunications companies offering the Lifeline discount will be required to either: (1) Bill and collect a $5.00 per month charge from each Lifeline subscriber for participating in the program; or (2) Provide eligible customers a minimum of 500 minutes of use per month. This will eliminate the previously adopted requirement of photo identification for all Lifeline applicants. The revised rule takes effect on January 31, 2014. Watch for a TMI Bulletin once the PSC’s order is released.
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