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 announced a timeline for the completion of its survey of urban rates for fixed voice and fixed broadband residential services. Required by the FCC’s access reform order, the survey will be used to: (1) establish a rate floor for voice services that eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) receiving high-cost loop support or frozen high-cost support must meet to receive their full support amounts; and (2) develop benchmarks to help evaluate whether rates for fixed voice and broadband services in rural areas are reasonably comparable to offerings in urban areas. To obtain statistically valid samples, the FCC will separately collect the rates offered by selected providers of fixed voice and fixed broadband services identified using the most recent FCC Form 477 data in 500 urban Census tracts. Providers who are required to complete a survey will be notified by email. The email will be sent to the selected provider’s FCC Form 477 contact person and certifying official on or around December 16, 2013. The survey consists of an online reporting form which will be accessible only to the selected providers. Completed surveys will be due on January 17, 2014. Additional information on the urban rates survey can be found here.
The FCC issued a number of Notices of Apparent Liability For Forfeiture to wireline and wireless carriers. The most interesting was the $3.56 million fine against Consumer Telecom, Inc. for engaging in deceptive marketing practices, slamming, cramming, and violating the FCC’s truth-in-billing rules by failing to clearly and plainly describe charges on telephone bills. See details in TMI’s Blog “FCC Issues $3.56 Million Holiday Forfeiture – Slamming & Cramming” dated 12/18/13.