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 seeks comment on a Motion for Declaratory Ruling filed by Union Electric Company d/b/a Ameren Missouri (Ameren) concerning the rates to be charged for pole attachments when a cable company is providing VoIP service. The Motion was filed at the direction of a federal court hearing a contract dispute between Ameren and Cable One over the rates that should apply to Cable One’s pole attachments. Ameren asked the FCC to issue a declaratory ruling that: the VolP service offered over Cable One’s attachments is a “telecommunications service” for purposes of determining the appropriate pole attachment rental; or, alternatively, that: (1) Ameren is not required under FCC rules to seek a declaratory ruling on the classification of Cable One’s services prior to seeking collection under contract in state or federal court; (2) the FCC does not intend to adjudicate the classification of Cable One’s specific services through a motion for declaratory ruling filed by Ameren; and/or (3) the appropriate avenue for presenting the substance of the pole attachment dispute between Ameren and Cable One to the FCC is through a pole attachment complaint filed by Cable One.
A federal district court has stopped the PSC from enforcing a portion of its new lifeline rule that would have required eligible telecommunications Carriers (ETCs) offering the Lifeline discount to either: (1) bill and collect a $5.00 per month charge from each Lifeline subscriber after application of the Federal Lifeline discount; or (2) provide Lifeline customers a minimum of 500 minutes of use per month. The PSC is now enjoined from enforcing this rule section against wireless providers until further order of the Court. TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers see Georgia Bulletin dated December 23, 2013.
In July 2013, the PSC established TW-2014-0012 as a repository for documents and comments regarding Staff’s investigation of the Lifeline program and its evaluation of the purposes and goals of the Missouri Universal Service Fund. It has now expanded the File to consider implementing a state high-cost fund to provide financial support for extension of infrastructure to provide voice service to customers in high-cost areas. TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers see Missouri Bulletin dated August 1, 2013.
The PUC notified carriers of the procedures to be used to implement federal requirements related to the Lifeline program. The notice addresses: (1) the processes by which Utah ETCs will enter data into the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) for both the initial loading of the NLAD and the required ongoing updates; and (2) the processes the PSC will adopt to: process new participants’ applications and verify the eligibility; perform the required annual eligibility certification on a going-forward basis; and bring its rules into harmony with the federal requirements. TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers see Utah Bulletin dated December 24, 2013.