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.
U.S. House of Representatives
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) began seeking public input as they work to review and update the Communications Act. In December, Upton and Walden announced that the committee will begin work this year on a comprehensive update, including a white paper series that seeks to understand areas where the law is no longer working effectively and find ways to improve it to foster an environment for innovation, consumer choice, and economic growth. The white paper released today focuses on broad thematic concepts for updating the Communications Act.
“This update is critical to ensuring that the communications and technology sectors, the bright spot of our national economy, have laws and regulations that foster continued innovation and job creation,” said Upton and Walden. “This is the first step in a multi-year open and transparent effort and we look forward to broad input from the many interested parties.”
The committee is seeking responses to a series of questions posed in the white paper and is also offering an opportunity for interested parties to comment on any aspect of the Communications Act. Responses should be submitted to CommActUpdate@mail.house.gov by January 31, 2014.
To read the white paper, click here.
The FCC allowed AT&T to withdraw its proposed tariff changes on TDM-based special access services it sells to providers of competitive services. AT&T plans to file another proposal to increase special access rates. AT&T stated in its filing that they “intend to re-file these tariff changes very soon.”
In December of 2013, The FCC put a five-month moratorium on AT&T’s request to stop offering long-term contracts and the associated discounts on TDM-based special access circuits it sells to CLECs and wireless operators.
On 12/2/13, the FCC released a Public Notice directing ILECs to review an online map displaying study area boundaries and resolve any overlaps or voids with any neighboring ILECs. Revised boundary data submissions were due by January 13th. In response to a request for a stay, or in the alternative, an extension, the FCC has agreed to extend the deadline by 60 days. ILECs have until March 17, 2014 to submit and certify revised study area boundary data. For more information, click here.
A new law in California will extend the existing pay telephone law to include pay telephones that do not accept coins and revise the posting and branding requirements. The new provisions will take effect January 1, 2015. At that time, additional information will need to be posted on the phone and consumers will have to be notified of the availability of a free rate quote before the call is completed. TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers see California Bulletin dated 1/3/14.