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.
Commissioner Ajit Pai issued a statement on the importance of connecting Americans to emergency personnel and getting connected whenever they dial 911. In his statement regarding the death of Kari Rene Hunt Dunn at the hands of her estranged husband last month in a Texas hotel room, Commissioner Pai reiterated what he had stated in his first speech as an FCC Commissioner, “when consumers dial 911, they need to reach emergency personnel; it shouldn’t matter whether they are using the public – switched telephone network (or PSTN), a VoIP application, or a wireless phone.” In addition, he went on to say that it should not matter if someone is dialing from a hotel, motel, or office building. The tragic events unfolded in Texas last month as a nine-year-old girl, dialing for help to save her mother, did as we all tell our children to do. She dialed 911 for help. She was unaware that she needed to dial 9 for an outside line. She tried to call 911 four times and could not reach anyone.
Commissioner Pai announced that he is starting an inquiry to determine what steps can be taken to prevent tragedies like Kari’s from happening again. He has sent letters to the 10 largest hotel chains in the U.S. “If you dial 911 in a large building, you need to reach someone qualified to help. And you should be able to do so: The technology to make that happen already exists. What happens when a guest in one of your hotels dials 911 from a phone in his or her room? Does he or she reach trained emergency personnel? If not, what is your plan for solving this problem?”
See statement here.
District of Columbia
The PSC has extended the filing deadlines in its consideration of certification and regulation of local exchange carriers. Among other things, the PSC seeks comment in three specific areas – annual reporting, filing of tariffs, and current procedures for determining who is required to contribute to the Universal Service Trust Fund (USTF). Comments from any interested person are now due on March 7, 2014, and reply comments are due on March 24, 2014. TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers see DC Bulletin dated December 10. 2013.
On January 9, 2014, the PUC approved a plan for PECO Energy Co. (PECO) to allow customers enrolled in its Customer Assistance Program to purchase generation supply from electric generation suppliers (EGSs).
This action “eliminates the barriers that PECO CAP customers have encountered since the inception of electric competition in the Commonwealth,” said Commissioner Witmer in her motion. “These customers will now be able to freely shop for the best deal to meet their individual needs, thus realizing the benefits that the market approach can provide while maintaining the very important consumer protections afforded to CAP customers.”
See the press release here.