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.
In a January 24, 2014, Blog Post, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler committed to moving forward with reforms to the E-Rate program. The Chairman said he would soon present to the other Commissioners a detailed plan to deliver an E-Rate program for the 21st Century. Specifically, Wheeler said the FCC would “make the necessary structural and administrative improvements to focus support on broadband services while making the program more efficient and easier to navigate for applicants. These improvements must also include strong oversight and enforcement to ensure every dollar that is intended to reach schools and libraries, gets there and gets the job done.” He also said that the FCC would use “existing funds to immediately begin to expand E-Rate funding targeted to high-speed connectivity to students in schools and libraries. These additionally available funds will begin to be put to work this year for schools and libraries. This will be done without affecting the program’s existing structures and the 2014 program application process that is now underway.”
The PSC has opened a proceeding to determine the TRS surcharge to be effective July 1, 2014. A public hearing will be held on March 18, 2014.
The Regulatory Commission is asking for comment by February 14, 2014, on CenturyLink’s petition for approval of amendments to the Qwest Performance Assurance Plan (PAP) and Performance Indicator Definitions (PIDs). CenturyLink is asking the Commission to replace the existing New Mexico-approved PAP and PIDs with the PAP and PIDs approved by the Colorado PUC in June 2013. The Colorado-approved PAP with modified PIDs was the product of a settlement agreement between CenturyLink, a number of CLECs and Colorado Staff.
New Mexico Staff recommended approval of the petition and also recommended that: (1) any interconnection agreements in effect that contain the previously approved PAP automatically be deemed to reflect the revised PAP and PIDs; (2) the Commission provide other potentially interested parties a brief comment period to Staff’s recommendation in this case; and (3) that CenturyLink be required to file a report detailing the performance of the Revised PAP six months following the adoption of the multi-state settlement to allow any interested party or the Commission the opportunity for further review of the Revised PAP if necessary.