NARUC has released the draft resolutions proposed for consideration at its Winter Committee Meeting to be held February 9-12 in Washington DC. The Resolutions address areas such as universal service, consumer protections during Internet Protocol (IP) -technology transition trials, improved wireless location accuracy, and rural broadband deployment.
Resolution Supporting Reform of the Universal Service Fund Contribution System
This Resolution would urge the FCC to expand the contribution base so that all communications services, including broadband, contribute to the federal USF. It also urges the FCC to examine a contribution methodology which is connection based and which places the highest assessment on a high speed connection no matter what technology is employed and a lesser assessment on voice only connection.
Resolution Concerning Consumer Protections During Internet Protocol-Technology Transition Trials
This Resolution would recommend the FCC to require, as a standard for approving any IP-technology transition experiments involving field trials by LEC, that residential and small business customers do not receive: (1) a degradation in the capability, quality, and reliability of voice communications services; (2) a reduction in the availability of voice communications service options or access to alternative voice communications service providers; or (3) an increase in their rate for equivalent voice communications services. The draft Resolution also asks the FCC to require that any IP-technology transition experiments be limited to laboratory and wire center or central office tests before involving field trials with customers who should then be subject to maintaining a reasonable standard for the capability, quality, and reliability of the following voice communications functionalities and services:
- Calls are routed to the correct location;
- Calls are completed (including during power outages and peak demand periods);
- Calls are not dropped (call persistence);
- Call quality does not deteriorate under stress;
- Call setup does not exhibit noticeable latency;
- Customer premises voice communications equipment (including touch tones, caller-ID, and call back features) used for the existing TDM network is interoperable with the IP-enabled technology;
- Customer premises non-voice communications equipment for the existing TDM network (such as: fax machines, credit card/point-of-sale terminals, ATMs, voting machines, medical monitoring or alert systems, security alarm systems, elevator phones, ringdown lines for fire stations, and building intercom access systems) is interoperable with the IP-enabled technology;
- CPE and services used by the deaf and other people with disabilities are interoperable with the IP-enabled technology;
- Access to 911, E911, NG911, 311, and other governmental services;
- Accurate 911, E911, and NG911 call routing to the nearest Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) including delivery of location and call-back numbering information;
- Governmental reverse 911 emergency notification services;
- Access to alternative long distance and international calling service carriers, calling card, dial-around, third-party billing, and conference calling services; and
- Capability to protect against or to minimize cyber security attacks.
The proposed Resolution also says that the FCC should require that trials be reversed if the FCC or the State commission concludes that the consumer protection standards were unreasonably violated.
Resolution to Promote Rural Broadband Deployment
This Resolution would support policies that promote access to Connect American Fund funding by utilities and other critical infrastructure industries where the incumbent carrier has declined such funds and the state determines that the utilities and other critical infrastructure industries should be granted eligible telecommunication carrier status without undue burden.
Resolution Urging the FCC to Improve Public Safety through Improved Location Accuracy Requirements for Wireless 911 Calls
This Resolution would press the FCC to clarify that the current rules regarding wireless 911 location accuracy apply both indoors and outdoors. The Resolution would also urge the FCC to adopt certain indoor location accuracy requirements for E911 that can be implemented starting within one year of the effective date of the rules and completed no later than three years after the effective date of the rules. The requirements should promote the adoption of the following:
- effective location technologies for indoors and outdoors emergency calls that will provide Phase II compliant location data within 15 seconds after the call is placed (or the number of seconds reasonably specified by 9-1-1 professionals);
- location technologies that can generate a location quickly enough and with sufficient accuracy to support x-y routing; and
- Next Generation 911 technologies and service.
The draft Resolution would also call on the FCC to adopt regulations that will require wireless service providers to promptly make available to PSAPs, and other public safety officials, comprehensive, timely and meaningful E-911 location data, including location accuracy and performance criteria for each location technology regarding all wireless 911 calls.