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 Senate Committee on the Judiciary has scheduled a hearing of the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights entitled “An Examination of Competition in the Wireless Market” for Wednesday, February 26, 2014. The witness list includes Eric Graham, Senior Vice President, Strategic Relations at Cellular South, Inc.; Randal S. Milch, Executive Vice President & General Counsel at Verizon Communications Inc.; Jonathan Spalter, Chairman of Mobile Future; Thomas J. Sugrue, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs at T-Mobile USA, Inc.; and Matthew F. Wood, Policy Director of Free Press.
The FCC has officially closed its investigation of AT&T’s proposed tariff changes seeking to eliminate DS1 and DS3 special access contract offerings with five and seven-year terms. TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers see FCC Bulletin dated December 10, 2013. The FCC noted that AT&T withdrew the tariff revisions on January 15, 2014, thereby resolving the issues in investigation and rending it moot. In December of 2013, the FCC had suspended the tariff for five-months to give it time to complete an investigation of the tariff’s lawfulness.
911 Indoor Location Accuracy Rules
At its February 20, 2014, Open Meeting, the FCC adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that seeks to adopt 911 indoor location accuracy standards. Wireless providers would be required to meet interim location accuracy metrics that would be sufficient to identify the building for most indoor calls. The FCC also proposed that wireless providers deliver vertical location information that would enable first responders to identify the floor level for most calls from multi-story buildings. In the long term, the FCC seeks to develop more granular indoor location accuracy standards that would require identification of the specific room, office, or apartment where a wireless 911 call is made. These standards would rely on the advancing capabilities of indoor location technology and increasing deployment of in-building communications capabilities of indoor location technology and increasing deployment of in-building communications infrastructure. The Notice also seeks comment on whether to revisit its timeframe for replacing its current handset- and network-based location accuracy standards with a single standard in light of technological developments.
The FCC’s current rules require wireless providers to automatically transmit information to 911 call centers on the location of wireless 911 callers within certain parameters for accuracy. (However, these standards are based solely on the performance of outdoor wireless 911 calls.)
US House of Representatives
The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power announced a new hearing series on “Benefits of and Challenges to Energy Access in the 21st Century.” The first hearing will be held on Thursday, February 27, 2014, and will focus on access to electricity. The second installment will be held on Thursday, March 6, 2014, and will focus on fuel supply and infrastructure.
The hearing scheduled for February 27 will review the benefits of access to affordable and reliable electricity, including why such access is critical to promoting economic and job growth, raising standards of living, and responding to severe weather events and natural disasters. The hearing will also focus on current challenges to energy access, including U.S. regulatory policies that may affect access to electricity both domestically and internationally. Witnesses will be announced. The Majority Memorandum, a witness list, and witness testimony will be available here as they are posted.