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.
Effective April 1, 2014, the PUC will increase the surcharge rate for the California Advanced Services Fund (CASF). All certificated telephone corporations (including resellers, wireless telephone service providers) and interconnected VoIP providers must apply this new surcharge rate on revenues collected from end-users for intrastate telecommunications services. Providers must submit CASF surcharge fees collected to the PUC using the Telecommunications User Fee Filing System (TUFFS). TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers see California Bulletin dated March 6, 2014.
The Department of Revenue has opened a rulemaking to consider what constitutes competitive telephone services, telecommunications services, and ancillary services; how these products are taxed; and the statutes that apply for determining if the sales of these products are subject to taxation in Washington state, including issues of sourcing and apportionment. The proposed rule changes are intended to update the rule to address present technology and all legislative changes (including recent legislative changes from Chapter 8, Laws of 2013, 63rd Legislature 2013 2nd Special Session). TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers see Washington Bulletin dated July 12, 2013. A public hearing will be held on April 3, 2014.
In 1983, the 710 NPA was assigned to the U.S. Government for emergency services. The Office of Emergency Communications (OEC) within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) notified the industry that the non-geographic 710 NPA should allow unrestricted and ubiquitous access in all international and domestic carriers for authorized users of the 710 NPA. The 710 NPA will be treated as non-geographic with per-call compensation provided by the U.S. Government.
In order to provide universal 710 accessibility in the appropriate service mode, owners and managers responsible for user-to-network access need to ensure their switching systems including Government and civilian enterprise locations, privately-owned payphones, cable, DSL, and VoIP systems, and privately-owned PBXs are programmed to accommodate the 710 NPA. Further, IP switching systems need to be configured to permit early media cut-through to accommodate Government Emergency Telecommunications Service (GETS) calling-card dialing, which include tone prompts and the collection of DTMF digits. Accordingly, the 710 area code will be unblocked to network access, including equal access. Access to 710 will be provided from any cellular/PCS phone, whether or not the phone is subscribed in the area where the call is placed. Section 4.7 of the LERGTM Routing Guide addresses NPA 710.
The FCC released the initial agenda and panelist information for the Rural Broadband workshop scheduled for March 19, 2014. The workshop will focus on the importance of broadband in rural America and include presentations designed to elicit information to help develop “ideas about how to structure experiments that will inform our policy decisions regarding the deployment of next generation networks in rural, high-cost areas.” The workshop will be webcast live on www.fcc.gov/live. Viewers may submit questions by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and/or via Twitter at #FCCRuralBroadband. Updates to the agenda, as well as panelist materials will be available on the workshop’s website at http://www.fcc.gov/events/rural-broadband-workshop.
The first panel is entitled “Broadband Needs, Challenges, and Opportunities in Rural America.” It will discuss the critical need for high-speed broadband in rural areas for individual consumers, businesses, and community anchor organizations. The panel will focus on the specific impact that access to broadband has on education, healthcare, and economic development.
The second panel is entitled “Rural Broadband Buildout – Effective Strategies & Lessons
Learned.” This panel will examine issues that incentivize different types of providers to deploy broadband in rural communities, factors that determine the type of technology deployed, and the current and future capabilities of different technologies
The third panel is entitled “State Strategies to Meet the Rural Broadband Challenge.” It will examine the important role that states can play in ensuring the availability and adoption of broadband in rural communities.