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.
US House of Representatives
On March 11, 2014, the House of Representatives approved H.R. 3675, the FCC Process Reform Act, by voice vote. This bipartisan legislation aims to increase transparency, predictability, and accountability to the commission. See our Blog posting US House to Vote on H.R. 3675: The FCC Process Reform Act dated 3/1/14. The FCC Process Reform Act now heads to the Senate where it will join the FCC Consolidated Reporting Act, which was approved by the full House in September by a vote of 415-0, in waiting for consideration.
The CPUC issued a Press Release announcing the first ever discounted wireless telephone service plans under the California LifeLine Program for eligible households. During the past few years, Commissioner Catherine J.K. Sandoval has championed the program’s expansion and modernization to include service providers other than wireline providers offering only discounted landline telephone services. This work culminated in a unanimous CPUC decision in January 2014 that promoted competition, broadened consumers’ choices, and ensured minimum communications needs are met while preserving essential consumer protections across technology platforms. See the Regulatory Mix dated February 11, 2014. TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers see Bulletin dated February 6, 2014.
It is expected that Telscape Communications will be the first California LifeLine wireless service provider authorized as a California LifeLine wireless provider. Telscape has provided California LifeLine home phone services for numerous years and since 2012 has offered federal Lifeline wireless telephone services. With CPUC approval, Telscape will offer and provide three California LifeLine discounted wireless telephone service plans on a pre-paid basis to eligible households:
1. FREE Plan: 1,000 voice minutes and 200 text messages;
2. Unlimited voice minutes and text messages for a monthly cost of $18.10; and,
3. Unlimited voice minutes, text messages, and data for a monthly cost of $33.10.
See TMI’s previous Blog postings:
In February 2014, the TRA issued a Final Order establishing a permanent reciprocal compensation rate for traffic exchanged between several commercial mobile radio service providers and the Tennessee Rural Coalition (RLECs) during the period prior to July 1, 2012. (The Parties had agreed that beginning July 1, 2012, non-access telecommunications traffic would be exchanged according to a bill-and-keep arrangement.) A meeting will be held on March 18, 2014, to consider the Motion for Clarification filed by AT&T Mobility. AT&T Mobility has asked that the Order be clarified to direct the parties to prepare and submit for TRA review an interconnection agreement conforming with the 2014 Order and with the Order issued in this docket on January 12, 2006. The Motion requested that the TRA make explicit that the reciprocal compensation rates established in the 2014 Order do not apply to traffic exchanged after June 30, 2012. The Coalition responded saying that “AT&T Mobility’s Motion for Clarification is a thinly disguised attempt to evade timely compliance with the Tennessee Regulatory Authority’s Final Award and an obvious stalling tactic.”