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 New Hampshire Part 400 Rules For Telephone Service were approved by the JLCAR and adopted by the PUC on March 11, 2014. They became effective on March 12, 2014. ELECs can meet their annual filing requirements this year through one of two methods:
- File according to the newly-adopted rules. ELECs that choose this approach will file copies of the new T-1 Contact and Trade Name Information form and the new T-2 Assessment Report. In addition, ELECs that operated any payphones in New Hampshire during 2013, will file a copy of T-6 Payphone Location Report. The PUC has issued a waiver extending the deadline for filing with these new forms until April 30, 2014. – OR –
- File according to the old rules, using the old forms. ELECs choosing this approach, will file CLEC/CTP-1, 2, 3, CLEC-4, 5, 40. The deadline for filing with these is March 31, 2014. TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers see Bulletin for complete details.
The PUC will hold a prehearing conference on April 9, 2014, to identify parties and establish a procedural schedule for consideration of a Petition for approval of a revised Price Plan filed by CenturyTel of Oregon and United Telephone of the NW. The companies are seeking to adopt the same plan terms as CenturyLink QC. The companies argue that the additional pricing and regulatory flexibility are warranted due to the level of competition they face from CLECs, cable telephony providers, wireless providers, and VoIP providers.
The FCC has announced the results of the urban rate survey for fixed voice services, which will be used to determine the 2014 rate floor for incumbent ETCs and the reasonable comparability benchmark for voice services. Based on the survey results (1) the average local end-user rates plus state regulated fees of the surveyed ILECs in urban areas is $20.46 and (2) the reasonable comparability benchmark for voice services is $46.96. FCC rules require that, by July 1, 2014, all ETCs that are ILEC recipients of high-cost support must report the number of residential service lines for which the sum of the rate and state fees are below $20.46 as of June 1, 2014. In addition, each ETC, including competitive ETCs, must certify that the pricing of the voice services is no more than $46.96.
The FCC seeks comment on a petition to extend the deadline for compliance with the 2014 rate floor. Several carrier associations filed a joint petition requesting that the deadline for compliance with the 2014 local service rate floor be extended from July 1, 2014, to January 2, 2015, and that subsequent adjustments to the rate floor should then be made annually on January 2. Oppositions to the petition are due March 21, 2014; replies are due March 31, 2014.
In a Statement, FCC Commission Ajit Pai opposed the new rate floor, saying that it amounted to a rate hike of up to 46% for customers in rural areas in the next few months. He characterized it as “bad news in tough times.”