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 FCC announced that its Office of Intergovernmental Affairs (IGA) will host a Webinar for State and Local Governments on April 22, 2014, from 1:00 -4:30 p.m. (EDT). IGA Webinars are designed to share vital information about current FCC policy actions and priorities and improve federal/state dialogue and information sharing. Topics to be discussed include: Modernizing the E-rate Program; IP Transition Update; Open Internet Rules, Wireless Infrastructure Issues; Measuring Broadband (FCC Speed Test App); Next Generation 911; and Closed Captioning.
The webcast of the webinar can be viewed at www.fcc.gov/live. Questions can be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter using the hashtag #FCCStateNLocalGov. FCC speakers will respond to questions during the Webinar as time permits. Questions can also be sent via Webex at https://fccevents.webex.com/fccevents/onstage/g.php?d=994076057&t=a.
The UTC has submitted its proposed rules governing oversight of the State Universal Communications Service Program The rules include criteria for determining eligibility and information requirements, determining funding levels, and operation of an Advisory Board. Adoption of the rules will provide transitional state funding over a five year period. TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers see Washington Bulletin dated 4/16/14.
The PUC adopted a final policy statement which revises exiting response, recovery, and public notification guidelines with additional storm preparation and response best practices that were developed following hurricanes Irene and Sandy. The Final Policy Statement focuses mainly on improving coordination, communications, and event forecasting, as well as holding exercises in order to better respond to major service outage events. The PUC said it will continue to work with various utility working groups to identify further best practices in an effort to continuously improve response capabilities.
Recognizing that coordinating the response among electric, telephone, water, wastewater, and natural gas systems in areas where more than one of those systems may be affected during major service outage events such as hurricanes, tropical storms, major flooding, ice storms, heavy snows, cyber security incidents and other similar occurrences is an important component to an effective response the PUC has recommended the establishment of a Critical Infrastructure Interdependency Working Group (CIIWG). The CIIWG will meet at least once per calendar year. The PUC will invite all jurisdictional EDCs, incumbent telephone, facilities-based competitive telecommunications, water, wastewater, and natural gas distribution utilities with 5,000 or more customers. The date for the first meeting of the CIIWG is April 30, 2014.