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 the availability of version 4.1.1 of the Connect America Cost Model (CAM v4.1.1) which incorporates minor corrections to the broadband coverage used by the model. Specifically, CAM v4.1.1: (1) corrects the broadband coverage for approximately 5400 census blocks to reflect the fact that these census blocks are not served by a fixed wireless provider; (2) contains updates to the TelcoMaster table to incorporate corrections to certain holding company names; and (3) modifies certain headers and field descriptions on two CAM reports. The FCC said that these minor adjustments do not have a material effect on the funding levels previously released. CAM v4.1.1 is available at http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/caf-phase-ii-models or https://cacm.usac.org/. To access any version of the model, parties must execute the relevant acknowledgement of confidentiality, licensing, and nondisclosure documents.
The FCC also announced the posting of the fixed voice services data collected in the urban rate survey and explanatory notes regarding the data. The data is available at http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/urban-rate-survey-data. This data was used to compute the 2014 rate floor for incumbent eligible telecommunications carriers and the reasonable comparability benchmark for voice services that were announced on March, 20, 2014. See the Regulatory Mix dated March 21, 2014
In response to the release of the data , FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai issued a statement decrying move to make rural Americans pay almost 50 percent more for phone service than those living in Washington, DC.
District of Columbia
The PSC approved a $23.4 million distribution rate increase for the Potomac Electric Power Company (Pepco). This award is about half of the $44.8 million request that Pepco sought. The new distribution rates are scheduled to take effect on or about April 16, 2014. They are only for the distribution portion of a customer’s electric bill. Costs covered by the distribution charge include the poles, conduits, transformers, substations, meters and other infrastructure used to transport electricity to customers; meter reading, billing, repair service, administration and customer service; depreciation, and a return on investment. The remaining portion of the average residential bill is made up of the cost for electricity itself, transmission costs, and various other fees and taxes imposed by other entities of the District government.
The PSC said that customer charges for most residential ratepayers will increase by $3.75 per month, or less than 13 cents a day. For most residential customers, including low-income customers on the Residential Aid Discount Program who purchase their electricity through Standard Offer Service (approximately 86% of District residential customers), the increase in Pepco’s distribution rates will be offset by a decrease in Standard Offer Service (SOS) electricity supply rates approved by the Commission that will take effect on June 1, 2014. For the average electricity user of SOS, the net effect of both rate changes will be a total monthly bill reduction in the range of about $6.00. Customers of other suppliers will see a varying impact depending on the rate for electricity supply of their provider.