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.
Republican leaders in the Senate sent a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler urging him to abandon any efforts to impose so-called “net neutrality” regulations on the Internet. Writing to “reiterate our strong concerns with any proposal that would have the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) apply monopoly-era Title II regulations to our nation’s competitive and dynamic broadband economy” the Senators said that “imposing common carrier-style regulation upon any part of the Internet would be a dangerous rejection of this successful policy course, potentially impeding the development and adoption of new Internet technologies and services, and threatening future investment in next-generation broadband infrastructure. “ Noting that courts have previously struck-down FCC efforts to “regulate the Internet” they say that “[u]nfortunately, you have chosen to have the FCC again undertake a politically corrosive rulemaking, relying upon new and untested court-defined powers rather than upon clear Congressional intent and statutory authority.”
House Energy and Commerce Committee Republican leaders also wrote to Chairman Wheeler expressing their “grave concern” that the FCC continues to consider reclassifying broadband Internet access service as a “old-fashioned ‘Title II’ common carrier service.” They said that “[s]uch unwarranted and overreaching government intrusion into the broadband marketplace will harm consumers, halt job creation, curtail investment, stifle innovation, and set America down a dangerous path of micromanaging the Internet. The Commission must reject this approach.”
Note: The FCC is scheduled to consider new Open Internet/Net Neutrality rules at its May 15, 2014, Open Meeting.
The FCC announced that it is co-sponsoring, with The Institute for Information Policy (IIP) of Pennsylvania State University, a by-invitation workshop on the Future of Broadband Regulation, on May 29-30, 2014. IIP organized the workshop and selected the academic and government experts who will present research “work-in-progress” to their fellow participants for discussion and critique. The workshop program and abstracts of the papers to be presented will be available at http://iip.comm.psu.edu/ on May 22, 2014. The workshop will open with a public plenary session in the FCC Meeting Room from 8:45-10:00 AM on Thursday May 29. Senior FCC management and other representatives will review some of the policy challenges that the transition to a ubiquitous IP-based broadband network poses. The workshop will afford FCC staff an opportunity to learn about current academic research and to highlight for the academics issues and questions that might be suitable for further research. Those wishing to observe the academic discussions will be accommodated on a space available basis. Get Details
The PUC issued a Press Release alerting consumers who receive their electric generation supply from their utility that many of those prices are estimated to increase on June 1.
More than 3.5 million consumers receive their electric generation from their local electric utility, while more than 2.1 million customers are using a competitive electric supplier, according to information compiled by the PUC. The PUC has created a consumer alert on its website as well as http://www.papowerswitch.com/ notifying customers of the change.
“If you have not chosen a competitive supplier, now may be a good time to do so because the price of electricity from the utilities is estimated to increase by as much as 50 percent for some customers,” said PUC Chairman Robert F. Powelson. “Before the heat of summer brings increased electric usage, now is the time for customers to again take stock of their electric bills, review their generation rate and shop for a better price or price stability.”
On April 3, 2014, the PUC approved regulations that require the utility to accelerate switching time frames through off-cycle meter readings that will allow consumers to switch suppliers within three business days once the utility has been notified. The changes are pending before the state’s Independent Regulatory Review Commission. TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers see Pennsylvania Bulletin dated April 10, 2014