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’s Order clarifying the price cap and rate-of-return LEC intercarrier compensation transition process was published in the Federal Register yesterday, therefore, it will become effective on June 19, 2014. The Order was issued in March 2014. See the Regulatory Mix dated April 1, 2014. It clarifies and corrects certain rules relating to implementation of the intercarrier compensation transition adopted in the USF/ICC Transformation Order. Among other things, the Wireline Competition Bureau clarifies that achieving ongoing rate parity for the access rates themselves, not the composite rate for price cap and rate-of-return LECs, was the intent of the USF/ICC Order. Carriers may continue to establish interstate terminating end office access rate caps that do not exceed the target composite terminating end office access rate for each year in the transition as set forth in the rules.
The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau (Bureau) has investigated disclosures by Sprint Corporation that it failed to capture some consumers’ do-not-call or do-not-text preferences. In addition, certain human errors and technical malfunctions may have caused Sprint to violate FCC rules. The Bureau and Sprint have negotiated the terms of a Consent Decree which has been adopted by the FCC. To resolve (and terminate) the Bureau’s investigation, Sprint will make a payment of $7.5 million to the U.S. Treasury and will implement a compliance plan designed to prevent it from failing to honor consumers’ do-not-call and do-not text preferences in the future. Sprint will develop a Two-Year Compliance Plan and Manual and designate a senior corporate manager to serve as Compliance Officer.
In 2011, Sprint paid $400,000 to the U.S. Treasury as part of a consent decree resolving an investigation into consumer complaints that Sprint had made marketing calls to consumers who had asked to be placed on Sprint’s internal Do-Not-Call list.
FCC Commissioner Pai shared his ideas regarding how the FCC should help “ease our way into the wireless world” while speaking at PCIA’s 2014 Wireless Infrastructure Show in Orlando. His speech focused on wireless infrastructure , the need to modernize, remove barriers, and make it easier to deploy small cells and DAS. Pai stated in his remarks that: “it’s not easy because many people seem to treat infrastructure as an afterthought to the topic that is considered more glamorous: spectrum. If you want to hear about spectrum at the FCC, there’s no shortage of debates about how to put spectrum in this or that band to better use. Now, I want to be clear—that’s an important challenge, and I’m glad that FCC for the first time in years is making real progress trying to meet it.”
Read his complete remarks here.
The PUC has released a report providing detailed information about and action items related to electric distribution company (EDC) responses to the February 2014 ice storm that brought significant snow, ice and winds to the state.
“Many things went well as utilities worked to restore power to more than 950,000 people who lost service during the February ice storms,” said PUC Chairman Robert F. Powelson. “However, we also know that some areas need to be improved as we prepare for the next event that results in a large number of customers experiencing power outages. We look forward to receiving the follow up reports from the utilities in September that will highlight the progress being made toward implementing these recommendations.”
The report contains information on actions taken by the PUC and utilities as well as ongoing steps. The report compiles and analyzes EDC data; examines complaints about the inability of customers to contact the EDC to report outages; and reviews a lack of specific restoration information. It makes 11 recommendations to the EDCs to address many concerns. The EDCs will report to PUC staff the progress or completion of all recommendations at a regularly-scheduled EDC best practice working group meeting scheduled for September 2014.