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.
Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH) introduced legislation that would limit the FCC’s authority to regulate broadband under Title II of the Communications Act. HR4752 The legislation was introduced in response to the FCC’s recent Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing new net neutrality rules and asking if it should reclassify broadband Internet access under Title II as a telecommunications service rather than an information service. See TMI Blog posting “FCC Announces Next Moves on Net Neutrality” dated 2/19/14. Congressman Latta said: “In light of the FCC initiating yet another attempt to regulate the Internet, upending long-standing precedent and imposing monopoly-era telephone rules and obligations on the 21st Century broadband marketplace, Congress must take action to put an end to this misguided regulatory proposal. The Internet has remained open and continues to be a powerful engine fueling private enterprise, economic growth and innovation absent government interference and obstruction. My legislation will provide all participants in the Internet ecosystem the certainty they need to continue investing in broadband networks and services that have been fundamental for job creation, productivity and consumer choice.”
The FCC has asked for comments to refresh the record in its 2010 proceeding examining the most appropriate legal framework for regulating broadband Internet access, including whether broadband Internet access should be reclassified as a Title II (telecommunications service). TMI Bulletin Subscribers, see FCC Bulletin dated 6/18/10. In its recent Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing new net neutrality (Open Internet) rules. See TMI Blog posting “FCC Announces Next Moves on Net Neutrality” dated 2/19/14. The FCC directed its Wireline Competition Bureau to issue a public notice to refresh the record in the 2010 proceeding. Comments are due July 15, 2014; reply comments are due September 10, 2014. These are the same comment dates established for the net neutrality proceeding.
The FCC published a blog discussing how to stay connected if a hurricane hits. In addition, it released tips on communicating during an emergency – 11 practical steps to help you stay connected when disaster strikes. Among other things, the FCC suggests consumers “take stock” of the type of phone service and equipment they have since telephone service delivered over a broadband connection relies on electricity or battery back-up power to operate and cordless phones used with traditional telephone service will not work if there is no electricity. For customers with battery backup, the FCC recommends they test the battery periodically, understand how long it should last, learn how to replace it, and consider having a spare battery that can be charged before a storm. It also recommends that “[i]f you do not have battery backup equipment, ask your provider if they can supply it or if it is available elsewhere.”
Other tips include charging wireless phones, tablets, and computers if a storm is coming, adjusting a wireless phone to conserve power, and keeping a battery-operated, solar-powered, or hand-crank-operated radio or digital portable television for use during power outages. The FCC recommends that consumers: call 911 only for emergencies; wait 10 seconds before redialing a call; and consider forwarding landline calls to a wireless number, particularly in the event of an evacuation.