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 it is accepting applications from entities interested in receiving certification to distribute equipment under the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP) to qualifying residents in Iowa. Applications will be accepted until July 18, 2014. In 2012, the FCC selected the Iowa Utilities Board as the NDBEDP certified program for the state of Iowa. In June 2014, the Iowa Utilities Board informed the FCC that it would not continue participating in the NDBEDP and that it would relinquish its certification as of July 1, 2014. The certified program selected for Iowa will be reimbursed for eligible NDBEDP related costs that it incurs after its selection and during the third year of the NDBEDP pilot program, which begins July 1, 2014, and ends June 30, 2015. Any public program or private entity may apply to the FCC for certification if it meets the FCC’s qualification requirements.
July 11, Open Meeting
The FCC announced the final agenda for its July 11, 2014 Open Meeting. As reported previously, See the Regulatory Mix dated June 23, 2014, the Agenda includes: (1) a Report and Order to modernize the E-Rate program by focusing support for WiFi connectivity for schools and libraries. The R&O seeks to close the WiFi gap, make E-Rate dollars go farther and deliver faster, simpler and more efficient applications and other processes. (2) a Report and Order establishing a budget and a methodology for selecting winning applications for the Connect America rural broadband experiments adopted by the FCC in January 2014; and (3) a Second Order on Reconsideration and a Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that revisits the FCC’s determinations regarding the captioning of video clips when delivered using Internet protocol, ensuring that individuals with hearing disabilities are able to enjoy the full benefits of broadband technology.
The Department of Telecommunications and Cable issued an advisory about Verizon’s transition from traditional copper based landline telephone service to fiber optic based landline technologies. It explains (in Q&A format) that Verizon is replacing its traditional copper network in certain communities and migrating customers to a fiber network. It goes on to say that as a Verizon customer once migrated to fiber network, the price of a current calling plan for landline telephone service will remain the same, until the customer decides to change it AND landline telephone service delivered over a fiber network is not the same as Verizon’s FiOS digital voice service. A similar advisory was issued in May for Verizon customers in Lynnfield, Massachusetts.