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 PSC announced that numbers from the 531 Area Code are now available for carriers to assign to their customers. In 2009, the PSC adopted an overlay relief plan with implementation milestones. One of the milestones was that the new 531 Area Code numbers would not be made available until there were only ten remaining codes in 402. TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers see Bulletin dated 7/20/09. The North America Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA) recently informed the PSC that the 402 Area Code has only ten codes remaining. The PSC noted that for calls in the 402 Area Code, ten digit dialing will remain the same to reach local numbers in the 402 and 531 Area Codes. Long distance (toll) calls within the 402 and 531 Area Codes will continue to require dialing a 1 before the ten digit number is called.
Comcast-Time Warner merger
The FCC has established a comment cycle on the Comcast-Time Warner Cable Merger and the related transfer of certain Comcast assets to Charter Communications. Comments/Petitions to Deny are due August 25, 2014; Responses to Comments/Oppositions to Petitions are due September 23, 2014; and Replies to Responses/Oppositions are due October 8, 2014. The FCC is asking for comment to assist it in its independent review of all proposed transfers of licenses and other authorizations referred to in its Public Notice, which also provides details about the proposed transactions and filing instructions. The Notice specifies that all requests for meetings with Commission staff regarding the transaction should be made online, using the link at http://transition.fcc.gov/transaction/comcast-twc_exparte-meeting-request. Those who lack Internet access may direct their requests to Vanessa Lemmé, Media Bureau, (202) 418-2611.
The FCC denied a request for an extension of time to file comments and reply comments in its Open Internet aka Net Neutrality rulemaking proceeding. The FCC said the petitioner failed to state a reason why interested commenters would be unable to meet, or face difficulties in meeting, the established dates for filing comments and reply comments. Instead, the petitioner argued that the FCC would have difficulties processing the large number of comments expected. The FCC said that this assertion “is not relevant to the submission dates set for interested parties to file comments and replies” and denied the request. As reported previously, comments and reply comments are due by July 15 and September 10, 2014, respectively.
Two parties have petitioned the US Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit for rehearing of its decision affirming the FCC’s ICC/USF order. Allband Communications Cooperative said it will suffer financial destruction if the decision is not reversed. It also claimed that the Court overlooked a major issue it raised, that agencies cannot retroactively reverse orders or regulations on which entities relied to their detriment (in this case, its construction of network relying on USF support to repay its RUS loan). Transcom Enhanced Services, Inc. also sought rehearing, claiming the Court overlooked several issues raised in its brief and erroneously held that certain of the issues it raised had not been preserved for review. The FCC was directed to respond to the two petitions within 14 days.