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.
Earlier this week, the Senate confirmed Cheryl LaFleur to a second term on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. LaFleur, who has been Acting Chairman of the Commission since November 2013, will now serve a term that expires in 2019. In a News Release she said “I want to thank President Obama and the Senate for giving me the opportunity to serve another term,” Acting Chairman LaFleur said “I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to maintain a reliable and secure grid and help ensure our energy markets and infrastructure adapt to the nation’s changing resource mix.”
The Utilities and Transport Commission has approved a Settlement Agreement between it and Qwest Corporation d/b/a CenturyLink QC and CenturyTel Of Washington, d/b/a CenturyLink. The Agreement resolves all of the issues in the dispute. See the Regulatory Mix dated 7/9/14. CenturyLink must pay a penalty of $31,300 to the Commission no later than August 25, 2014, and implement improvements to its billing system no later than December 31, 2014.
The NG9-1-1 Capitol Hill Technology Showcase will be held on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 in the RHOB – 2168 the Rayburn “Gold Room.” The Institute’s showcase is open to the public and will include information regarding indoor location accuracy and text to 9-1-1 demonstrations. Speakers include David Simpson, FCC Chief of Public Safety & Homeland Security Bureau and Antwane Johnson, Director of FEMA’s iPAWS System. The event kicks off at 9:00 a.m. See agenda here
At its 2014 Summer Meeting, the National Association Of Regulatory Utility Commissioners adopted one resolution relating to telecommunications – a Resolution to Ensure Jurisdictional Bases for Open Internet Rules. The Resolution supports: (1) adoption of rules that protect an open Internet, consistent with NARUC’s 2002 and 2010 Resolutions; and (2) the expansion of the transparency rules proposed by the FCC.
The FCC released the text of the speech that Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau Chief Simpson gave at the NARUC Summer Meeting concerning Preservation of 911 Accountability. In the speech, Admiral (ret.) David Simpson discussed the challenges facing state and federal authorities charged with ensuring that the US communications infrastructure is secure and reliable: ensuring that public safety authorities are accessible in times of crisis; creating a safe communications environment; and ensuring that new IP-based networks are reliable and resilient. He discussed the April 2014 Multi-State 911 Outage and noted the “clear” authority of state regulators and the FCC to “ensure that transitions of critical 911 infrastructure and services are managed appropriately, seamlessly, and in a manner that preserves the integrity of the system.” He went on to warn that
“Carriers will be fully accountable. Yes, it is an ecosystem, but the buck stops with the carrier. The transition to IP does not – and will not – absolve providers’ responsibilities for ensuring that 911 functions as our citizens expect it to function. While providers are entitled to make decisions about their businesses, they are not entitled to do so in a manner that endangers 911 or puts the public at risk. They are also not entitled to do so without consultation, without complete transparency among stakeholders about who is accountable for what element of the service, or in a manner that puts other stakeholders in the dark with respect to the functioning of the combined network.”
He also discussed the role of the Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council, cybersecurity, emergency alerting, text-to-911, 911 location accuracy, and FirstNet.