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 has directed Consumers Energy Company and DTE Electric Company to file applications at the MPSC that examine the cost allocation methods and rate design methods they use to set rates for
their electric customers by October 6, 2014. Public Act 169 of 2014 requires that the utilities meet two conditions: (1) proposals must result in cost-of-service rates for each customer class based on the allocation of production-related and transmission costs developed through use of the 50-25-25 method of cost allocation, unless the Commission finds that a modification of that cost allocation method would better ensure rates are equal to the cost of service; and (2) proposals must explore different methods for allocation of production, transmission, distribution and customer-related costs, and overall rate design, based on cost of service that support affordable and competitive electric rates for all customer classes.
The FCC announced it made the comments filed in its Open Internet/Net Neutrality proceeding available to the public in a series of six XML files, totaling over 1.4 GB of data. The FCC said this is approximately two and half times the amount of plain-text data embodied in the Encyclopedia Britannica. The FCC noted that mailed comments postmarked prior to July 18 are still being scanned and entered into the ECFS and will be included in an updated XML file when scanning is complete. The release of the comments as Open Data in machine-readable format is intended to allow researchers, journalists, and others to analyze and create visualizations of the data so that the public and the FCC can discuss and learn from the comments we’ve received. The FCC hopes these analyses will contribute to an even more informed and useful reply comment period, which ends on September 10. The FCC said it would make available additional XML files covering reply comments after that date. Over 1.1 million comments were filed in the docket, both through the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) and its email@example.com email address.
The PSC released its annual Report on the Status of Competition in the Telecommunications Industry to the legislature. The report compiles data from 290 Florida telecommunications companies for a 12-month period ending December 31, 2013. The report finds that Florida consumers continue to migrate from wireline service to wireless and cable/VoIP services, and businesses are increasing their subscription to CLEC business-specific offerings.
The report notes that a few Florida telecommunications industry “firsts” also occurred during 2013, with AT&T reporting as many business wirelines as residential lines, and CLEC-reported business access lines gaining a market share of 51%, leaving the ILECs a minority in the wireline business market. According to the report, CLECs’ market share of total (residential and business) access lines
increased last year, from 26% to 32%. In addition, there are nearly as many wireless handsets in service in Florida as there are people – approximately 18.45 million – and it is estimated that 2.8 million Florida residents are VoIP subscribers, an increase of about 5% from 2012. In the aggregate, local exchange carriers in Florida saw a 7% decrease in total wirelines from last year. By comparison, residential access lines decreased 18% from 2012.