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.
At its August 8, 2014, Open Meeting the FCC adopted rules requiring all wireless carriers and certain IP-based text application providers to support text-to-911 by the end of the year. After that time, if a 911 call center requests text-to-911, text messaging providers will have six months to deploy the service in that area. The requirements apply to “interconnected” text messaging providers (i.e., those which enable consumers to send text messages to and from U.S. phone numbers). This includes providers of “over the top” applications that support texting to and from phone numbers but not, for example, messaging apps that only support communications among users of games or social media. The FCC also adopted a Third Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that seeks comment on the continued evolution of text-to-911, including the delivery of location information and support for text-to- 911 when roaming. Previously, the four largest wireless carriers agreed to support text-to-911 by May 2014.
The FCC also adopted a Report and Order to streamline and eliminate outdated provisions of its Part 17 Rules governing the construction, marking and lighting of antenna structures. The changes are expected to reduce costs for the tower industry. Under the revised rules, tower owners will be able to provide tenants with antenna structure registration (ASR) information via mail, email or other electronic methods. The Order also streamlines rules regarding the maintenance of tower lighting and marking by exempting tower structures that employ robust, continuous monitoring systems from the requirement for quarterly physical inspections of lighting systems. Other changes are intended to harmonize the FCC’s rules with Federal Aviation Administration requirements. To help ensure that its rules continue to reflect current FAA guidelines and publications, the FCC delegated authority to its Wireless Telecommunications Bureau to make non substantive, editorial revisions to the FCC’s Part 17 rules to reflect future FAA rule changes and recommendations after providing an opportunity for notice and comment.
The Communications Division and Policy and Planning Division Report on Telecommunications Guiding Principles (Plan) is on the PUC’s August 14, 2014, agenda for discussion and action. The PUC’s telecommunications policy goals are to promote public safety, consumer protection, universal service, competition, and network reliability. The Plan sets policy direction for the telecommunications industry and directs staff to create a comprehensive Action Plan detailing the steps necessary to create a path for achieving the PUC’s vision and goals based on the guiding principles established in the Plan.
The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission has changed the room number for its technical conference addressing the extension of the permissive dialing period in the 812/930 NPA. The technical conference will now be held in room 222 instead of room 224. On August 6, 2014, the Commission ordered that the all-services distributed overlay for the 812/930 Numbering Plan Area remain in the permissive 10-digit dialing phase until it orders otherwise. Mandatory dialing was scheduled to start September 6, 2014. The Commission ordered the delay based on evidence that consumers and providers are behind on their preparations for the switch to mandatory 10-digit dialing. TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers see Bulletin dated 8/7/14