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’s Wireline Competition Bureau released two items in connection with the FCC’s E-Rate Modernization Order. See the Regulatory Mix dated 7/15/14. The first is a staff report which summarizes the impact of the changes made to funding of internal connections, presents analysis on fiber connectivity and pricing for schools and libraries, and examines the short- and long-term impacts of phasing down non-broadband services. It is intended to assist parties in navigating the large and data-intensive record in the E-rate Modernization docket as they consider making comments in response to the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. Datasets that were used in preparing the staff report are available here. Second, the Bureau published two maps that provide a geographic representation of the data submitted in the E-rate Modernization proceeding regarding fiber connectivity to public schools and libraries. They maps are available here. The interactive fiber maps each have a mouseover feature that allows users to view the percentage of public schools with fiber connectivity at the district-wide level and the number of annual visits to the library system.
California & Minnesota
Smartphone Kill Switch
A bill (SB 962) is headed to the Governor’s office that would require that any smartphone manufactured on or after July 1, 2015, and sold in California after that date, include a technological solution at the time of sale that can render inoperable the essential features of the smartphone (i.e., a kill switch). The bill exempts a smartphone model that was first introduced prior to January, 1, 2015, that cannot reasonably be reengineered to support the manufacturer’s or operating system provider’s technological solution, including if the hardware or software cannot support a retroactive update. The bill would authorize an authorized user to affirmatively elect to disable or opt-out of the technological solution at any time. It would make the knowing retail sale in violation of the bill’s requirements subject to a civil penalty of not less than $500, or more than $2,500, for each violation.
In May 2014 Minnesota became the first state to enact a law requiring smartphones to have the ability to be remotely disabled. (Chapter 241, SF1740) The law requires that any new smart phone manufactured on or after July 1, 2015, sold or purchased in Minnesota must be equipped with preloaded antitheft functionality or be capable of downloading that functionality. The functionality must be available to purchasers at no cost. The California bill requires smartphones to come pre-equipped with a kill switch, while the Minnesota law calls for smartphones to be equipped with preloaded kill switch functionality or be capable of downloading that functionality.
In April 2014 the CTIA announced its “Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment.” Each signatory to the Commitment agreed that new models of smartphones first manufactured after July 2015 for retail sale in the United States will offer, at no cost to consumers, a baseline anti-theft tool that is preloaded or downloadable on wireless smartphones.
District of Columbia
The PSC has extended the filing period for comments and reply comments in its retail service quality rulemaking. The comment period will be extended from August 11, 2014, to September 22, 2014, and the reply comment deadline will now be October 14, 2014. TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers see Bulletin dated 7/17/14.
The PSC has scheduled a public hearing for September 16, 2014, on Qwest Corporation d/b/a/ CenturyLink QC’s petition for a determination that its basic telecommunications services provided in its Base Rate Area and Zone 1 service areas are subject to effective competition and should be price-deregulated. The affected exchanges are: Aflon, Buffalo, Casper, Cheyenne, Cody, Dayton-Ranchester, Douglas, Evanston, Gillette, Glendo, Glenrock, Green River, Jackson, Kemmerer, Lake, Lander, Laramie, Lusk, Mammoth, Moran, Old Faithful, Powell, Rawlins, Riverton, Rock Springs, Sheridan, Story, Wheatland and Wright. The “Base Rate Area” and “Zone 1” generally correspond to municipal boundaries and the outskirts of municipal areas, respectively. In support of its petition, CenturyLink QC said that it faces substantial and increasing competition from other telecommunications service providers using a variety of technologies throughout its service territory in Wyoming. TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers see Bulletin dated 3/10/14.