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.
Review of USOA
The FCC has initiated a rulemaking to review its Part 32 Uniform System of Accounts (USOA) applicable to price cap local exchange carriers to consider ways to minimize the compliance burdens on while ensuring that the it retains access to the information it needs to fulfill its regulatory duties. Comments will be due 60 days after publication of the notice in the Federal Register. Reply comments will be due 90 days after publication. Areas for comment include: consolidating the Class A and Class B accounts; aligning the USOA with GAAP; and requiring price cap carriers to comply with a more limited set of accounting rules instead of the USOA. The FCC said it expects to complete the proceeding no later than the end of 2015. In 2013 the FCC denied a request to forbear completely from applying the requirement to price cap carriers but said it would initiate a rulemaking to consider ways to minimize the compliance burdens. TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers see Bulletin dated 6/7/13
The FCC extended the time for filing comments and reply comments in its proceeding seeking to establish a permanent National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP). See the Regulatory Mix dated 8/5/14. The NDBEDP supports the distribution of communications devices to low-income individuals who are deaf-blind. Comments are now due September 5, 2014 and reply comments are due September 19, 2014. They had been due August 22, 2014 and September 5, 2014, respectively. The extension of time was granted at the request of the National Federation of the Blind.
The PUC reauthorized the telephone charge residents in Indiana and Centre counties pay for their local 911 services. Indiana County did not request a change to its current contribution rate of $1.50 per telephone line per month. Centre County did not request a change to its current contribution rate of $1.25 per telephone line per month. The Public Safety Emergency Telephone Act of 1990 provides for a statewide 911 emergency communication system to be administered by the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA). The law allows the counties to recover the cost for 911 systems by accessing a fee on every telephone line. Local phone companies collect the fee for the counties. The rates are effective from the date of the PUC order for a period of three years.