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.
A FCC Public Notice announced that the Wireline Competition Bureau will take additional steps to eliminate duplicative claims for lifeline support. The Bureau has established a process to resolve inter-company household duplicates identified during the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) loading process. The Bureau also approved a process timeline consistent with the timeline for the recertification requirements for the Lifeline program. TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers see Bulletin dated 8/27/14.
The PUC announced that the next topic in its ongoing Thought Leaders Speaker Series will be: “The Broadband Race: Is America Falling Behind?” The meeting will be held on October 2, 2014. Professor Christopher S. Yoo (John H. Chestnut Professor of Law, Communication, and Computer & Information Science, and Founding Director of the Center for Technology, Innovation and Competition at the University of Pennsylvania Law School) will discuss the findings of his report “U.S. v. European Broadband Deployment: What Do the Data Say?” and will discuss the implications for government roles and policies including net neutrality and the Communications Act.
The PUC issued a Press Release recognizing National Telephone Discount Lifeline Awareness Week: September 8-14, 2014. “The PUCO advises consumers to look into all options for their families when it comes to staying connected. Lifeline is a great resource for low-income families to be included in recent communication technologies” Chairman Thomas W. Johnson stated.
In July 2014, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) conducted a fact-finding exercise on the practice of charging additional fees (up to $6/month) to customers who wish to receive paper bills in the communication industry. Following that exercise, the CRTC challenged the industry to meet and address the issue of paper bill fees. The CRTC Vice-Chairs issued a report on the outcome of their recent paper bills meeting. It was reported that those companies that charge paper bill fees have agreed to provide exemptions for customers who have no personal or home broadband connection, persons with disabilities who need a paper bill, seniors aged 65 and over, and veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces. Companies that choose to charge for paper bills have committed that the exemptions will take effect by January 1, 2015. The Vice-Chairpersons said that while this agreement addresses the concerns of some Canadians, it does not go far enough. They have recommended that the CRTC reinitiate a public process to seek the views of Canadians.