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 announced it is accepting applications from entities interested in receiving certification to distribute equipment under the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP) to qualifying residents in Michigan. Applications will be accepted until October 2, 2014. In 2012, the FCC selected the Michigan Bureau of Services for Blind Persons (BSBP) as the NDBEDP certified program for the state of Michigan. In September 2014, the Michigan BSBP informed the FCC that it would not continue participating in the NDBEDP and that it would relinquish its certification as of October 1, 2014. The certified program selected for Michigan will be reimbursed for eligible NDBEDP related costs that it incurs after its selection and during the third year of the NDBEDP pilot program, which begins July 1, 2014, and ends June 30, 2015. Any public program or private entity may apply to the FCC for certification if it meets the FCC’s qualification requirements.
A new law in California will: (1) increase the existing penalty for unlawful removal of a telephone or cable line; and (2) additionally make it a crime for any person to unlawfully and maliciously disconnect or cut a telephone or cable line or appurtenance or apparatus connected therewith, including, but not limited to, a backup deep cycle battery or other power supply. The law also increases the maximum fine from $500 to $10,000. As before, violators could also be imprisoned in county jails for up to three years. The new law becomes effective January 1, 2015.
In July 2014 the PUC adopted emergency Automatic Location Identification (ALI) rules. The emergency rules require any provider of ALI services to prove the reliability and affordability of their ALI services prior to transitioning to a different ALI service or database system, which may include self-provisioning, or providing a separate ALI service to PSAPs. TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers see Bulletin dated 8/5/14. In August CenturyLink QC asked the PUC to reconsider the ALI rules decision. CenturyLink offered no suggested revisions to the emergency rules, but “urges” the PUC to “fashion rules that are not unnecessarily intrusive into carrier management and vendor relationships while preserving the affordability and reliability of all basic emergency services for all Coloradans.” In its response denying the petition for reconsideration, the PUC said the “emergency ALI rules do not interfere with CenturyLink’s vendor contracts or their terms and conditions, and CenturyLink cites no provision or language from the emergency rules that does so.”