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.
Data on Internet access and local competition
The FCC released its latest reports on Internet access service connections and local telephone services in the United States: Internet Access Services and Local Telephone Competition. The reports include data through December 31, 2013 and are based on information reported on the FCC Form 477.
Highlights from the reports include the following:
- The number of connections with downstream speeds of at least 10 Mbps increased by104% over December 2012, from 60 million to 122 million connections, including 64million fixed connections and 58 million mobile connections.
- The number of mobile subscriptions with speeds over 200 kbps in at least one direction grew from 169 million to 197 million – up 17% from December 2012.
- In voice services, there were 85 million end-user switched access lines in service, 48 million interconnected VoIP subscriptions, and 311 million mobile voice subscriptions, or 444 million retail local telephone service connections in total as of December 31, 2013.
- Over the three years between December 2010 and December 2013, interconnected VoIP subscriptions increased at a compound growth rate of 15%, mobile voice subscriptions increased at a compound annual growth rate of 3%, and retail switched access lines declined at 10% a year.
Inmate Calling Service
At its October 17, 2014, Open Meeting the FCC adopted a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) to further reform inmate calling services (ICS) rates. The FNPRM seeks comment on:
- Permanent rate caps on local, intrastate and interstate calling;
- The level of cap that would ensure coverage of the enhanced security requirements of inmate calling;
- Elimination of per-call connection fees;
- Prohibiting site commissions as a category for all interstate and intrastate services but permitting facilities to recover any legitimate costs of provisioning inmate calling services;
- Capping and restricting ancillary fees, such as fees to open and maintain calling card accounts;
- Phasing in these changes, with rate caps being effective in 90 days and a 2-year transition away from site commissions;
- Ensuring that inmate calling services are accessible for all Americans, including inmates and families with disabilities; and
- Effective methods of enforcing inmate calling rate rules and reviewing their effect.
TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers, watch for a Bulletin when the text of the FNPRM is released.