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 General Accounting Office released a report on usage-based pricing (UBP) by Internet providers. The report examines: (1) information available about the application of UBP by Internet service providers; (2) issues related to UBP selected consumers report are important to them; and (3) the potential effects of UBP on consumers. GAO collected data on Internet plans from the country’s 13 top fixed and 4 top mobile providers; conducted 8 focus groups with consumers in 4 cities selected to reflect geographic diversity; reviewed relevant studies; and interviewed officials from the top Internet providers, FCC and industry stakeholders, including researchers, policy, and industry organizations. The report recommends that the FCC: (1) work with fixed providers to develop a voluntary code of conduct to improve consumer communication and (2) make use of existing data to track fixed Internet UBP and its effects on consumers nationwide.
The FCC affirmed a total penalty of $64,000 against a company that failed to obtain FCC approval prior to a consummating eight substantial changes in corporate control. The FCC fined the company $8,000 for each unauthorized transfer. The FCC declined to cancel or reduce the forfeiture amounts based on the fact that the company disclosed and attempted to correct some of the unauthorized transfers prior to receiving a Letter of Inquiry from the FCC. It said that “such partial disclosures and compliance efforts are insufficient to warrant a reduction in the proposed forfeitures.” The FCC noted that the company did not disclose or attempt to correct four of the eight violations until after it received the Letter of Inquiry, even though all of the transactions occurred within the same time frame.
District of Columbia
As requested by the parties in a Joint Motion, the PSC has postponed the evidentiary hearings scheduled for December 3 and 4 in the matter of Verizon’s continued use of its copper infrastructure for the provision of telecommunications services in the District. The PSC directed the parties to file an updated report on the status of their settlement negotiations in this matter by December 12, 2014. The PSC opened this proceeding to investigate Verizon’s continued use of its copper infrastructure for the provision of telecommunications services and whether and under what circumstances the company plans to transition customers from the telecommunications services provided over copper facilities to telecommunications service provided over fiber facilities. In July 2014 the PSC finalized the Issues List and procedural schedule for this case which called for settlement negotiations between the parties. See the Regulatory Mix dated 10/21/14