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.
Modernizing the E-rate Program for Schools and Libraries: A Second Report and Order on Reconsideration to close the school and library connectivity gap by adjusting program rules and support levels in order to meet long-term program goals for high-speed connectivity to and within all eligible schools and libraries.
Connect America Fund Report and Order: A Report and Order finalizing decisions necessary to proceed to Phase II of the Connect America Fund.
Broadcast Incentive Auctions: A Public Notice that asks for comment on the detailed procedures necessary to carry out the Broadcast Incentive Auction. This includes specific proposals on auction design issues such as determination of the initial clearing target, opening bid prices, and the final television channel assignment process.
The agenda also includes various consent items from the Media Bureau.
The Utilities and Transportation Commission Staff has released their Investigation Report concerning the April 2014 statewide E911 service outage. See the Regulatory Mix dated 4/14/14. The investigation/report focuses on issues concerning the technical functionality of the statewide 911 network, as well as, CenturyLink’s business practices prior to, during, and following the outage.
The 911 outage resulted in a loss of access to the state 911 system in all of the state’s 39 counties across 56 primary Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) and 12 secondary PSAPs. Staff reported that in April 2014 all PSAPs in Washington provided E911 service; since then eight PSAPs have converted to IP based Next Generation 911 (NG911) service. Staff directly contacted public utility commission staff and 911 officials to discuss 911 system outages that occurred in California, District of Columbia, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Hawaii, Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, and Virginia. Staff determined that the April 9 and 10, 2014, emergency system outage also affected California, Florida, Minnesota, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania. The report outlines recommendations for action by the commission including implementation of specific safeguards to assure reliability, availability, and survivability of the network and assessment of a penalty of up to $2,932,750 for 11,731 violations of commission laws and rules.
The FCC also initiated a proceeding to examine the circumstances surrounding the Washington statewide 911 outage as well as 911 outages that occurred in other states around the same April 2014 timeframe. Last month, the FCC released a Policy Statement and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking(NPRM) seeking comment on specific proposals intended to set the nation on a path towards reversing the recent trend of large-scale 911 outages. See the Regulatory Mix dated 11/25/14. In October 2014 the FCC released a report on the causes and impacts of the April 2014, multistate 911 outage that affected 911 calls. The report recommended that the FCC, state governments, and 911 industry participants take steps to preserve the reliability and integrity of the 911 system throughout the transition to NG911 and beyond. See the Regulatory Mix dated 10/22/14.