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 Oregon PUC announced it will hold a workshop on January 20, 2015, to review and discuss recently adopted rule changes that streamline the filing processes for many types of documents. The changes generally eliminate the need for paper copies, with most documents filed by email and posted to eDockets within minutes instead of days. The rules also eliminate the need for service to other parties in most instances. The rule changes will become effective when filed with the Secretary of State. The PUC anticipates that the rules will be filed in February. The revised rules are available here: http://apps.puc.state.or.us/orders/2014ords/14-434.pdf.
The Texas PUC released its 2015 Scope of Competition Report to the Legislature. The Report concludes that three trends continue to define the competitive telecommunications marketplace in Texas: (I) losses in the number of traditional analog POTS (Plain-Old Telephone Service) lines; (2) substitution of wireless service for wired service; and (3) adoption of high speed broadband services and other IP (Internet protocol)-enabled services such as VoIP. It notes that both broadband adoption and broadband speeds have increased in the state. The Report also states that Texas has seen the continued deregulation of additional markets served by ILECs, including the total deregulation of the largest incumbent in Texas – AT&T. As a deregulated company AT&T is no longer obligated to file tariffs with the PUC; is not required to comply with the PUC’s quality of service requirements, annual reporting requirements, or provider of last resort obligations; and it can no longer draw from the TUSF. The Report also notes consumers have begun to use wireless service as a replacement for traditional wireline service and that wireless providers continue to increase their market share. According to the Report, the number of mobile wireless subscribers in Texas (24,895,000 as of June 2013) significantly exceeds the number of access lines provided by Texas ILECs and CLECs (8,838,000 as of June 2013) and wireless substitution continues to increase. ILEC total market share decreased from 2012 to 2013; non-ILEC total market share slightly increased from 2012 to 2013.