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 extended the time for filing comments and reply comments in response to its Public Notice addressing potential changes to its wireless hearing aid compatibility (HAC) rules. Comments are now due February 5, 2015 and reply comments are due February 20, 2015. They had been due January 22, 2015, and February 6, 2015, respectively. The extension of time was granted in response to a request by the Telecommunications Industry Association and CTIA – The Wireless Association and Hearing Loss Association of America who had requested an additional 30 days due to the intervening holidays. The FCC declined to grant the full extension requested, but agreed to a 14-day extension of time to “encourage the thoughtful consideration of the complex issues raised in this proceeding.” TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers see Bulletins dated 12/22/14 and 12/23/14.
On January 23, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai will hold an event in Marshall, Texas, where he will deliver a progress report on his effort to ensure that Americans who dial 911 are able to reach someone who can help. Commissioner Pai began working on this issue one year ago, in the wake of the tragic death of Kari Rene Hunt Dunn in a Marshall, Texas hotel room. Her daughter attempted to dial 911 to get help but the call never went through because the hotel’s phone system required her to first dial 9 to get an outside line. Commissioner Pai’s subsequent investigation revealed that the problem is not limited to hotels but was also common in other large buildings, such as offices and schools. Commissioner Pai has been working over the course of the past year to fix this problem, in consultation with the nation’s lodging industry, the leading vendors of multi-line telephone service (MLTS) products and services, and members of the public.
In December 2014 Time Warner Cable Inc. appealed the ALJ determination that the build-out information in Exhibit 46 (“New York State Rural Builds” information) should be publicly disclosed. On January 9, 2015, the PSC ruled that all information related to the projects identified I Exhibit 46 as part of the Connect NY Program will be disclosed in 15 days (i.e., January 24, 2015). The ruling allows TWC an opportunity to demonstrate (by January 16, 2015) that the remaining projects listed in Exhibit 46 should be deemed to be “trade secret” because the factors enumerated in the Restatement comment are satisfied. If TWC fails to make the required further showing of “trade secret,” then the entirety of the Exhibit will be disclosed on January 24, 2015.
The company had requested that the trade secret deployment and build-out information be granted exception from disclosure. It argued that “compilation of information on all the Time Warner Cable New York deployments, distances, and passings [number of premises to be passed] into one document would be of enormous value to a competitor. This information could not be developed independently by competitors, and any estimates developed through publicly available data or data from third-party sources, if possible at all, would be expensive and burdensome to assemble, and less accurate than the data provided in Exhibit 46.”