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.
Leaders of House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation sent a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler urging him to release the text of the FCC’s draft Open Internet Order ahead of the scheduled vote on February 26, 2015. They wrote: “Given the significance of the matter and the strong public participation in the commission’s proceeding to date, we believe the public and industry stakeholders alike should have the opportunity to review the text of any proposed order or rules prior to commission action. Accordingly, we urge you to publicly release the draft text of the Open Internet Order when you circulate it to your fellow commissioners.” They went on to say that “Transparency in this matter is particularly vital as so many of the public participants who have expressed an interest in net neutrality have no meaningful access to the proceeding at the Commission… Releasing the text allows the public to, at the very least, have an informed opinion and ideally, the opportunity to provide feedback on the proposal the FCC will vote on just over one month from today.”
Rural Broadband Experiments
The FCC reminded entities provisionally selected as winning bidders for rural broadband experiments support that they are required to submit, by February 3, 2015, a letter from an acceptable bank committing to issue an irrevocable standby original letter of credit (LOC) to that entity. In addition, the FCC summarized several aspects of the LOC requirements, including the following:
- Entities may negotiate all the terms of their LOC with the issuing bank, including the length of the LOC, so long as they hold a LOC in each of the 10 years that they receive support.
- The commitment letter that must be submitted by February 3rd only is required to commit to providing the provisionally selected bidder with a LOC in the amount of the first year of distributed support.
- There is no requirement that the same bank issue the commitment letter and the ultimate LOC.
The FCC announced the selection of the Perkins School for the Blind for certification to participate in the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP) for the state of Utah effective February 1, 2015. The new selection was made because the entity currently serving Utah informed the FCC that it would be unable to continue to participate in the NDBEDP and would be relinquishing its certifications. See the Regulatory Mix dated 11/7/14.
Save the dates for TMI’s Telecom Regulatory Seminar & Workshop 4/30/15 – 5/1/15 in Maitland, FL!