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 announced the 48 “next-in-line” bidders that successfully submitted the required financial and technical information to be considered to receive rural broadband experiment support if any of the provisionally accepted bidders default before the list of census blocks that will be offered to the price cap carriers for Phase II of the Connect America Fund is finalized. The FCC cautioned that the Public Notice does not determine which entities ultimately may be provisionally selected as next-in-line bidders. The FCC said that once it determined whether any additional funding is available due to the failure of any current provisionally selected bidders to file a commitment letter by the required deadline, it will announce which among those listed on the Attachment to the Public Notice are now provisionally selected bidders.
FCC Chairman Wheeler Published in Wired Magazine
In an opinion piece published today in Wired Magazine, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler wrote “I am submitting to my colleagues the strongest open internet protections ever proposed by the FCC. These enforceable, bright-line rules will ban paid prioritization, and the blocking and throttling of lawful content and services. I propose to fully apply—for the first time ever—those bright-line rules to mobile broadband. My proposal assures the rights of internet users to go where they want, when they want, and the rights of innovators to introduce new products without asking anyone’s permission. ” In this article Wheeler added that, “The internet must be fast, fair and open. That is the message I’ve heard from consumers and innovators across this nation. That is the principle that has enabled the internet to become an unprecedented platform for innovation and human expression. And that is the lesson I learned heading a tech startup at the dawn of the internet age. The proposal I present to the commission will ensure the internet remains open, now and in the future, for all Americans.” Read the complete article here.
A new law in California will change the way surcharges and taxes are collected on prepaid wireless service effective January 1, 2016. The new law establishes a prepaid mobile telephony services telephone service surcharge that will include the separate assessments currently made on prepaid wireless service for the six California PUC telephone surcharges, the PUC reimbursement fee, and the 911 fee. The law also creates a local prepaid mobile telephony services charge which is a tiered rate structure that local authorities seeking to impose utility user taxes and local 911 taxes must conform to if they want to tax prepaid wireless services. The new prepaid wireless fee will be the combined total of the prepaid MTS surcharge and the applicable local charges. Remittance requirements vary depending on whether the seller collecting the fee is a provider or a retailer. See TMI Regulatory Bulletin dated 1/29/15, available here.
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