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.
At a case conference held on January 12, 2015, FairPoint Communications-NNE expressed several theories as to why the PUC should not require it to support a request for an increase in the rates it charges for Provider of Last Resort (POLR) service by filing traditional cost of service and revenue information such as that specified in Chapter 120 of the PUC’s rules. The PUC has asked the parties to submit briefs on issues including the following on or before February 20, 2015. “With regard to a rate filing that is not a “general increase in rates” under [Title 35-A M.R.S.] Section 307, or a “general rate case” under Chapter 120 [of the PUC’s rules], must the Commission apply the “just and reasonable” standard contained in 35-A M.R.S. § 301 utilizing a cost-based, revenue requirement analysis?” If the answer it no, the PUC asks the parties to “provide alternative analytical frameworks for determining if a requested increase in rates is “just and reasonable,” and explain why each such a framework is both lawful and superior to a cost-based, revenue requirement approach with respect to FairPoint’s proposed POLR service rates.”
The PUC will host a cybersecurity tabletop exercise from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 28, 2015. The purpose of this exercise is for industry and government agencies to address preparations for a cyber or physical attack on their networks and infrastructure. The simulation will be facilitated by Dr. Paul Stockton and managed by the PUC’s Office of Commissioner Pamela A. Witmer. Participants will be separated by sector to simulate how information may or may not flow among them. Parties can choose from three levels of participation:
- Full participation—utility or association representative is in the room, interacting with others during the exercise.
- Communication only—representative is not onsite, but is receiving information and participating virtually as much as possible.
- Information only—representative receives the information but is not an active participant.
Interested parties should contact Juli Bossert at (717) 783-1763 no later than February 13, 2015. Questions about the exercise can be directed to Patrick McDonnell, Executive Policy Manager for Commissioner Pamela A. Witmer, (717) 783-1763, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Proposed HB 117 would establish a Division for Telecommunications and Connectivity within the Department of Public Service, create a Telecommunications and Connectivity Advisory Board, and make various other amendments and clarifications regarding the Vermont Universal Service Fund fiscal agent, the Connectivity Fund, the High-Cost Program, and the Connectivity Initiative by adding §202e to 30 V.S.A. On February 3, 2015, it was sent to the committee on Commerce & Economic Development.