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 it had entered into Consent Decrees with seven carriers to resolve FCC investigation into whether they switched consumers’ preferred long distance provider without authorization (slamming) and charged consumers for services that they had not authorized (cramming). The carriers agreed to pay civil penalties totaling $1.2 million. The Consent Decrees are novel in that they also bind the entity that supplied back office support for the seven carriers, Back Office Support Systems, Inc. (BOSS). For instance, BOSS is prohibited from making any deceptive, false, or misleading statement to any consumer and must: (1) obtain express consent for all changes; (2) follow the agreed-upon process for resolving consumer complaints; (3) adopt and follow a compliance plan; and (4) file periodic reports with the FCC. Significantly, BOSS is also jointly and severally liable with each company for full payment of that company’s civil penalty and must pay the penalty in full itself if the carrier defaults. The back office support provided by BOSS included management of customer acquisition (including supervision of the third-party verification process), processing of new sales, oversight of federal and state regulatory compliance, and oversight of federal and state tax matters. The Orders and Consent Decrees are available at:
Business Network Long Distance, Inc.; click here
Communications Network Billing, Inc.; click here
Integrated Services, Inc.; click here
Multiline Long Distance, Inc.; click here
National Access Long Distance, Inc.; click here
Nationwide Long Distance Service, Inc.; click here
Network Service Billing, Inc.; click here
SB 1382, signed by the Governor, modifies the state’s “no call list” law to prohibit only “unsolicited” telemarketing sales calls to a customer’s commercial mobile service device. This change became effective January 29, 2015. Current law defines unsolicited telemarketing sales calls as any telemarketing sales call other than a call made in response to an express written request of the customer called or to an existing customer.
Existing CPUC rules establish various requirements regarding distribution system physical security. SB 699 mandates CPUC action to develop rules for physical security for the distribution system in a new or existing proceeding. As part of its examination of grid security, the CPUC issued a staff paper titled, Regulation of Physical Security for the Electric Distribution System, which recommends that security planning consider multiple factors. Among other things, the paper recommends that the CPUC open a proceeding to evaluate and update existing requirements regarding physical security of the electric system, and that issues to be addressed in the proceeding should include requiring a risk-based approach to physical security planning, industry best practices, drills and testing of security plans, and whether and what types of information about the electric system should be confidential due to security concerns.