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 House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology has scheduled a hearing for February 25, 2015, at 10:30 a.m. to discuss “the implications of President Obama’s plan to regulate the Internet and what it means for the future of online innovation.” The hearing is entitled, “The Uncertain Future of the Internet.” In connection with the announcement, Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) said that “The closer we get to the FCC rubber stamping President Obama’s Internet grab, the more disturbing it becomes. Consumers, innovators, and job creators all stand to lose from this misguided approach. What’s more, this plan sends the wrong signal around the globe that freedom and openness on the Internet are best determined by governments – a far cry from decades of bipartisan commitment to light-touch regulation.”
At its Winter Meeting, the Board of Directors of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) adopted two telecom resolutions. The first resolution relates to the IP transition and urges the FCC to reaffirm its commitment to a collaborative, joint approach with the States to further the consumer protection and public safety goals and directives contained in its IP transition Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. See our 11/21/14 Blog “FCC To Consider Rules For The IP Transition”. TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers see Bulletin dated 12/22/14.
The Resolution also urges the FCC to:
- respect and do not diminish state authority in these areas;
- ensure that competition and current consumer protections, including privacy, complaint resolution, basic service, and service quality, remain in effect regardless of the technology used to provide service;
- endorse the States’ continued enforcement of these protections where they exist under State law;
- require all providers of fixed IP-based networks to notify and educate their consumers of any backup power requirements of their services, including battery life spans and procedures for ordering, installing, replacing, and disposing of batteries; and
- partner with states to ensure that consumers are fully informed on the backup power requirements of their IP-based services.
The second resolution urges the FCC to expeditiously approve the petition of the California PUC for state public utility commissions and/or other state-identified state agencies to have direct and immediate secure access to state-specific information in the FCC’s Network Outage Reporting System (NORS) database. TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers see Bulletin dated 2/8/10. Such access would be subject to appropriate safeguards between the FCC and the PUCs regarding confidential information.
Among the topics to be explored are:
- VoIP: What is regulated and what is not
- Best Practices for De-tariffing
- Step 4 in Access Reduction
- Distinction between end office and transport
- Special Access – what’s next?
- IP Transition progress
- Open Internet/Net Neutrality and Interconnection
- Internet under Title II
- Review of Telecom Regulatory Reports and Obligations for CLECs, VoIPs, OSPs, (format and scheduling, too)
- Form 499 Details and Developments
- USF Exemption Certificates
- Telecom Audits
and more. . . .