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 Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) required Northwestel to lower the rates for certain residential Internet services by 10% to 30%. Northern Canadians who are clients of Northwestel could see a significant reduction applied to their monthly bills by May 4, 2015. Northwestel will not be able to increase any residential Internet rates until the end of 2017 at the earliest. Northwestel must reduce its additional data usage charges and to stop applying additional fees for stand-alone Internet services. The CRTC will initiate a major proceeding in the coming months to review basic telecommunication services in Canada in order to improve access to advanced and competitive communications services.
Local Number Portability Administrator
The FCC released a status update on the selection of a new Local Number Portability Administrator (LNPA). (Neustar’s (the current LNPA) contract automatically renews for one-year terms and the next available termination date is June 30, 2015. The FCC is overseeing the process to select the next LNPA.) The update indicates that the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau has circulated a draft order to the full Commission which, if adopted, would initiate contract negotiations with Telcordia (iconnectiv) to served as the next LNPA. If the FCC adopts the draft order, North American Portability Management LLC NAPM would begin to negotiate contract terms with Telcordia. These terms would be subject to approval by the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau. If a final contract is negotiated, the FCC will oversee the transition to ensure that matters affecting the public interest, such as public safety and security, are fully addressed in the contract terms, and to ensure that any transition occurs efficiently and seamlessly.
Rural Broadband Experiments
The FCC announced the names of additional bidders have been provisionally selected for rural broadband experiments funding in category one, subject to the post-selection review process. By May 4, 2015, the bidders identified in the Attachment must submit a letter from an acceptable bank committing to provide the bidder with a letter of credit (LOC) in the amount of the support the bidder will receive for each of its projects. Failure to submit the requested materials by this deadline will constitute a default. By June 2, 2015, the bidders must upload to the FCC Form 5620 appropriate documentation of their designation as an eligible telecommunications carrier (ETC) in all areas for which they will receive support. The FCC said it would issue a Public Notice “in the near future” that identifies all of the specific census blocks that have been provisionally selected for rural broadband experiment funding and that will be removed from the offer of Connect America Fund model-based support to price cap carriers.