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 Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade unveiled draft legislation designed to address the nation’s growing data security challenges. The subcommittee is scheduled to review the draft legislation at its March 18, 2015, hearing. The Committee said that the Data Security and Breach Notification Act is “a comprehensive plan to help safeguard sensitive consumer information and shield Americans from the consequences of cyber attacks.” The draft bill would set a national standard for covered entities to implement and maintain reasonable security measures and practices to protect and secure personal information. Among other things, it would require certain entities that collect and maintain personal information of individuals to secure such information and to provide notice to such individuals in the case of a breach of security. The draft bill would cover entities within the Federal Trade Commission’s general jurisdiction but does not include entities subject to existing data security and breach notification regulatory regimes (e.g., HIPAA covered entities). For consistency, the draft also provides the FTC jurisdiction over the data security and breach notification practices of non-profits, telecommunications, cable, and satellite providers. The legislation would replace the current patchwork of laws with a single, national standard for protection and notification.
The FCC established a pleading cycle for consideration of the applications of Frontier Communications Corporation and Verizon Communications Inc. for approval of various assignments and the transfer of control of licenses and authorizations held by Verizon’s wholly-owned subsidiaries in California, Florida, and Texas to Frontier. Comments are due April 13, 2015; reply comments are due April 28, 2015. The operations covered by the applications include approximately 3.7 million voice connections, 2.2 million broadband (DSL and FiOS) connections, and 1.2 million FiOS video connections. The proposed transaction does not involve any mobile wireless operations; Verizon Wireless will continue to provide services in California, Florida, and Texas.
Under the Agreement, Verizon will create Newco as a wholly-owned subsidiary. Prior to closing, the ownership interests of the transferring companies will be moved to Newco so that they will become wholly-owned, direct subsidiaries of Newco. Frontier will then purchase all of the ownership interests of Newco. Upon completion of the proposed transaction, Newco will become a wholly-owned, direct subsidiary of Frontier and the transferring companies will become wholly-owned, indirect subsidiaries of Frontier. In addition, certain voice long distance customers of Verizon Long Distance LLC will be assigned to Frontier Communications of America, Inc. These customers represent primarily originating switched long distance traffic initiating from the local exchanges in California, Florida, and Texas that are a part of the proposed transaction.
ILEC Study Area Boundaries
The FCC extended, until March 23, 2015, the deadline for ILECs to file updated study area boundary data if any changes were made to their study area boundary or boundaries during the previous calendar year. The deadline for submitting changes that occurred during 2014 was March 16, 2015; however, the Study Area Boundary Data Collection interface (at https://sab.fcc.gov/ilec/login/) was experiencing technical difficulties that were not resolved until March 12, 2015. Accordingly, the FCC extended the deadline.
The FCC also announced that May 26, 2015, is the deadline for ILECs to recertify their study area boundary data. (Data must be recertified every two years.) The FCC said it is working to upgrade the data collection interface to allow for a simple recertification of data and will provide filers with additional information once this upgrade is completed.
The Michigan PSC has approved a rule applicable to emergency 9-1-1 services on multiline telephone systems (MLTS). See the Regulatory Mix dated 2/2/15. It is intended to establish the responsibilities, exemptions, and remedies applicable to MLTS operators regarding the installation of equipment and software necessary to provide specific location information for a 911 call. Michigan statute requires MLTS users to implement the technology by 12/31/16, unless the user meets one of the exemption criteria listed in the rules. TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers see Bulletin dated 3/13/15.