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.
Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC has filed a request that the PUC rehear, reargue, or reconsider its Decision Adopting Emergency Rules Governing Automatic Location Identification Service. See the Regulatory Mix dated 2/26/15. CenturyLink said that the 2015 Emergency Rules are the same as the emergency rules adopted in July 2014. TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers see Bulletin dated 8/5/14. CenturyLink objects to 2015 Emergency Rules for the same substantive reasons it objected to the 2014 Emergency Rules. It also objects to the renewal of the 2014 Emergency Rules as improper under relevant statutes which set a time limit of 210 days for emergency rules. CenturyLink said that no statutory language allows any agency to extend the effectiveness of emergency rules by renewing them. CenturyLink asked that the PUC reconsider its decision to re-adopt the 2014 Emergency Rules and instead propose whatever rules it believes are appropriate for permanent rules in a formal rulemaking.
Enforcement Bureau Investigations re: 911
Verizon has agreed to a $3.4 million settlement to resolve an FCC investigation into the company’s failure to meet its emergency call obligations during a multistate 911 service outage last year. ( FCC Consent Decree) The investigation, led by the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau, related to an April 2014 911 service outage that lasted for six hours and affected wireless consumers in nine California counties who were unable to reach emergency call centers during the outage.
As part of the settlement, Verizon has agreed to adopt a robust compliance plan. The plan requires Verizon to develop and implement appropriate risk management processes in the continued rollout of Next Generation 911 services. The compliance plan specifies that Verizon will:
- Identify risks that could result in disruptions to 911 service;
- Protect against such risks;
- Detect future 911 outages;
- Respond with remedial actions, including notification to affected emergency call centers; and
- Recover from such outages on a timely basis.
Hinton Telephone Company
The FCC fined Oklahoma carrier, Hinton Telephone Company, $100,000 after an investigation showed that the carrier failed to direct 911 calls to local emergency responders. The order finds that Hinton failed to use reasonable judgment when it knowingly routed 911 calls to an automated operator message – a message that instructed customers to “hang up and dial 911” to report an emergency – and only at the end of the long message, presented an option to press “0” to reach an operator.
Rep. Greg Walden (R., OR) chairman of the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on communications and technology, released draft legislation on FCC reauthorization that would keep the FCC funding at the current level for the next four years, cap the Universal Service Fund (USF) at $9 billion a year, and create an independent Inspector General at the FCC.