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.
Two parties have already filed court appeals of the FCC’s Open Internet/Net Neutrality rules . See our 2/27/15 Blog FCC Adopts Net Neutrality Rules; TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers see Bulletins dated 3/20/15.
Filing before the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, the US Telecom Association sought review of the Order on the grounds that it is arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion. The filing was made as a protective petition for review “out of an abundance of caution … in case the FCC’s Order (or the Declaratory Ruling part of that Order) is construed to be final on the date it was issued (as opposed to after Federal Register publication, which USTelecom believes is the better view), and the ten-day period in which a party must file a petition for review to “avail itself of procedures established for selection of a court in the case of multiple appeals” – i.e., the lottery procedures under 28 U.S.C. § 2112(a)-is likewise construed to begin on that date.”
Filing before the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (New Orleans) Alamo Broadband Inc. argued that the FCC’s order: (1) is in excess of the FCC’s authority; (2) is arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion; (3) is contrary to constitutional rights; and (4) is otherwise contrary to law.
In response to the court filings mentioned above, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) issued the following comment: “The inevitable legal wrangling has begun. These filings are the first in what will undoubtedly be years of challenges spurred by the FCC’s unnecessary and inappropriate regulation of the Internet,” said Upton and Walden. “Congress has the opportunity to change this poorly-chosen course and enact durable solutions that protect consumers. The door remains open to our colleagues so we can make Open Internet protections a reality.”
A new law in North Dakota will prohibit the regulation of VoIP service and internet protocol-enabled service. VoIP service will remain subject to assessments for the ND USF, 911 or E911 fees, and the telecommunications relay service surcharge. The law becomes effective August 1, 2015. TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers see Bulletin dated 3/19/15.
The Commission will hold a prehearing conference on April 20, 2015, to consider requests for intervention, resolve scheduling matters including establishing dates for distributing evidence, and to identify the issues in its investigation of a complaint filed against Qwest Corporation d/b/a CenturyLink QC (CenturyLink). The complaint alleges violations of Commission rules arising from a 911 service outage affecting Washington residents on April 9-10, 2014. The outage affected PSAPs in six other states: California, Florida, Minnesota, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania. Commission Staff has requested an order assessing monetary penalties and requiring CenturyLink to implement certain technical and procedural safeguards designed to prevent reoccurrence of the outage. Persons who wish to intervene should file a petition to intervene in writing at least three business days before the date of the prehearing conference.
TMI’s Spring Telecom Regulatory Seminar & Workshop – April 30 & May 1, 2015, in Maitland, FL.