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 FCC released the procedures for the 2015 filing of annual access charge tariffs and Tariff Review Plans (TRP) for ILECs. The effective date for the July 2015 annual access charges tariff filings will be July 1, 2015. Price cap ILECs must file short form TRPs by May 18, 2015. See further details here regarding due dates, filing instructions, and pleading dates.
The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) has extended the deadlines for interested parties to file comments and reply comments in response to the Special Access FNPRM in the FCC’s special access rulemaking proceeding. In Section IV.B of the Special Access FNPRM the FCC sought comment on possible changes to its rules for the special access services provided by ILECs in price cap areas. The comment deadlines were set in order to give interested parties an opportunity to review the information collected before filing comments. The final deadline for responding to the data collection was February 27, 2015. The Bureau is in the process of facilitating public access to the collected data consistent with the restrictions contained in the protective order released on October 1, 2014, but has not yet made the data available. Accordingly, there is insufficient time for the public to access and review this information before filing comments and reply comments under the current deadlines, April 6, 2015, and May 18, 2015, respectively. The Bureau therefore extends the deadlines for filing comments and reply comments. Comments are now due by July 1, 2015, and reply comments are due by July 22, 2015.
The PUC has determined that it will maintain the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) contributions at the current funding levels. The TRS contributions will be set at $0.02 per access line per month and $0.0002 per intrastate MTS/WATS minute. The TRS Administrator will continue to monitor expenditures, revenues, and FCC actions. At any time if it appears that revenues will not cover expenditures, the TRS Administrator will notify the PUC.
The PUC has released a 300-page DRAFT Decision in its investigations of PG&E and the San Bruno explosion in September 2010, facilities records for PG&E’s natural gas transmission system pipelines, and PG&E’s practices in locations with high population density. The Draft Decision addresses the fines and remedies in the three non-consolidated proceedings. Comments on the DRAFT Decision are due on April 1, 2015, and no reply comments will be permitted. The DRAFT Decision would impose a fine and other penalties totaling $1.6 billion and over 75 remedies. Among other things, PG&E will have to issue one-time bill credits totaling $400 million to its natural gas transmission customers. The PUC found that PG&E committed 2,425 rule violations over a number of decades. See the full text of the DRAFT Decision here.
TMI’s Spring Telecom Regulatory Seminar & Workshop – April 30 & May 1, 2015, in Maitland, FL.