The Regulatory Mix

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.





        Wireless HAC

The FCC entered into a Consent Decree with Locus Telecommunications, Inc. to resolve its investigation into whether Locus failed to offer the requisite number of digital wireless hearing aid-compatible handset models during the 2010 reporting period. Locus agreed to pay a civil penalty of $23,000 and agreed to a compliance plan. Under the terms of the compliance plan, Locus will appoint a compliance officer, establish operating procedures to ensure that its employees comply with the FCC’s Hearing Aid Compatibility rules (including a compliance checklist, compliance manual, and compliance training), report any noncompliance, and file periodic compliance reports with the FCC for the next three years.


        911 Outages

The FCC entered into separate consent decrees with CenturyLink and Intrado Communications in resolution of its investigation into an April 2014 multi-state 911 outage. CenturyLink agreed to pay a fine of $16 million; Intrado agreed to pay a fine of $1.4 million. CenturyLink’s settlement represents the largest 911-related fine ever assessed by the FCC. CenturyLink served affected emergency call centers throughout Washington, and in Minnesota, and North Carolina. Intrado Communications served emergency call centers in Florida, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania. The varying settlement amounts reflect the different numbers of emergency call centers served by each provider.

Both companies agreed to adopt similar compliance plans that require them to implement appropriate risk management processes in the continued rollout of Next-Generation 911 services. In particular, the companies will: appoint a compliance officer; develop a compliance plan and compliance manual; implement a compliance training program; report any non-compliance; and file periodic reports to the FCC for the next three years. The companies’ compliance plans must include operating procedures and processes to 1) Identify risks that could result in disruptions to 911 service, (2) Protect against such risks, (3) Detect future 911 outages, (4) Respond to such outages with remedial actions, including notification to affected PSAPs, and (5) Recover from such outages on a timely basis in cooperation with any affected subcontractors. The companies are also required to exercise improved oversight over their Next Generation 911 subcontractors and affiliates, maintain up-to-date contact information for emergency call centers, and coordinate with emergency call centers to periodically review their outage notification procedures.

The April 2014, outage prevented more than 11 million people in seven states from being able to reach emergency call centers for over six hours. The failure resulted in over 6,600 missed 911 calls. The FCC’s investigation concluded that the outage was preventable if the

providers had implemented basic safeguards and that the providers failed to provide timely notifications to the affected emergency call centers. See the Regulatory Mix dated October 22, 2014 and November 25, 2014. Last month, the FCC settled with Verizon for $3.4 million in connection with the April 2014 outage, including similar compliance terms. See the Regulatory Mix dated March 18, 2014.



The Nebraska PSC is seeking comment on whether it should use Nebraska USF monies to obtain access to the CostQuest Associates, Inc. State Broadband Cost Model (SBCM) which, according to CostQuest, replicates the processing logic, inputs, and reporting formats of the FCC’s price cap model (CACM) used for Connect America Fund support. Specifically, it asks for comment by April 30, 2015, as to whether: (1) it should pursue a licensing agreement with CostQuest for the purpose of investigating the SBCM/CACM; 2) this would be a worthwhile use of Nebraska USF monies; and (3) it would be helpful to study the SBCM/CACM more closely as it relates to state broadband network costs.








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