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 approved changes to the formulas for average schedule interstate settlement disbursements in connection with the provision of interstate access services. The new formulas, proposed by the National Exchange Carrier Association, Inc. (NECA), will become effective July 1, 2015, and remain in effect through June 30, 2016. According to NECA, the effects of the proposed formula changes on individual average schedule companies will vary depending on each company’s size and demand characteristics. NECA calculated that 274 companies are expected to experience increases in settlement rates and 48 study areas are expected to experience decreases in settlement rates, at constant demand. According to NECA, most of the settlement increases are attributed to increases in Common Line and Non-DSL formulas for medium and large study areas, partly offset by decreases in the DSL Basic formula.
Connect America Fund
The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) announced offers of $1.67 billion model-based Phase II Connect America support to price cap carriers to fund the deployment of voice and broadband-capable networks in their service territories. Carriers have until August 27, 2015, to decide whether to accept the offers on a state-by-state basis. The Bureau also announced it was adopting the Connect America Cost Model (CAM v 4.3), which incorporates the results of the Phase II challenge process and other decisions made by the FCC regarding the offer of support, as its final model for purposes of making the offer of support.
The Bureau released a list of eligible census blocks and the number of locations eligible for the offer of model-based support in each census block. It said it would make a map showing the areas eligible for the offer of support available shortly. Summary information regarding the amount offered to each carrier is as follows: