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.
State commissions have begun to set deadlines for filing intrastate tariff revisions in compliance with the July 2015 access reductions mandated by the FCC. So far TMI has seen that Alaska, Colorado, Kansas, Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Nebraska established filing dates and associated requirements for the 2015 filings. ILEC rate reductions (reducing terminating switched end office rates and reciprocal compensation by an additional one-third of the original differential between end office rates and $0.0007) must take effect July 1, 2015. Under FCC rules, CLECs have 15 days after the effective date of the ILEC reductions to make their filings. See our 4/21/15 Blog Next-Step-For-FCC-Access-Reform-Effective-July-1-2015. TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers see state specific TMI Bulletins for more details.
Responding to draft legislation introduced last month by Republication members of the House Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee (See the Regulatory Mix dated 4/22/15), Democratic members of that same subcommittee unveiled their own package of draft legislative proposals. The proposals are designed to keep the FCC “fast, efficient, and transparent.” To keep the FCC fast, a draft bill offered by Rep. Clarke (D-NY) would require the FCC to report quarterly to Congress and to post on the FCC website data on the total number of decisions pending categorized by Bureau, the type of request, and how long the requests have been pending. The report would also include a list of pending Congressional investigations and their cost to the agency. To keep the FCC efficient, Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) is sponsoring the FCC Collaboration Act, which would allow three FCC Commissioners to collaborate more effectively. To keep the FCC transparent, Rep. David Loebsack (D-IA) offered a draft bill that would require the Chairman to post the Commission’s internal procedures on the FCC website and update the website when the Chairman makes any changes. In addition, Rep. Doris Matusi (D-CA) offered a draft bill that would require the FCC to coordinate with the Small Business Administration and issue recommendations to improve small business participation in FCC proceedings.
The FCC announced the tentative agenda for its May 21, 2015, Open Meeting. The following items are on the tentative agenda: (1) A Second Report and Order and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would take additional steps to make emergency information in video programming accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired by extending the accessibility rules for emergency alerts to “second screens,” including tablets, smartphones, laptops, and similar devices; and (2) an Order to extend the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program and consider a Proposed Rulemaking to permanently extend the program. The program provides up to $10 million annually from the Interstate Telecommunications Relay Service Fund to support programs that distribute communications equipment to low-income individuals who are deaf-blind.