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 issued a Notice of Apparent Liability For Forfeiture in the amount of $100,000 against Simple Network, Inc. for apparently providing interstate telecommunications services without registering with the FCC as required by §64.1195 of the FCC’s rules. The FCC said that Simple Network’s failure to register allowed it to avoid payments required of all interstate telecommunications services providers, including payments to the USF, TRS, LNP, and NANP funds and FCC regulatory fees. The FCC said that such failure to pay “could give the Company an unfair economic advantage over competitors who, because of Simple Network’s apparent violations, must pay more than their fair share of the costs of these federal regulatory programs.” The FCC said it viewed the failure to register as “a serious dereliction of its responsibilities as a telecommunications services provider.” In the past, the FCC has imposed a base forfeiture of $100,000 for failure to register and it proposed the same amount for Simple Network. Significantly, the FCC characterized its NAL as a “very limited action that does not reflect the full extent of Simple potential forfeiture liability and that does not in any way preclude the Commission from imposing additional forfeitures against Simple Network in the future. Appendix A lists a number of requirements that Simple Network may be violating. We expect that Simple Network’s response to this Notice of Apparent Liability will include, in addition to the Company registering as a telecommunications service provider, immediate and effective efforts to come into full compliance with all its federal regulatory obligations.” In addition to the fees discussed above, the list also includes the need to obtain Section 214 authority to provide international services, CALEA policies and procedures filings, Form 477 filing, and CPNI filings.
The PUC has scheduled four hearings to be held in July to take public comment on whether basic service in certain areas of Colorado is subject to effective competition. TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers see Bulletin dated 9/26/14. The hearings will be held: (a) July 13, 2015 in Denver, Colorado (also webcast); (b) July 14, 2015 in Delta, Colorado; (c) July 15, 2015 in Colorado Springs, Colorado; and (d) July 16, 2015 in Ft. Morgan, Colorado.
The PSC opened a proceeding to rescind and consolidate many of its rules relating to telecommunications. The PSC found that this is necessary to bring the existing rules into compliance with state and federal statutory changes. The PSC proposes revisions that will rescind existing rules found in Title 4, Division 240, PSC Chapters 2, 3, 30, 32, and 33. Many of those rules will be eliminated entirely; those that remain will be incorporated into a new Chapter 28. Comments on the proposed rules must be received by the PSC on or before June 29, 2015. A hearing is scheduled for July 6, 2015. TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers see Bulletin dated 4/20/15.
In November 2014, Commission Staff filed a complaint against CenturyLink alleging that CenturyLink committed over 15,000 violations of the Commission rule related to major outages. See the Regulatory Mix dated 4/28/15. The parties have reached a full settlement in principle in this case. At their request the Commission has suspended the procedural schedule pending its review of the agreement.