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 announced that a map showing the areas eligible for the offer of model-based Phase II Connect America support for broadband and voice service is now available. Last month, the FCC announced the offers of model-based Phase II Connect America support that had been made to various price cap carriers and released a list of eligible census blocks and the number of eligible locations in each census block. See the Regulatory Mix dated 5/1/15.
Schools and Library Fund
The FCC announced the carry-forward of unused schools and libraries universal service funds to Funding Year 2015. Previously, the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) projected that $1.575 billion in unused funds from previous funding years would be available to carry forward to increase disbursements to schools and libraries via the E-rate for 2015. The E-rate cap for Funding Year 2015 is $3.9 billion. On May 6, 2015, USAC estimated that the demand for the E-rate program for Funding Year 2015 (July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016) would be $3.92 billion. This includes an estimated demand of $2.255 billion for category one services (telecommunications, telecommunications services, and Internet access) and of $1.665 billion for category two services (internal connections, basic maintenance of internal connections, and managed internal broadband services). Since no unused funding from previous years is needed to fully fund category one services, the FCC directed USAC to fully fund eligible category one services under the new cap. It also directed USAC to fully fund eligible category two services, first using as much as $1.575 billion in E-rate funds unused from previous years and then using any additional funds needed under the new cap to fully meet demand.
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on May 14, 2015, to receive testimony on energy infrastructure legislation. Among the list of 22 bills cover interconnecting distributed resources, transmission permitting, modernizing the nation’s electric grid, expanding the electric rate-setting authority of States, and enhancing efficiency in commercial buildings.