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 the final agenda for its May 21, 2015, Open Meeting. It will consider the following two items: (1) An Order in CG Docket No. 10-210 to extend the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program and a Notice of 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. (2) A Second Report and Order and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in MB Docket No. 12-107 to extend accessibility rules for emergency alerts to “second screens,” including tablets, smartphones, laptops, and similar devices. The proposal would take additional steps to make emergency information in video programming accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired. The meeting will broadcast live with at www.fcc.gov/live.
The PSC has approved modifications to the Inter-Carrier Service Quality Guidelines (C2C Guidelines). The changes are classified into two categories: non-process changes of an administrative nature (13); and changes that affect the manner in which a performance measurement is processed (108). The performances measurement process changes address whether and/or how a measurement is calculated. The Carrier Working Group unanimously reached consensus on all of the changes. Click here for PSC 5/14/15 Order.
North Carolina Attorney General announced that Sprint Corporation and Verizon Wireless will pay a combined $158 million for unauthorized charges on consumers’ cell phone bills. “Cell phone carriers must be held accountable and should give customers accurate information that shows them exactly what they owe each month” the AG said. N.C.’s AG, the attorneys general for 49 other states and the District of Columbia, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the FCC recently reached a settlement with Sprint and Verizon over allegations of mobile cramming. Sprint and Verizon are the third and fourth mobile telephone providers to enter into nationwide settlements to resolve cramming allegations. AT&T reached a settlement worth $105 million in October 2014, and T-Mobile agreed to a $90 million settlement in December 2014. Similar to the settlements with AT&T and T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon are required to stay out of the commercial premium text message subscription business. In addition, Sprint and Verizon must take a number of steps designed to make sure that they only bill consumers for authorized third-party charges.