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 PUC issued a Scoping Memo in its consideration of Quality Speaks LLC dba Broadvoice (Quality) application for a CPCN (to provide limited facilities-based and resold local exchange services). Quality currently provides VoIP service in California. After review of the application, the PUC’s Safety and Enforcement Division alleged that Quality violated PU Code §285, which requires that VoIP providers register with the PUC in order to report and remit Universal Service Fund Surcharges. Among the issues identified as within the scope of the PUC’s proceeding are: Did Quality violate PU Code § 285 by failing to register as a VoIP provider and failure to pay USF surcharges to the PUC? Does Quality owe USF surcharges; and if so, how much?
Effective July 1, 2015, a new law in Nevada will allow, rather than require, the PUC to adopt regulations establishing performance and reporting requirements for the provision of interconnection, UNECs, and resold services. Under the previous statutory mandate, the PUC adopted regulations (at NAC 704.6803-704.680315) that include both standards of performance and penalties. Under the amended law, the PUC will still be able to impose penalties for violation of any rules it elects to adopt.
Connect Iowa, a non-profit organization tasked with facilitating broadband and technology expansion across Iowa, released a Final Report discussing its efforts to collect information on broadband service in the state. According to the Report:
- Since October 2010, 29,702 additional households have gained access to broadband service statewide at speeds of 768 Kbps download/200 Kbps upload.
- As of October 2014, 93.99% of Iowa households had broadband access at 3 Mbps download/768 Kbps upload and 18,543 fewer households were unserved by this speed than in October 2011 (excluding mobile wireless and satellite services).
- Rural broadband availability at 3 Mbps download/768 Kbps upload increased from 86.75% in 2011 to 89.22% in 2014.
- Since 2011, broadband service at 50 Mbps download/1.5 Mbps upload has increased 54.08 percentage points and service at 100 Mbps download/1.5 Mbps upload has increased 65.08 percentage points (both excluding mobile wireless and satellite services).
- The number of fiber providers increased from 65 in 2010 to 83 in 2014.
Despite this positive progress, the Report notes that significant gaps persist in Iowa, particularly throughout rural, more sparsely populated areas of Iowa. Further, broadband availability and competition in Iowa decrease as speeds increase.