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.
Public Participation Hearings have been scheduled on the proposed transaction seeking approval for the sale and transfer of Verizon California to Frontier. Prior to each Public Participation Hearing the PUC will hold a workshop to review the technical condition of the network in the areas adjacent to the Hearing locations. The first set of workshops and Hearings are set for July 6, 2015, in Garberville, CA; July 7 & 8, 2015, in Hoopa, CA; and July 8, 2015 in Orleans, CA. Click here for Hearing details. If the Frontier/Verizon transaction is approved, approximately 2 million customers of Verizon California will become customers of Frontier. Certain customers of Verizon LD will become customers of Frontier America. The assets to be transferred include, in addition to the customer accounts, the physical assets of Verizon California such as poles, wires, switches, trucks, central offices and the like. See the Regulatory Mix dated 3/13/15.
The text of the Broadband Adoption Act of 2015 as introduced in both the Senate (S.1472) and the House (H.R.2638) has been made publicly available. The two bills are identical. As reported earlier, the legislation would reform the federal Lifeline program to support broadband services and enable program participants to choose how they would like to use their Lifeline support. See the Regulatory Mix dated 6/2/15. New details include the following:
- The FCC would be required to adopt rules implementing the new law within 270 days after enactment.
- The rules must be neutral as to the types of technology used to provide voice telephony or broadband Internet access service (BIAS).
- The rule must allow a qualified customer to elect to apply the Lifeline discount to basic telephone service, voice telephony service, or BIAS regardless of whether the service is purchased as a stand-alone service or as part of a bundle of service.
- The FCC must consider giving a preference to participating providers that includes digital literacy as part of their BIAS offerings.
- In calculating the amount of Lifeline support to be provided, the FCC must study: the prevailing market price for BIAS; the prevailing speed of BIAS adopted by households; and the prevailing broadband usage patterns of non-Lifeline residential consumers.
- The participating provider cannot be required to be an eligible telecommunications carrier to receive Lifeline support under the program and will obtain authorization from the FCC to participate in the program.
- The FCC must consult with the Federal-State Joint Board regarding ways to encourage states to develop similar programs.