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.
US Congress – DOTCOM Act
Senators John Thune (R-S.D.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), members of U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, introduced S. 1551, the DOTCOM Act. The DOTCOM Act requires certifications and an opportunity for congressional review to ensure that any transfer of U.S. involvement over the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) does not empower foreign powers to gain increased control over critical Internet functions. No transfer of authority could occur until after requirements of the legislation are complete. The legislation is identical to companion legislation approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Communications and Technology Subcommittee on June 10, 2015. See the Regulatory Mix dated 6/9/15 and 6/11/15.
US Congress – FCC Open Internet Order
House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders issued comments following the U.S. District Court’s decision rejecting requests for a stay of the FCC’s “heavy-handed utility-style rules” for the Internet.
“The uncertainty for consumers, innovators, and job creators continues. While today’s ruling doesn’t signify how the court will ultimately decide, it allows the FCC to begin implementing an open-ended set of rules that miss the mark and put our online future at risk,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR), and Subcommittee Vice Chairman Bob Latta (R-OH). “Unfortunately, we are now in for a long, unnecessary wait while the courts determine if the commission was out of bounds.”
US Court of Appeals
The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has denied motions for stay of the FCC’s Open Internet/Net Neutrality Order. See our 6/11/15 Blog Court Refuses To Stay Open Internet Order.
The FCC announced the final agenda for its June 18, 2015, Open Meeting. The meeting can be viewed live at www.fcc.gov/live. The agenda is as follows.
- Direct Access to Numbers for Interconnected VoIP Providers: The FCC will consider establishing a process to authorize interconnected VoIP providers to obtain telephone numbers directly from the Numbering Administrators rather than through intermediaries.
- Lifeline Reform and Modernization: The FCC will consider a comprehensive restructure of the Lifeline program to efficiently connect low-income Americans to broadband, strengthen program oversight and administration, and take additional measures to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse.
- Protecting Consumers Against Unwanted Robocalls: The FCC will reaffirm the Telephone Consumer Protection Act’s protections against unwanted robocalls, encourage pro-consumer uses of robocall technology, and respond to a number of requests for clarity from businesses and other parties.
- Expanding Spectrum Through Incentive Auctions: The FCC will resolve petitions for reconsideration of its Order adopting rules to implement the Broadcast Television Spectrum Incentive Auction, providing parties with additional certainty ahead of the auction.
The Utility Regulatory Commission agreed to allow carriers with nominal revenues to report revenue and submit Indiana USF assessments on an annual basis. Carriers with nominal revenues will have the option to file a yearly estimate at the beginning of the year. After the fiscal year is complete, they would submit a revised worksheet with actual revenues and true-up any assessments. Remittances of $10 or less per month are considered nominal for this purpose.
In anticipation of the signing into law of House Bill 40, which requires, among other things, that net metering facilities comply with certain setback and screening requirements, the Public Service Board drafted revisions to its current Net Metering Registration and Application Forms. Click here for the revised forms. The Board intends to require the use of these forms as of July 1, 2015. Any comments on the draft revised forms must be filed in writing with the Board by no later than June 12, 2015.