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 House Energy and Commerce Committee approved H.R. 805, the Domain Openness Through Continued Oversight Matters (DOTCOM) Act by voice vote. See the Regulatory Mix dated 6/16/15 and 6/11/15. The committee also adopted an amendment addressing a word change. Text of the legislation, the amendment, and video of the markup are available here.
Open Internet Rules
The FCC has proposed a $100 Million forfeiture against AT&T Mobility for violating the Open Internet transparency rule in connection with its unlimited mobile data plans. The FCC found that while AT&T had made some disclosures of its policy to slow the maximum speed throughput of heavy data users on unlimited data plans, those disclosures were not sufficient to satisfy its obligations under the rule. In additional to the forfeiture, the FCC also directs AT&T to take certain correctional actions and file a report. TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers see Bulletin dated 6/18/15.
The FCC announced that Frontier Communications, Inc. has accepted $283.4 million from the Connect America Fund to expand and support broadband to over 1.3 million of its rural customers in 28 states. The FCC authorized and directed the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) to obligate and disburse from the Universal Service Fund the identified support amounts for each state where Frontier has accepted support. Frontier also indicated that in the states where model-based support is greater than Phase I support, it elects to receive immediately the lump sum payment associated with prior months that reflects the difference between model-based Phase II support and Phase I support for those months. Accordingly, the FCC also directed USAC to disburse from the broadband reserve account a lump sum payment associated with January through June 2015 for those states where model-based support is greater than Phase I support. A spreadsheet listing all counties by state where Frontier will expand broadband is available at here.
Carriers receiving Connect America Fund support must build out broadband to 40% of funded locations by the end 2017, 60% by end of 2018, and 100% by the end of 2020. Overall, the FCC’s Universal Service Fund allocates $4.5 billion annually through various universal service programs for high-cost areas to support voice- and broadband-capable networks in rural America.