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 Communications and Technology Subcommittee announced its July hearing schedule. On July 8, 2015, the Subcommittee will hold a hearing on Internet Governance Progress After ICANN 53. On July 14, 2015, the subcommittee will hold a hearing on Promoting Broadband Infrastructure Investment to discuss ways to improve the environment for investment in both fixed and mobile broadband. According to Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR), the subcommittee will “explore current trends in broadband infrastructure buildout and look at ways to improve that environment for continued investment and growth.” Finally, on July 28, 2015, the subcommittee will continue its oversight of the FCC hearing from FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and Commissioner Ajit Pai. Regarding this hearing, Chairman Walden said, “The commission has and will continue to tackle tough issues that shape the future of communications in the United States. We look forward to hearing from Chairman Wheeler and Commissioner Pai on recent developments at the FCC, their plans for the fall, and what efforts the FCC has made to fix its broken process.”
The PUC has amended the scope of its review of the proposed transfer of Verizon California’s landline business to Frontier. Among this issues on the extensive list are: the current physical condition of the Verizon landline network; how the condition of Verizon’s network affects the proposed transaction in terms of service to customers, CLEC interconnection, and COLR obligations; the impact of the transaction on competition for voice, VoIP, and broadband services; and the impact of the transaction on California’s universal service programs. If the transaction is approved, approximately 2.2 million customers of Verizon 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 6/23/15 for Public Participation meeting dates.
The PUC opened a proceeding to consider the validity of certificates of public convenience and necessity (CPCNs) and letters of registration (LORs) it issued for services that were deregulated in 2014 (§40-15-401, C.R.S). Requests for intervention are due July 31, 2015. Initial comments are due August 21, 2015, and reply comments are due September 11, 2015. TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers see Bulletin dated 7/7/15.
Colorado & New York
Charter Communications, Inc., (Charter) and Time Warner Cable, Inc., (TWC) filed a joint petition with the CO PUC and the NY PSC for approval of a pro forma reorganization and certain financing arrangements. Through a series of mergers the companies and their respective subsidiaries, will become subsidiaries of “New Charter,” which will also be the ultimate parent of Charter’s current operating entities. The companies said that this will create an advanced, growth-oriented broadband cable company poised to better serve customers in competitive, high-quality communications services. The petitions note that New Charter will be the third-largest multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD) behind AT&T-DirecTV and Comcast, assuming the AT&T-DirecTV merger is consummated. New Charter will own and/or manage systems serving approximately 19.4 million broadband customers, 17.3 million video customers, and 9.4 million voice customers across 41 states. The transactions do not involve a transfer of customers or any changes in regulated rates, terms, or conditions of service. See also the Regulatory Mix dated 6/25/15.