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.
A Utilities and Transportation Commission complaint proceeding against Qwest Corporation d/b/a CenturyLink QC alleges violations of Commission rules arising from a 911 service outage affecting Washington residents on April 9-10, 2014. The Commission established a procedural schedule to resolve the issues presented in the complaint, including an evidentiary hearing on December 7, 2015. In a July 8, 2015, letter addressed to CenturyLink and Intrado Communications, Mr. Dow Constantine, King County Executive, describes his concerns arising from 911 service interruptions the County experienced on May 28 and June 15, 2015. Mr. Constantine ties those events to the 911 service outage at issue in this complaint proceeding. Written rebuttal statements concerning the matter are due by July 17, 2015. A December 2014 Staff Outage Investigation Report recommends that the Commission assess a penalty of nearly $3 million for 11,731 violations of Commission laws and rules. Report
In April 2014, the FCC entered into separate consent decrees with CenturyLink and Intrado Communications in resolution of its investigation into a multi-state 911 outage. The 2014, outage prevented more than 11 million people from being able to reach emergency call centers for over six hours and resulted in over 6,600 missed 911 calls. CenturyLink agreed to pay a fine of $16 million; Intrado agreed to pay a fine of $1.4 million. CenturyLink’s settlement represents the largest 911-related fine ever assessed by the FCC. See the Regulatory Mix dated 4/7/15.
The PSC is seeking public comment on the proposed 98¢ low-income energy assistance fund monthly surcharge. Comments are due not later than July 16, 2015. This would be an increase from the current 97¢ surcharge. The figure is based on the number of meters provided by utilities that intend to participate in the program. Based on the information filed by the utilities, the PSC calculates the monthly surcharge for the upcoming 2015-2016 fiscal year. Click here for full Press Release with a listing of companies that intend to participate in the program and a list of companies that intend to opt-out of the program. Utilities that do not participate in the program are prohibited from shutting off service to any residential customers from Nov. 1 to April 15 for nonpayment of a delinquent account.