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.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler confirmed in a News Release that an order recommending approval of the AT&T/DirectTV transaction, with conditions, has been circulated to the Commissioners. If the conditions are approved, 12.5 million customer locations will have access to a competitive high-speed fiber connection. This additional build-out is about 10 times the size of AT&T’s current fiber-to-the-premise deployment, increases the entire nation’s residential fiber build by more than 40%, and more than triples the number of metropolitan areas AT&T has announced plans to serve. Of interest to competitors are the following: (1) to prevent discrimination against online video competition, AT&T will not be permitted to exclude affiliated video services and content from data caps on its fixed broadband connections; and (2) to bring greater transparency to interconnection practices, the company will be required to submit all completed interconnection agreements to the FCC, along with regular reports on network performance. The FCC will require an independent officer to help ensure compliance with these and other proposed conditions.
The FCC also announced that a meeting of the Task Force on Optimal PSAP Architecture (TFOPA) will be held on July 27, 2015, from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. TFOPA will recommend actions that PSAPs can take to optimize their security, operations, and funding as they migrate to Next Generation 911 (NG911). The Task Force will hear updates from working groups addressing cybersecurity, optimal architecture, and optimal resource allocation. Members of the general public may attend the meeting, and it will also be broadcast live at www.fcc.gov/live.
The PUC has rescheduled four hearings to be held in August to take public comment on whether basic service in certain areas of Colorado is subject to effective competition. TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers see Bulletin dated 9/26/14. The hearings will be held: (a) August 3, 2015, in Ft. Morgan, Colorado; (b) August 4, 2015, in Denver, Colorado (also webcast); (c) August 5, 2015, in Colorado Springs, Colorado; and (d) August 6, 2015, in Delta, Colorado. The hearings were previously scheduled to be held in July. The hearings will begin at 4:00 p.m. and will continue until concluded, but not later than 7:00 p.m.
The PSC will hold public statement hearings throughout the state on the recently issued Department of Public Service assessment report on the state of telecommunications in New York. As part of the Report, DPS staff filed a fact-based assessment of the current telecommunications landscape in New York, examining trends in voice, video and broadband services and reviewing different technologies such as copper, fiber, cable and wireless networks. Public hearings were held in Long Island (7/8/15) and in NY City (7/15/15). Additional hearings are scheduled in Utica (7/28/15), Binghamton (7/29/15), Lake Placid (8/4/15), and Buffalo (8/5/15). TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers see Bulletin dated 7/9/15.
Solix, Inc. announced that it was selected by the Vermont Public Service Department (PSD) to serve as the Fiscal Agent for the Vermont Universal Service Fund (VUSF) effective July 1, 2015. As the Fiscal Agent, Solix will collect and disburse VUSF funds under the direction of the PSD. The prior Fiscal Agent was Rolka Loube Saltzer Associates.