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 FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau has published its preliminary determination of rate-of-return carrier study areas that are 100% overlapped by unsubsidized competitors. The Bureau identified 15 such study areas. Under FCC rules, high cost universal service support will be eliminated in ILEC study areas where an unsubsidized competitor or a combination of unsubsidized competitors offers voice and broadband services that meet the FCC’s service obligations throughout the study area. The Bureau is seeking comment on the methodology used to determine the overlap. Comments are due August 28, 2015; reply comments are due September 28, 2015. Once the comment cycle is complete, the Bureau will publish a final list of study areas. High-cost universal service support for the study areas on the final list will be frozen at the amount disbursed in the prior calendar year and the phase-down in support will commence.
A Media Advisory announced that the PUC will hold a meeting of its Commissioner Committee on Policy and Governance to discuss ex parte issues and a draft Commissioner Code of Conduct. The meeting will be held on August 12, 2015. The Commissioner Committee on Policy and Governance, led by Commissioners Mike Florio and Liane M. Randolph, are interested in hearing from the public and practitioners regarding:
- The independent report by Michael Strumwasser, Partner, Strumwasser & Woocher LLP, on the CPUC’s existing ex parte rules and best practices employed by other state and federal agencies.
- The report on Key Findings From CPUC Modernization & Reform Project by Edward W. O’Neill, Senior Advisor on CPUC Modernization & Reform.
- The draft Commissioner Code of Conduct.
For more details and links to the reports to be discussed click here. The Advisory was published on 7/29/15.
The PSC is seeking comments on the proposed merger of Charter Communications and Time Warner Cable. Initial comments are due September 16, 2015, and reply comments are due September 30, 2105. In addition, the PSC will facilitate on-the-record public forums to provide an opportunity for input from affected stakeholder representatives and the general public (dates and places to be announced). Under the proposed transaction, Charter has entered into an agreement with Time Warner Cable whereby Time Warner Cable will merge into a subsidiary of New Charter and Time Warner shareholders will receive shares of New Charter Class A common stock in exchange for shares of Time Warner Cable stock. Charter plans to retain all of Time Warner Cable’s existing assets in New York State.