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 Enforcement Bureau today announced a $750,000 settlement with a company for blocking consumers’ Wi-Fi at various convention centers around the United States. The company provided Internet and telecommunications services for conventions, meeting centers, and hotels and was blocking personal mobile “hotspots” that were being used by convention visitors and exhibitors who used their own data plans rather than paying a substantial ($80.00) fee to use the company’s Wi-Fi service. The FCC’s investigation revealed that, if exhibitors or visitors to the convention centers did not pay the fee, the company would automatically block users from accessing the Internet when they instead attempted to use their personal cellular data plans to establish mobile Wi-Fi networks to connect their Wi-Fi-enabled devices to the Internet. In addition to paying the penalty, the company will cease its Wi-Fi blocking activities, establish a compliance plan, and file compliance reports for three years.
Calling Card Service
The FCC has invited comment on the proposal of SBC Long Distance, LLC d/b/a AT&T Long Distance to discontinue AT&T Long Distance Calling Card Service for Business in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories of American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Comments are due by September 1, 2015. AT&T LD said that the proposed discontinuance will not impact any of its prepaid minutes associated with those cards. In addition, AT&T LD said that public convenience and necessity will not be adversely affected by the proposed discontinuance due to the very low demand for this service and the existence of various alternatives. The application will be deemed to be granted automatically on the 31st day after the release date of the public notice and AT&T may discontinue the service on or after September 17, 2015, unless the FCC notifies AT&T otherwise.
The PSC is considering the re-adoption of rules governing unbundled network elements and interconnection, located at R 484.71 to R 484.75. The PSC proposes to re-adopt the existing rules with no changes. A public hearing to solicit comments is scheduled to take place on October 6, 2015.