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.
In a speech before the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO), FCC Chairman Wheeler called on Congress to help spur the deployment of NG 911 networks. Among other things, he suggested that Congress: (1) authorize establishment of a national maps database to ensure that every PSAP has access to the latest and most accurate maps and uses them; (2) direct the FCC to assist states in developing effective audit tools to ensure appropriate collection and expenditure of 911 funds and prevent diversion of funds to other purposes; (3) authorize matching funds to help PSAPs migrate to efficient NG 911 ESI-Nets and shared platforms; and (4) incent the development and use of shared Security Operations Centers supporting multiple PSAPs.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced that the FCC will offer an open source video access platform that will enable Americans who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind, or who have a speech disability to communicate directly with federal agencies and businesses in American Sign Language (ASL). The platform will provide open source applications for mobile and desktop operating systems which – along with direct video calling – will allow for text and high-quality voice communications. The FCC will also provide applications that relay service users can download on their smartphones or desktops in order to communicate directly with agency representatives. An ASL-user will be able to click on who they want to talk to and the call will be connected directly to a customer service center staffed by, most commonly, another person who is deaf or hard of hearing who is fluent in ASL. The Commission plans to roll out a beta version later this year with final release schedule for spring of 2016.
The PSC is considering whether to approve, modify, or reject a tariff filing by Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation d/b/a National Grid (NMPC) to update pole attachment rates. NMPC proposes to update the annual pole attachment rate for cable system operators and telecommunication service providers for wire line attachments to $14.04; the wireless attachment Rate A to $71.74; and the wireless attachment Rate B to $146.86. NMPC’s proposed amendments have an effective date of November 23, 2015. The PSC may also consider other related matters. Public comments may be filed no later than 10/3/15.