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.
Charter/Time Warner Cable/Bright House Networks Merger
The FCC announced the comment cycle relating to the Applications Of Charter Communications, Inc., Time Warner Cable Inc., And Advance/Newhouse Partnership For Consent To Transfer Control Of Licenses And Authorizations. See the Regulatory Mix dated 7/29/15. Comments/Petitions to Deny are due by October 13, 2015; Responses to Comments/Oppositions to Petitions are due November 2, 2015; Replies to Responses/Oppositions are due November 12, 2015. The FCC also issued a Protective Order to govern this proceeding. Under the Protective Order, appropriate representatives of participants in the proceeding that have executed acknowledgements and are not subject to any objections will be able to access the confidential and/or highly confidential information contained in the Application and other confidential and/or highly confidential information that may be submitted in this proceeding in the future. Currently, the only material designated as confidential and highly confidential information to which the protective order applies is the Application itself. All requests for meetings with FCC staff regarding this Docket must be made on-line at: http://transition.fcc.gov/transaction/comcast-twc_exparte-meeting-request. Those who lack Internet access may direct their requests to Natividad Persaud, Wireline Competition Bureau, at (202)418-1604. The Public Notice describes the filing procedures in detail.
North American Numbering Council
The FCC announced renewal of the charter for the North American Numbering Council (NANC) through September 18, 2017, and is seeking applications for new members who wish to join the Council. Interested parties should submit their nominations for membership by 11:59 P.M. EDT, September 25, 2015. Applicants may be from every sector of the telecommunications industry, as well as NANP member countries, the states, and consumers. The FCC is particularly interested in individuals in the following categories: (1) State regulators and telecommunications officials; (2) Communications service providers of all sizes, especially small and mid-size providers, and organizations representing such communications service providers, including wireline and wireless communications service providers, interconnected VoIP and other IP-enabled service providers, and cable service providers; (3) consumer and community organizations; and (4) telecommunications equipment manufacturers. The Public Notice specifies the information that must be provided by interested parties and how the letter of interest should be filed.
The FCC authorized rural broadband experiment support in the amount of $1,299,730.45 for First Step Internet, LLC (First Step) and Northeast Rural Services, Inc. (Northeast Rural Services) to bring new broadband to 202 census blocks in OK, ID, and WA. Price cap carriers that serve the census blocks where the rural broadband experiment winning bidders have been authorized to receive support no longer have a federal high-cost ETC obligation to continue to offer voice in those census blocks pursuant to the forbearance previously granted by the FCC.
The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) was directed to disburse the authorized support amounts from the Connect America Fund reserve account. Specifically, USAC will disburse the support amounts to Northeast Rural Services in 120 equal monthly installments over the 10-year support term. First Step elected to receive 30% of the total support upfront in exchange for meeting accelerated deployment obligations. Therefore, USAC will disburse 30% of First Step’s total support amount with the first monthly payment, and disburse the remaining 70% of its support in 120 equal monthly installments over the 10-year term.