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 Commission opened a Notice of Inquiry to identify and resolve various issues affecting Oklahoma Universal Service (OUSF) support for special universal services such as telemedicine, and Internet access to public schools and libraries. The Commission is asking for comment by September 28, 2015 on a number of specific issues surrounding the funding of these programs. Technical conferences will be held on October 6, 2015, and November 4, 2015. Areas for comment include: (1) how bandwidth and connectivity should be defined for purposes of OUSF funding for schools and libraries and telemedicine; (2) whether the funding criteria should differ depending on whether the entity is in an urban or rural setting; (3) how eligibility for Wide Area Network (WAN) funding should be determined; (4) whether the OUSF should fund a consortium to assist smaller entities in obtaining state E-Rate funding; (5) whether the OUSF should cover the same services as the FCC’s E-Rate category one services; and (6) whether the rules concerning contract terms should be revised.
The PSC has issued a revised procedural schedule for considering a Petition asking it to rule that wireless providers compete with local exchange carriers and, therefore, should be required to contribute to the state USF. Under the revised schedule, Applicant’s Direct testimony will be due September 29, 2015; other parties direct testimony will be due October 13, 2015; applicant’s rebuttal testimony will be due October 20, 2015; and other parties’ surrebuttal testimony will be due October 27, 2015. A hearing will be held November 3, 2015. TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers see Bulletin dated 8/26/15.
The PUC established a procedural schedule for processing Verizon’s Petition to deregulate 10 markets with a population below 100,000. The affected exchanges are: Blanco, Collinsville, George West, Gordonville, Jarrell, Premont, Port O’Connor, Rosharon, Rusk, and Seadrift. Petitions to intervene must be filed by September 21, 2015; Intervenor comments must be filed by September 25, 2015. Staff has until October 2, 2015, to request a hearing or issue a recommendation. Verizon has until October 9, 2015 to request a hearing, respond to comments and Staff recommendations, or file a proposed order. The PUC must decide the case by November 19, 2015.