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 announced that Task Force on Optimal PSAP Architecture (TFOPA) will meet on September 29, 2015, from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. The TFOPA is a federal advisory committee that will provide recommendations to the Commission regarding actions that Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) can take to optimize their security, operations, and funding as they migrate to Next Generation 911 (NG911). The Task Force will vote on a report and recommendations from Working Group 3 – Optimal Resource Allocation. It will also hear updates from Working Group 1 – Cybersecurity and Working Group 2 – Optimal Architecture. The FCC will provide audio and/or video coverage of the meeting at www.fcc.gov/live.
In a speech before the NTCA Fall Conference, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler outlined the FCC’s plans to reform the universal services support mechanism for rate-of-return ILECs by year end. He explained the “four corners of a plan” as follows: (1) A voluntary path to a cost-model-based support mechanism; (2) A new mechanism for all loop costs to completely replace HCLS and ICLS; (3) A transition period to phase in this new plan in a timely but reasonable manner; and (4) A program budget and other measures to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the program. He also emphasized that the federal universal service support should be targeted to areas where the marketplace will not support the deployment of broadband networks.
In response to the Wheeler’s remarks, House Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) said, in part : “This is the right approach. Precious Universal Service dollars should be targeted for communities where investment is lacking. Chairman Wheeler’s decision to move the Connect America Fund forward with a focus on unserved areas will help bring millions of Americans online, including many in Oregon.”
The PUC approved a $33.4 million settlement agreement that resolves all issues regarding the unauthorized disclosure and publication of non-published directory listing information (i.e., name, telephone number, and address) of approximately 75,000 customers by Comcast Phone of California, LLC and its related entities. Consistent with the settlement agreement, Comcast will pay a $25 million penalty to the California General Fund and the Attorney General’s Office, and will provide restitution to affected customers of approximately $8.4 million.
The settlement agreement obliges Comcast to reform its practices relating to non-published consumer information, such as auditing vendors with access to Comcast’s directory listing information, strengthening protections for non-published listings, and providing its telephone customers with a simplified disclosure of how Comcast uses their personal identifying information and the steps customers can take to safeguard that information. Comcast will report annually to the PUC on its compliance with these terms for the next three years. Comcast will contact each of the affected customers to explain the terms of this settlement. The proposal voted on is available at here.