The Regulatory Mix

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 Briefing.



           IP Transition

The FCC announced the date for filing comments on the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) in its IP transition proceeding.  The FNPRM seeks to further develop the record concerning what constitutes an adequate substitute for TDM-based retail services that are being discontinued.  Comments are due October 26, 2015; reply comments are due November 24, 2015.  Among other things, the FCC asked for comment on: (1) eight proposed criteria for measuring the adequacy of replacement services in connection with a technology transition (e.g., TDM to IP, wireline to wireless); (2) the possible indicia of good faith communications between the ILEC discontinuing TDM service and its interconnecting entities; and (3) whether it should continue to require reasonably comparable wholesale access for commercial wholesale platform services even after its special access proceeding is completed.  TMI Briefing Service subscribers see Briefings dated 8/20/15 and 9/28/15.

             October Open Meeting

The FCC announced the tentative agenda for its October 22, 2015, meeting.  The following items are on the tentative agenda:

  • Rates for Inmate Calling Services (ICS): The FCC will consider a Report and Order and Third Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would adopt comprehensive reform of intrastate, interstate, and international ICS calls to ensure just, reasonable and fair ICS rates, and seek comment on additional measures the Commission could take to ensure that interstate and intrastate ICS are provided consistent with the statute and public interest.  TMI Briefing Service subscribers see Briefing dated 10/1/15.
  • Review of Foreign Ownership Policies: The FCC will consider a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would streamline the foreign ownership review process for broadcast licensees and applicants, and standardize the review process for broadcast, common carrier and aeronautical licensees and applicants.
  • Spectrum Frontiers: The FCC will consider a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that proposes to create new flexible use service rules in certain bands above 24 GHz to support multiple uses, including mobile wireless.


Spectrotel, Inc. filed a petition requesting that the PUC amend its 2005 Order which directed the company to cease marketing to or assuming any new customers in Maine.  The 2005 Order resulted from a PUC investigation into alleged “slamming” by Spectrotel.  According to the petition, Spectrotel has changed its business strategy and no longer markets its services to residential customers.  The company also claims it no longer uses any of the marketing techniques which gave rise to the original slamming complaints.  Spectrotel asks the PUC to amend the 2005 Order to allow it to market to and add customers in Maine.  Interested persons may file comments on or before October 19, 2015.


Gov. Tom Wolf proclaimed October 2015 Cybersecurity Awareness Month in Pennsylvania.  In addition, the PUC released the second edition of its Cybersecurity Best Practices for Small and Medium Pennsylvania Utilities.  The guide, available on the PUC’s website, outlines ways to prevent identity or property theft; how to manage vendors and contractors who may have access to a company’s data; what to know about anti-virus software, firewalls and network infrastructure; how to protect physical assets; how to respond to a cyber-attack and preserve forensic information after the fact; how to report incidents; the potential benefits of engaging a law firm in advance of a breach; and a list of federal cyber incident resources.


Telecom Regulatory Compliance Checklist for Startups - Small