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.
Commissioner Mignon Clyburn announced the launch of her “Connecting Communities: Bridging the Communications and Opportunities Divide” Tour. Over the course of the next several months, she will visit communities throughout the country to hear first-hand the opportunities and challenges of bringing robust, affordable communications services to all Americans. The tour will be chronicled through Twitter using the hashtag #ConnectingCommunities. Among other things, Commissioner Clyburn will:
- Visit health care facilities using broadband to improve patient care.
- Meet with startups, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and providers of all sizes.
- Visit correctional facilities to understand the impact of inmate calling reform.
- Tour Tribal lands to examine their unique communications challenges.
- Visit local 9-1-1 call centers to learn about their efforts to upgrade to Text-to-911 and NG-911.
In the fall, Commissioner Clyburn will deliver a major policy speech sharing her observations and outline the policies she has advanced during her term to connect communities with robust, affordable communications services.
FCC Public Safety Task Force
The FCC’s Task Force on Optimal Public Safety Answering Point Architecture will hold a meeting on May 6, 2016. The Task Force will hear overview presentations of 2016 tasks from the Task Force’s three working groups; specifically Working Group 1- Optimal Approach to Cybersecurity, Working Group 2 – Optimal Approach to NG911 Architecture Implementation, and Working 3 – Optimal Approach to NG911 Resource Allocation. For details, click here.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2666, the No Rate Regulation of Broadband Internet Access Act by a vote of 241-173. See the Regulatory Mix dated 3/16/16. The bill would prohibit the FCC from regulating the retail rates charged by Internet service providers (ISPs) for broadband Internet service access.
Separately, the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology has scheduled a markup for April 18, 2016, of several bills of interest to the telecommunications industry. They are:
H.R. 2031, Anti-Swatting Act of 2015, that would create enhanced penalties for those who use false or misleading caller ID information to trigger a response by law enforcement agencies, known as “swatters.”
H.R. 3998, Securing Access to Networks in Disasters Act, that would create requirements for mobile service providers during emergencies to ensure that consumers have access to networks during disasters; require the FCC and GAO to examine the resiliency of networks during these events; and amend the Stafford Act to ensure all categories of communications service providers may access disaster sites to restore service.
H.R. 4111, Rural Health Care Connectivity Act of 2015, that would allow skilled nursing facilities to apply for Universal Service funding for communications services used to provide health care in rural communities.
H.R. 4167, Kari’s Law Act of 2015, that would require that any multi-line telephone system connect directly to 911 when dialed, even in instances where the phone requires the user to dial “9” to get an outside line.
H.R. 4190, Spectrum Challenge Prize of 2015, that would create a prize program through NTIA to award up to $5 million to participants who develop groundbreaking solutions to maximize spectrum efficiency.
H.R. 4884, the CURB Lifeline Act, that would reform the FCC’s Lifeline subsidy program by capping the fund at $1.5 billion, prohibiting the use of the subsidy for devices, and phasing out the subsidy for voice only service for mobile.
H.R. 4889, the Kelsey Smith Act, that would require telecommunications carriers to share location data if law enforcement believes that someone is in danger of death or serious harm.