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.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee passed all nine telecommunications-related bills it considered at its mark-up earlier this week. See the Regulatory Mix dated 4/25/16. This includes:
- H.R. 4889 (The Kelsey Smith Act, that would require a provider of mobile or IP enabled service to share location data if law enforcement believes that someone is in danger of death or serious harm.)
- H.R. 4167 (Kari’s Law Act of 2015, that would require that any multi-line telephone system connects directly to 911 when dialed, even in instances where the phone requires the user to dial “9” to get an outside line.)
- H.R. 4111 (the Rural Health Care Connectivity Act of 2015, would allow skilled nursing facilities to apply for Universal Service funding for communications services used to provide health care in rural communities).
- H.R. 4190 (the 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. 3998 (the Securing Access to Networks in Disasters Act, that would require the FCC to examine the resiliency of networks during these events)
- H.R. 2031 (the 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. 2589 (that would require the FCC to publish new rules not later than 24 hours after the dissenting statement is filed)
- H.R. 2592 (that would require the FCC to publish the draft of a rulemaking, order, report or any other action when it is circulated to the commissioners for a vote.) and
- H.R. 2593 (that would require the FCC to publish a list of items that are placed on delegated authority – that is, decided at the bureau level in lieu of a commission vote.)
The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation approved S.2644, the FCC Reauthorization Act of 2016, and S.421, Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act of 2015, among other bills, at its April 27, 2016, mark-up. See the Regulatory Mix dated 4/25/16. Numerous amendments reflecting other telecom related bills were adopted as part of the FCC Reauthorization bill, including amendments to require the FCC to: assess the impact of universal service support on broadband deployment on tribal lands; reports on the incentive auction repack and resulting station relocation; report on its rural healthcare program and to conduct a notice of inquiry into whether the program is meeting the goals of the universal service provisions of the Telecommunications Act; and complete a cramming rulemaking. Other amendments require the Government Accountability Office to conduct a study on the IP transition and government efforts to facilitate it and include the Kari’s Law Act (which would require users to be able to reach 911 emergency call centers without dialing an addition code, prefix, or post-fix on multiline telephone systems (MLTS), such as those used in hotels) and the Spoofing Prevention Act (that expands the existing prohibitions on spoofing to include text messages and international calls).
Spectrum Incentive Auction
The Incentive Auction Task Force (IATF) and the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) announced the 126 MHz initial spectrum clearing target for the broadcast television spectrum auction. Also included in the announcement: bidding in the clock phase of the Reverse Auction (Auction 1001) is to start on May 31, 2016, number of forward auction blocks, mailing of confidential status letters, and upcoming dates for the reverse auction.