Urban Rates Survey
The FCC extended the due date for filing completed urban rate surveys to December 11, 2015. The previous due date was December 8, 2015. See the Regulatory Mix dated 11/2/15. Due to a technical problem, the urban rate survey online filing system was unavailable from approximately 2 p.m. on December 7th, until 3 p.m. on December 8th. To ensure that all subject providers had sufficient time to submit their completed surveys, the FCC extended the due date.
Mobile Device Theft Prevention
The FCC Technological Advisory Council’s Mobile Device Theft Prevention Working Group has released a Report on Mobile Device Theft Prevention. The Report includes links to the CTIA website for theft protection tools for Android, iOS, Blackberry, and Windows devices. In response to the Report, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler issued a statement praising the Report as establishing “the critical components of a holistic effort to eliminate smart phone theft.” Among other things, he said that the Report updates the recommended slate of on-device theft prevention features, details efforts to review and improve the technical security design of each device’s unique numerical identifier (to prevent thieves from laundering devices by giving them new numbers) and describes “a clear pathway to the implementation of a single data portal to enable real-time assessment of whether any particular device is stolen.” He also noted that the industry has committed to continuing its partnership with the FCC in this important area: CTIA “has committed to a consumer outreach effort to better understand consumer acceptance of these anti-theft capabilities and to track mobile device theft rates” and that the Group has recommended their continuation of these work efforts for next year. The report also recommends that the FCC work with Congress on the enactment of legislation to criminalize the unauthorized changing of device identities and to supply or possess equipment to undertake the unauthorized changing of device identities.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced new measures to ensure Canadians are properly informed about the costs of making certain long-distance calls over a payphone. The CRTC will now require that Canadians be provided with detailed information on the cost of making long-distance calls using a credit card or other forms of non-cash payment. Payphone providers must inform the CRTC on how they intend to inform consumers. Large telephone companies will also now have to notify the community before removing the last payphone in municipalities and First Nation communities, as well as for payphones in areas where no wireless service is available.
“Even though their usage has declined over the past decade, payphones are still an important resource for many people especially in areas where no wireless service is available. We expect that the new requirements will empower Canadians in their use of payphones in communities across Canada, and local authorities by giving them an opportunity to respond to the needs of their community members.” Jean-Pierre Blais, Chairman of the CRTC.