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 FCC is seeking comment on competition in the mobile wireless marketplace for its Nineteenth Annual Report on the State of Competition in Mobile Wireless. Comments are due May 31, 2016; reply comments are due June 15, 2016. TMI Briefing Service subscribers see Briefing dated 5/4/16.
SADC (aka Business Data Services Data Collection)
The FCC released another list of additional parties that have signed an acknowledgement of confidentiality (AOC) and that seek to review the data gathered through the FCC’s special access data collection (SADC). The list includes persons that signed an AOC since the FCC’s last Public Notice. Companies that submitted confidential or highly confidential information in response to the SADC have until May 11, 2016, to object to the disclosure of their data and information to any of the parties on the list.
The Senate Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law will hold hearing on May 11, 2016 entitled “examining the Proposed FCC Privacy Rules”. TMI Briefing Service subscribers see Briefing dated 4/123/16. Witnesses include FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, and FTC Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen.
The MPSC announced that Michigan now has at least three Internet service providers that offer low-income customers discounted access to the Internet. AT&T recently announced its new Access from AT&T program, joining Comcast’s Internet Essentials and CenturyLink’s Internet Basics programs for low-income customers. Eligibility varies by company. Other Internet service providers may also offer programs for low-income customers. The MPSC, in its public-private partnership with Connect Michigan and Connected Nation, is working with local governments, businesses, and citizens to increase broadband access, adoption and use.
“Large parts of Michigan now have Internet service providers that offer low-income customers in their service territories access to Internet service for approximately $10 per month,” said MPSC Chairman Sally Talberg. “These programs are helping to shrink the digital divide for more and more Michigan families. The MPSC encourages individuals and families to contact Comcast, CenturyLink and/or AT&T directly to find out more about the programs for which they may be eligible. These types of programs are helping to achieve Michigan’s goal to increase broadband access, adoption and use.”
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) clarified that telecommunications service providers cannot charge for a service that is not, and cannot be, provided following a cancellation. Furthermore, service providers must offer individual and small business customers a refund upon cancellation, based on the number of days remaining in the billing cycle, if the service fees are billed in advance. The CRTC also reminded small business customers to review their contract terms should they wish to cancel a telephone or Internet service before installation work has begun. Any fees charged by the service provider as a result should be reasonable and proportional to the costs it has incurred.