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’s Wireline Competition Bureau released Alternative Connect America Cost Model (A-CAM) v2.1 and illustrative results for potential use in rate-of-return areas. The new model incorporates study area-specific plant mix values submitted by rate-of-return carriers, updates broadband coverage data to address issues raised by rate-of-return commenters regarding reported competitive coverage, and provides an alternative coverage option that excludes from support calculations census blocks served with either fiber to the premises (FTTP) or cable, as requested by one commenter. The Bureau also released results that illustrate how the two different coverage assumptions used in calculating support impact the potential support calculated for a particular study area; both sets of results are calculated using a $200 per-location funding cap. These illustrative results are available at here. The model methodology for A-CAM v2.1 will be made available here shortly after A-CAM v2.1 is publicly released.
The PUC issued a Press Release reminding consumers and businesses that starting January 1, 2016, a new prepaid Mobile Telephony Service (MTS) surcharge must be assessed on prepaid wireless telephone services and must be disclosed at the time of sale. In November 2015, the PUC adopted its new prepaid MTS surcharge and fee rates. Prepaid wireless telephone service providers must disclose the prepaid MTS surcharge to customers and post information regarding the MTS surcharges on their websites. See the Regulatory Mix dated 11/18/15.
TMI Briefing Service subscribers see Briefings dated 11/25/15, 12/1/15, and 1/29/15.
Charter Communications, Inc.
Charter Communications, Inc. announced the details of a new low-cost broadband service that the company will begin offering to low-income customers within six months of the close of its pending merger with Time Warner Cable and acquisition of Bright House Networks. Charter said that the new service will deliver the highest speeds of any comparable offering and be the first to offer fast broadband to low-income seniors in addition to low-income families, providing substantial benefits to these underserved populations and setting a new standard for low-cost broadband. The service will deliver 30/4 Mbps speeds which exceeds the FCC’s definition of high-speed broadband. Click here for full press release.
The Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA), commends the FCC’s decision that extends small business relief for another year. In an association press release dated 12/16/15, WISPA President Alex Phillips stated that, “Our members remain committed to an open Internet and informing the public about our pricing, speeds, and congestion management. The current disclosure rules have proven sufficient to inform consumers and edge providers about broadband provider services and network management. Unfortunately, we will need to continue engaging with the FCC as it looks towards making this exemption permanent. Any other outcome will ultimately force rural Americans to foot the bill for their local broadband provider to comply with unnecessary and burdensome regulatory requirements.” Click here for full press release.