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 Communications and Technology Subcommittee announced it will hold a hearing on the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority transition on March 17, 2016, and an FCC oversight hearing on March 22, 2016. Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) said “The upcoming hearing with the FCC Commissioners will allow the committee to continue to exercise its critical oversight responsibilities over the FCC and to ask the hard questions. Similarly, we will continue to exercise our oversight over the administration’s effort to transition its oversight of the Domain Name System to ensure that the Internet remains free and open for all users.”
Speaking before the Heritage Foundation, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai gave the FCC its “First-Year Report Card” on Internet Regulation and found that the results were as bad as predicted. Among other things, he noted that the FCC’s regime has: (1) harmed investment and slowed down broadband deployment; (2) allowed the FCC to micromanage “virtually every aspect of how the Internet works;” and (3) created massive uncertainty. Among other things, he said: “One year ago today, the FCC decided to join 20th century regulation and the 21st century Internet together in not-so-holy matrimony. It’s fitting that the traditional one-year anniversary gift is paper—for that’s pretty much all that utility-style regulation has produced over the last 12 months. Reams of paper have been spent on litigation. Mountains more have been built counseling ISPs on the new requirements. And there are even stacks and stacks of paper that have been filed responding to the agency’s Paperwork Reduction Act analysis. All this has been a gift to the legal profession. But for most Americans, the marriage has been a dud.”
The PUC launched an updated website which it says is “designed to improve user interface and navigation, provide better functionality, incorporate an improved design, and create a more consistent online presence.” The PUC also announced that it reformatted its Consumer Information Center at http://consumers.cpuc.ca.gov. The Consumer Information Center is designed to make it easy for consumers to, among other things, get information about utility services, file a complaint, and make comment on CPUC proceedings.
In addition, at last week’s voting meeting, the PUC announced that its new Compliance with Ordering Paragraphs (COPs) database is now available at the PUC website. The COPs database tracks and reports compliance of regulated entities with PUC Decisions issued after January 1, 2015. It will allow PUC staff to ensure ordering paragraph compliance more effectively and efficiently and to identify areas where regulated entities are non-compliant. For each ordering paragraph, the COPs database reports the following information: Status (In compliance, Not In Compliance, Not Yet Due, etc.); How Compliance was Determined; Decision Number; Proceeding Number; Ordering Paragraph Number; Decision Effective Date; Due Date; Industry; and Notes.