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 Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (Bureau) and the Incentive Auction Task Force announced that the FCC received 104 applications for Auction 1002, the forward auction portion of the broadcast television spectrum incentive auction. The auction will offer new, flexible-use licenses suitable for providing mobile broadband services, which will be licensed on a geographic areabasis according to Partial Economic Areas. Of the 104 applications 69 were complete and 35 were incomplete. Applicants with incomplete applications will receive a letter identifying deficiency(ies) in its application. To become a qualified bidder, the applicant must correct any deficiencies and resubmit its application by April 6, 2016. A list of the complete applications is available here; the incomplete applications can be found here.
Inmate Calling Services (ICS)
The FCC clarified the application of its new rates for ICS in light of the recent Court decision staying portions of its rules. See the Regulatory Mix dated 3/7/16. The FCC said that the interim rate caps of $0.21 per-minute for debit and prepaid calls and $0.25 per-minute for collect ICS calls remain in effect for interstate ICS calls, and will take effect for intrastate calls from prisons on March 17, 2016, and for intrastate ICS calls from jails on June 20, 2016. The new rate caps for ancillary fee other than single-call services (which was stayed by the Court) will take effect for both inter and intrastate calls on March 17, 2016, for calls from prisons and on June 20, 2016, for calls from jails. In response to the FCC’s last minute Public Notice, various parties to the Court appeal of the FCC’s Order filed additional motions with the Court asking it to enforce, modify, or reconsider its earlier stay order to make it clear that the stay prevents the FCC from applying its interim interstate ICS rates to intrastate calls. The Court was asked to rule by March 24, 2016. The accelerated briefing schedule calls for the FCC’s response to be filed by March 22, 2016 and replies by to be filed by March 23, 2016.
The North American Numbering Council (NANC) told the FCC it plans to deliver recommendations in May 2016, in response to the Wireline Competition Bureau’s request that it evaluate and developing recommended actions “to enable nationwide number portability through technical modifications to the Location Routing Number (LRN) system used to route wireless- and wireline- originated calls to ported numbers.” The letter also outlines the issues that are being addressed by the various NANC working groups. Issues include: potential impacts on the life of the NANP; the role of state regulatory commissions; costs and cost recovery; and how long the long the need for LRNs will continue to exist once VoIP interconnection is fully implemented, including an analysis of the role of LRNs for carriers that implement both TDM and VoIP-based interconnection during the VoIP interconnection transition.
For Inmate Calling Services providers!