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 the National Exchange Carrier Association, Inc.’s (NECA) further modifications to the formula used to calculate Universal Service Fund (USF) high cost loop (HCL) expense adjustments for average schedule companies. This formula, and associated cost per loop values, are intended to govern HCL support payments to average schedule companies in the second half of 2016 (July – December). This filing updates NECA’s August 21, 2015, filing to incorporate the FCC’s re-prescription of the authorized rate of return from 11.25% to 9.75%, with a 25 basis point reduction per year over the six year transitional period, beginning July 1, 2016, which is the effective date for the initial transitional reduction of the rate of return to 11.00%. The Wireline Competition Bureau seeks comment on the proposed formula by June 20, 2016.
The PUC has proposed a new emergency services rule to address and implement standardized protocols for 9-1-1 fire dispatch. The proposed rules address training, continuing education, certification, recertification, compliance oversight, quality assurance, and management of Emergency Fire Dispatch Agencies and dispatchers certifying as Emergency Fire Dispatchers. The rules will apply to all Public Safety Answering Points, Emergency Fire Dispatchers, and Emergency Fire Dispatch Agencies. Comments on the proposed rule may be filed no later than June 3, 2016.
A new law in Oklahoma expands the list of providers required to contribute to the Oklahoma Universal Service Fund (OUSF) to include interconnected VoIP providers. VoIP providers will be assessed based on their intrastate retail VoIP revenues. The new law also revises and streamlines the process for requesting OUSF, Lifeline, and Special Universal Services (E-rate and telemedicine) funding. TMI Briefing Service subscribers refer to Briefing dated 5/18/16.