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.
Special Access Data Request
The FCC has revised its guidelines for the public disclosure of analyses of the confidential and highly confidential data filed in response to its special access data collection (SADC- nka the business data services data collection). See our Blog “FCC-Reminds SADC Participants of What Is Highly Confidential,” posted on 1/27/16. The FCC said that participants may publicly disclose numerical, statistical, and graphical descriptions of data from the business data services data collection aggregated at a national or regional (multi-state) level. National and regional level data also may be disaggregated and reported by type of provider (ILECs, traditional CLECs, and cable) and by type of census block (urban, suburban, and rural). Participants may also publicly disclose numerical, statistical, and graphical descriptions of data aggregated at the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) level and the state level provided that the MSA or state is not identified. Anonymized MSA- and state-level data may be further disaggregated and reported by urban, suburban, or rural areas within the MSA or state; by type of regulatory flexibility category, (Phase I, Phase II, and no pricing flexibility); and by type of provider (ILEC, traditional CLEC, and cable). As example, the FCC said that a participant could publicly state “Within the urban areas of a certain MSA, 33% of the businesses are served by an ILEC; 33% are served by a CLEC; and 33% are served by a cable company.”
The revised guidance was issued in response to a joint letter filed by The United States Telecom Association, generally representing ILECs, and INCOMPAS, generally representing CLECs.
Urban Rate Survey for Fixed Voice and Broadband Services
The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) announced: the 2016 rate floor for ILEC eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs); the required minimum usage allowance for 2016 for ETCs subject to broadband public interest obligations; and the reasonable comparability benchmarks for fixed voice and broadband services.
The 2016 rate floor for voice services is $21.93, and the reasonable comparability benchmark for voice services is $41.07. The minimum monthly usage allowance for ETC subject to broadband public interest obligations is 150 GBs for price cap carriers receiving Phase II model-based support and rate-of-return carriers.
The reasonable comparability broadband benchmark varies, depending upon the supported service’s download and upload bandwidths and usage allowance. The following table provides the 2016 benchmark for a number of different broadband service offerings:
The Bureau also announced it had posted the fixed voice and broadband services data collected in the most recent urban rate survey (with explanatory notes) at http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/urban-rate-survey-data.