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 General Accounting Office released a report on the FCC’s data collection efforts in connection with the IP transition. The report concludes that the FCC should strengthen its data collection efforts to assess the IP transition’s effects. The report notes that the FCC is collecting data on the IP transition through voluntary experiments proposed and run by telecommunications carriers. However, the report concludes that “is unclear if FCC will be able to make data-driven decisions about the IP transition because of the limited number and scale of the proposed experiments. In particular, there are only three proposed experiments that cover a very limited number of consumers; none of the experiments covers consumer services in high-density urban areas or includes critical national-security or public-safety locations.” It also notes that while the FCC has asked for comment on how to supplement its data-gathering process, “soliciting comments may not necessarily result in a change in FCC’s existing policies.” The GAO also found that FCC lacks a detailed strategy that outlines how it will address its remaining information needs. It said that “developing a strategy for collecting information about how the IP transition affects public safety and consumers would help FCC make data-driven decisions and address areas of uncertainty as it oversees the IP transition.”
Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced a $25.95 million settlement with Comcast over hazardous waste disposal and privacy violations. The settlement resolves allegations that Comcast both unlawfully disposed of hazardous waste and discarded records without first omitting or redacting private customer information. If the settlement is approved by the court, Comcast must pay $19.85 million in civil penalties and costs. An additional $3 million will fund projects furthering environmental and consumer protection and enforcement in California. Comcast will also be providing CalRecycle with $2.25 million in airtime over a four-year period and $150,000 to develop and produce public service announcements that educate the public on the proper handling and disposal of hazardous waste they might generate, including electronics. Comcast will spend a minimum of $700,000 to enhance its environmental compliance and will be prohibited from violating these laws in the future, under the terms of a permanent injunction. A link to the Comcast Complaint and the Stipulation and Proposed Judgment are included with the AG’s announcement. Last year, Attorney General Harris and District Attorney O’Malley reached a $23.8 million settlement with AT&T over similar hazardous waste disposal violations.
The PUC’s Nominating Council is seeking applications for the position of commissioner to fill a five-year term that begins on April 11, 2016. Applications must be delivered to the Nominating Council no later than January 14, 2016.
The PSC is accepting applications for a Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) certificate. The current certificate for TRS service in West Virginia was awarded to Sprint Communications Company, L.P. (Sprint) in 2012. Applications are due on or before January 18, 2016.