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 Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau announced that over the next two months, from May 10 to July 5, 2016, it will introduce a new version of the Network Outage Reporting System (NORS) for testing and, ultimately, operational use. The new version of NORS has two interfaces: a web-based interface and an API interface for companies that want to file outage reports automatically. If testing is successful, the FCC will migrate all filings to the new system on July 20, 2016. Under FCC rules, providers of voice and paging communications, (e.g., wireless, wireline, cable, satellite communications, and interconnected VoIP providers) must report significant disruptions or outages to their communications systems.
Lifeline Program Expansion
The FCC has begun the process of obtaining Office of Management and Budget approval for the revisions to FCC Forms 497, 555, and 481 necessary to implement its new rules expanding the Lifeline program to include funding for broadband services. Comments are due by July 11, 2016. The FCC said it seeking to revise the existing information collection to include new rules phasing out support for mobile voice over the next six years, requiring ETCs to certify compliance with the new minimum service requirements, creating a new ETC designation for Lifeline Broadband Providers, updating the obligations to advertise Lifeline offerings, modifying the non-usage de-enrollment requirements within the program, moving to rolling annual subscriber recertification, and streamlining the first-year ETC audit requirements. TMI Briefing Service subscribers see Briefing dated 5/9/16.
The PUC is seeking comment by May 26, 2016, on a staff proposal to disburse $90,000 remaining in a Qwest Corp. compliance account that has been inactive since 2010. The account contains money paid by Qwest when it failed to meet performance standards under the Qwest Performance Assurance Plan (QPAP). Staff is proposing that $44,900 be allocated to the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare’s Suicide Prevention Action Network. Staff is also proposing that $44,910 be allocated toward the Police Officer Standards & Training Academy (POST) for the employment, training, and certification of E-911 emergency dispatchers.