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 released an “Auto Call Routing (ACR) Cookbook.” ACR allows consumers who communicate in American Sign Language (ASL) to place a video call to a government agency or private entity with a publicly listed telephone number. The ACR Cookbook provides guidance on how to enable the provision of direct video calling to call center agents in government agencies and private entities by people who communicate in ASL. The FCC said that thousands of deaf and hard of hearing individuals who communicate in ASL use third-party communication assistants over video relay services (VRS) to place telephone calls to customer assistance divisions of government agencies and businesses in the United States every day. To improve these interactions, the FCC implemented a direct video communications (DVC) solution, launching an ASL Consumer Support Line in June 2014, the first of its kind in the federal government. This ASL line allows users to make video calls directly to the FCC to obtain assistance and information about issues under the FCC’s jurisdiction. Because of the very high consumer satisfaction rate with the FCC’s ASL line, other government agencies expressed an interest in launching DVC capability for their call centers as well. Accordingly, the FCC engaged MITRE Corporation to develop an ACR proof-of-concept, or prototype, for the provision of direct video calling to call centers that support multiple call agents.
The FCC and the Regents of the University of Colorado will co-host a summit to explore cybersecurity issues facing the telecommunications sector and the public safety community. See the Regulatory Mix dated 10/28/15. The summit will seek to promote ways to develop, implement, and measure best practices, enhance c-suite and agency senior level awareness, and evolve policy planning related to cybersecurity recommendations for the telecommunications sector, public safety sector, research and development, and workforce planning/talent management.
The Fiber to the Home (FTTH) Council Americas released the results of a survey showing that fiber deployments in the United States grew 13% in 2015. According to the report: 26 million homes are passed by fiber, 12.3 million homes are connected with FTTH, more than half of the over 1,000 FTTH providers in North America expect to be offering a Gigabit service within five years, and FTTH consumers report over 50% higher satisfaction with fiber than with DSL or cable.
The Commission will convene a technical conference on December 15, 2015, regarding the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) on the Collection of Connected Entity Data from Regional Transmission Organizations and Independent System Operators. This NOPR proposes to amend the Commission’s regulations to require each regional transmission organization (RTO) and independent system operator (ISO) to electronically deliver to the Commission, on an ongoing basis, data required from its market participants that would (i) identify the market participants by means of a common alpha-numeric identifier; (ii) list their “Connected Entities,” which includes entities that have certain ownership, employment, debt, or contractual relationships to the market participants, as specified in the NOPR; and (iii) describe in brief the nature of the relationship of each Connected Entity. The Commission postponed the due date for comments on the NOPR until 45 days after the technical conference. Therefore, comments will be due on January 22, 2016.