Today’s Regulatory Mix: Senate Passes Infrastructure Package, Attorneys General Support Implementing STIR/SHAKEN, URTA Supports Utah USF Changes
US Senate Passes Infrastructure Package
The U.S. Senate passed the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill today. The package, called the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration. It calls for $550 billion in new federal spending over five years, including $65 billion to expand broadband Internet access.
Attorneys General Support Implementing STIR/SHAKEN Immediately
The National Association of Attorneys General (the Association) submitted comments to the FCC’s proposal to shorten the deadline by which certain small voice service providers must implement STIR/SHAKEN. Generally, voice providers were to implement the call authentication framework by June 30, 2021; voice providers with 100,000 or fewer subscribers were given until June 30, 2023. However, the FCC is considering moving up the implementation deadline for some of these small voice providers that are supporting large volumes of illegal robocalls. “Based upon the available evidence, we support the Commission’s proposed conclusion that a subset of small voice service providers are more often responsible for illegal robocalls, with such providers originating a high and increasing share of illegal robocalls relative to their subscriber base. Furthermore, while shortening the extension period by one year is a good starting point, we strongly encourage the Commission to require this subset of small voice providers to implement STIR/SHAKEN as soon as possible.”
The Association’s comments, signed by fifty-one attorneys general, concluded “While not a silver bullet to end illegal robocalls, complete end-to-end implementation of the STIR/SHAKEN caller ID authentication framework will dramatically reduce the uncertainty and distrust that consumers experience each time they read their caller ID for an incoming call. The undersigned State Attorneys General commend the Commission’s reconsideration of its prior blanket extension for the time by which all small voice service providers are required to implement STIR/SHAKEN. Furthermore, we support the Commission’s proposed rule that curtails the extension of the deadline for STIR/SHAKEN implementation from two years to one year, if not sooner, for those small voice service providers that regularly profit from the originating and routing of illegal and spoofed robocalls that instill fear in, and bring harm to, our nation’s consumers.”
URTA Supports Utah USF Changes
The Utah Rural Telecom Association (URTA) filed comments with the Utah Public Service Commission (PSC) supporting a proposal submitted by the Utah Division of Public Utilities changing the Utah universal public telecommunications service support fund (UUSF). The division proposed the PSC establish a process for annual reviews of the UUSF, “set a standard revenue amount per line for wholesale consumer broadband only loops (CBOL), set a standard revenue amount per line for broadband loops when combined with voice service, create a reduced CBOL revenue option in rule to provide internet at a reduced rate for qualifying low-income customers, and amend certain definitions as necessary for the wholesale broadband rule changes.” This proposal, URTA suggests, will “provide stability and predictability for the UUSF and carriers.”
The Regulatory Mix, Inteserra’s blog of telecom related 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 an Inteserra Briefing.