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.
International Bureau Reorganization
The FCC announced a reorganization of its International Bureau that is intended to provide greater efficiencies and enable new analyses of trends in international telecommunications. The new operations consolidate spectrum rulemakings in the Satellite Division and move all economic reporting and statistical analysis responsibilities to the new Telecommunications and Analysis Division.
The Strategic Analysis and Negotiations Division is now called the Global Strategy and Negotiation Division (GSN). It will continue to work with multi-national organizations and engage in cross-border negotiations. Within the Division, the Regional and Bilateral Affairs Branch and Multilateral Negotiations and Industry Analysis Branch have been merged into a combined branch called the Multilateral and Regional Affairs Branch. The Cross-Border Negotiations and Treaty Compliance Branch and the International Radiocommunication Branch remain the same.
The Satellite Division will now include international spectrum rulemaking functions (transferred from the Policy Division to the Satellite Division). In addition, this Division will now process notifications to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
Finally, the Policy Division is renamed the Telecommunications and Analysis Division (TAD) as a result of consolidating the economic analysis and statistical reporting functions within the bureau. Its responsibilities include foreign ownership review and licensing of international section 214 authorizations and submarine cables, and economic analysis and reports.
Connect America Fund
The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau released the final list of rate-of-return carrier study areas that are 100% overlapped by unsubsidized competitors. Only one study area, Pineville Telephone Company, was determined to be 100% overlapped by competitors. Therefore, support payments for Pineville will be phased down over a two-year period commencing in January 2016. The Bureau found that competitors had not submitted sufficient evidence to support a finding that any of the 14 other study areas that were listed in the Bureau’s preliminary list (released in July 2015) were actually 100% overlapped. See the Regulatory Mix dated 7/30/15.