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.



In response to the release of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework, FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez issued a statement which said, in part: “The EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework supports the growing digital economy on both sides of the Atlantic, while ensuring the protection of consumers’ personal information. In providing an important legal mechanism for transatlantic data transfers, it benefits both consumers and business in the global economy. Strong law enforcement and increased cooperation will be critical to the new framework’s success, and the FTC will play a significant role in enforcing commercial privacy promises under the framework.” She also said that the FTC would make enforcement of the new framework a high priority and that the FTC would work closely with its European counterparts to provide “robust privacy and data security protections for consumers in the United States and Europe.”

The Privacy Shield Framework is designed to replace the Safe Harbor agreement that was overturned by the European Court of Justice in October 2015. It sets forth principles governing trans-Atlantic data flows, including how U.S. agencies will handle enforcement and exceptions for national security purposes.



USAC reminded providers that the 2016 FCC Form 499-(Annual Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet) is due Friday, April 1, 2016, and that late filing fees apply even to de minimis companies. Specifically, filing after the due date or failing to file altogether will result in late filing fees imposed by the universal service fund (USF) as well as each of the other three funds (Local Number Portability (LNP) Fund, North American Number Plan (NANP) Fund, and Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Fund) that use Form 499-A data to calculate a providers’ contribution amounts. The late filing fee for the USF is the greater of $100 per month or the U.S. prime rate plus 3.5% of the filer’s monthly obligation. More information is available here. Each of the other funds impose their own late filing fees.



Legislation has been proposed that would require the Office of Policy and Management to establish a high-speed Internet service pilot program. $20M in grants would be allocated to one or more applicants. Criteria for awarding grants would include, but not be limited to, financial viability, technical viability, anticipated cost of high-speed Internet service to subscribers, projected longevity of the infrastructure to be developed, and the demand and need for high-speed Internet service for economic development, education, health care, public safety or the promotion of access to high-speed Internet service by low-income residents. Each grant could only be used for the development of infrastructure in municipalities where access to high-speed Internet service does not exist or is severely limited.


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