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 Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors announced two upcoming workshops.
- A workshop on the deployment of distributed antenna systems (DAS) and small cells will be held on May 3, 2016. Panel discussions will address DAS and small cells focusing on: (1) Technical/Engineering and Business Overview; (2) Deployment and Uses; and (3) City Case Studies. Click here for details.
- The annual educational workshop on the environmental compliance and historic preservation review process required for the construction of wireless communications facilities will be held on May 4, 2016. This year’s workshop will include information relevant to the construction of all new communications towers and to the collocation of communications equipment on towers and other structures. Click here for details.
The Public Utilities Commission will hold Evidentiary Hearings on April 7 & 8, 2016, in its examination of the issue of cost of capital for each of the ten CHCF-A companies. (The ten California High Cost Fund-A companies are: Calaveras Telephone Company; Cal-Ore Telephone Company; Ducor Telephone Company; Foresthill Telephone Company; Kerman Telephone Company; Pinnacles Telephone Company; The Ponderosa Telephone Company; Sierra Telephone Company, Inc.; The Siskiyou Telephone Company; and Volcano Telephone Company (the Applicants).) Opening Briefs are due on May 13, 2016. The Applicants proposed that should the PUC adopt a single cost of capital for all companies, it should be 14.6% based on 70% equity to 30% debt capital structure with a 5.5% cost of debt and a 18.5% cost of equity. The Applicants proposed that the PUC should not adopt a specific capital structure, and that the cost of debt for each company be left to individual rate cases.
Legislation introduced in the House would require the PUC to establish a docket to examine regulation of basic local telecommunications service. The PUC would be required to study options to modify the regulation of basic local service to: (1) recognize and accommodate the significant technological changes that have occurred in recent years with respect to the delivery of telecommunications services; (2) promote effective competition and lessen or eliminate unnecessary regulatory burdens; (3) preserve the provision of adequate and reliable service at just and reasonable rates; and (4) ensure that consumer protections are maintained in any transition to a competitive market for basic local service. The PUC would be required to report its findings and recommendations to legislature no later than 2/1/17. The proceeding would be funded by an assessment to telephone companies.
The Public Service Commission is seeking comments on the Comtech Telecommunications Corp. (Comtech) acquisition of TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. (TSI) and its wholly-owned subsidiary NextGen Communications, Inc. Comments are due April 22, 2016, and a hearing will be held April 28, 2016.