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.
Chairman, Tom Wheeler, said in a recent blog, that the FCC’s “April meeting will feature two items to sweep away old, 20th-century regulations and replace them with new rules that reflect 21st-century technologies and markets. Moving out: the old “special access” regime and mandates for TTY communications. Moving in: a new, technology-neutral framework for business data services (BDS) and real-time text for Americans who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, speech disabled and deaf-blind.” Yesterday the FCC released its Business Data Services Order and Further Notice. It is seeking comment on a new regulatory framework for the provision of business data services and identifying tariff and other contractual terms/conditions that are unreasonable under the Act.” TMI Briefing Service subscribers watch for our Briefing and analysis of the FCC’s order.
At the Governor’s request, the PUC has suspended indefinitely its emergency service rulemaking. TMI Briefing Service subscribers see Briefing dated 4/27/16. A bill has been introduced in the Legislature, SB 183, intended to clarify that the PUC has no regulatory authority over the originating service providers of basic emergency service. An amended bill has been passed by the Senate. It proposes to establish a legislative 911 oversight committee of 23 members. The committee would study and investigate other states’ laws, rules, and practices concerning 911 oversight, outage reporting, and reliability; consider whether existing laws provide sufficient protection for the 911 needs of Colorado; and determine whether current funding sources are sufficient for providing 911 service.
Effective July 1, 2016, a new law bans school bus drivers from using a portable electronic device while the vehicle is in motion and while the vehicle is transporting one or more children (including while stopped in order to load or unload children). The law defines portable electronic device to include, among other things, a wireless phone, pager, electronic game, or camera. It does not include a two-way radio communications made to and from a central dispatch, school transportation department, or its equivalent; or a device capable of voice communication to report an emergency to the 911 system, a law enforcement agency, fire department, or emergency medical provider. Violation of this law is a Class A misdemeanor and could result in confinement, a fine, and a permanent prohibition from operating a school bus in Tennessee.