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.
Business Data Service Tariff Investigation
The Wireline Competition Bureau extended the filing deadlines in connection with its investigation into the terms and conditions of the special access service pricing plans of AT&T, CenturyLink, Frontier, and Verizon. See the Regulatory Mix dated 10/19/15. The deadline for the submission of the ILECs’ direct cases was extended to January 8, 2016, the deadline for oppositions was extended to February 5, 2016, and the deadline for rebuttals was extended to February 26, 2016. The original due dates were December 18, 2016, January 21, 2016, and February 22, 2016, respectively. TMI Briefing Service subscribers see Briefing dated 10/20/15. The extension of time was granted in response to a request by the ILECs for a twelve-week extension of the deadline for submission of their direct cases.
Wireless Emergency Alert Rules
The FCC announced the date for filing comments on potential changes to its Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) rules. Comments are due January 13, 2016; reply comments are due February 12, 2016. The proposed changes are designed to improve the clarity of WEA messages, ensure that the alerts reach only those individuals to whom a WEA alert is relevant, and establish a testing program that will improve the effectiveness of the system for public safety officials and the public. See our 11/19/15 Blog “FCC Acts On Wireless Issues”
Rural Broadband Experiment Support
The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau authorized a total of $5,196,652.85 in support for rural broadband experiments that will bring new broadband to 617 census blocks in Oklahoma, Oregon, and Virginia. The bureau authorized $239,918 to BARC Electric Cooperative for one project in Virginia, $2.375 million to Douglas Services, Inc., for one project in Oregon, and $2.58 million in support to Northeast Rural Services, Inc., for projects in two areas in Oklahoma.
Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced his office has launched an online form where New Yorkers can test and then submit data on the Internet speeds they are receiving at home. In October, the Attorney General sent letters to Time Warner Cable, Verizon and Cablevision asking for documents related to whether the Internet speeds they advertise are actually what households are receiving. The new online test is an opportunity for consumers to discover whether the advertised speeds are accurate.
“New Yorkers should get the Internet speeds they pay for. Too many of us may be paying for one thing, and getting another,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “By conducting these tests, consumers can uncover whether they are receiving the Internet speeds they have paid for.” Full instructions for taking the broadband test can be viewed here.
The PURA approved a change of control whereby the UIL companies – United Illuminating, the Southern Connecticut Gas Company, and the Connecticut Natural Gas Company – will become subsidiaries of Spain-based Iberdrola.