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 House Energy and Commerce Committee has scheduled a full committee markup to consider a number of bills, including the Small Business Broadband Deployment Act, which would permanently exempt small businesses from complying with the FCC’s Open Internet Order’s enhanced transparency rules. Small business will be defined as 1,500 employees or 500,000 subscribers. Members will convene for opening statements only on February 24, 2016, and reconvene on February 25, 2016, at 10 a.m. See the Regulatory Mix dated 2/12/16.
The FCC’s Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) is seeking comment on whether certain docketed Commission proceedings should be terminated as dormant. To the extent that a particular proceeding includes a petition addressing the merits or other pending pleadings, a party’s failure to file comments in response to this Public Notice will be construed as consent to termination of that proceeding. A party aggrieved by a docket termination may file a petition for reconsideration with CGB or an application for review with the full Commission. Comments will be due 30 days after date of publication in the Federal Register. Reply comment will be due 45 days after date of publication in the Federal Register.
The PUC has scheduled an Initial Prehearing Conference in the Petition of Communications Workers of America’s (CWA) complaint against Verizon. The hearing will be on March 18, 2016. In October 2015, the CWA filed a petition requesting that the PUC open an investigation into the safety, adequacy, and reasonableness of service provided by Verizon. CWA asked that the PUC conduct an in-depth in-person examination and audit of Verizon records and physical plant throughout Verizon’s service areas, adopt detailed findings of fact, order Verizon to take specific, detailed remedial actions and impose substantial civil penalties on Verizon for repeated and willful failure to comply with the Public Utility Code, Commission regulations and standard industry practices for protecting the safety of the public and utility employees. Among other things, CWA said that it has learned of Verizon policies and practices that systematically neglect copper facilities and customer on the copper networks. CWA provided specific examples in support of its petition.
In July 2015 CWA announced it would file letters with telephone regulators in six states and Washington, DC calling on them to open investigations into the deterioration of Verizon’s copper landline networks.