Preserving competition when a legacy service is discontinued: The FCC recognizes that small and medium-sized businesses, schools, hospitals, and other government institutions often rely on services delivered by competitive broadband and phone providers. However, these providers may be unable to reach these same customers if incumbent carriers withdraw certain “last mile” services. Accordingly, the NPRM:
'regulatory monitoring' Posts
Posted by Ann-Marie Kemp
July has become well known (and dreaded by many) in the telecom industry for its annual access filing deadlines. Of course, this year is no different as carriers position themselves to implement the first phase of their mandatory access reductions toward $0.0007. (See TMI Blog posting Further Switched Access Reductions Effective July 1, 2014 posted 4/1/14).
Here is the announcement straight from the FCC!
Posted by Amy Gross
The Order requires inmate phone providers to charge cost-based rates to inmates and their families and establishes “safe-harbor” rates at or below which rates will be treated as lawful unless the FCC issues a finding to the contrary. A provider’s rates will be presumptively lawful if: (1) none of the provider’s rates for collect calling exceed $0.14 per minute at any correctional institution, and (2) none of the provider’s rates for debit calling, prepaid calling, or prepaid collect calling exceed $0.12 per minute at any correctional institution. A provider’s rates will be considered consistent with this requirement if the total charge for a 15-minute call, including any per-call or per-connection charges, does not exceed the appropriate rate in (1) or (2) for a 15-minute call. In addition, the FCC set an interim hard cap on ICS providers’ rates of $0.21 per minute for interstate debit, prepaid calling and prepaid collect calls, and $0.25 per minute for collect interstate calls. A provider’s rates will be considered consistent with this requirement if the total charge for a 15-minute call, including any per-call or per-connection charges, does not exceed $3.75 for a 15-minute call using collect calling, or $3.15 for a 15-minute call using debit calling, prepaid calling, or prepaid collect calling.
The FCC has announced its plan for an orderly shut-down if there is a lapse of Congressional appropriations effective October 1, 2013. The FCC said that during a shutdown all FCC activities other than those immediately necessary for the protection of life or property will cease. Suspended activities include, among many others: consumer complaint and inquiry phone lines; consumer protection and local competition enforcement; licensing services, including broadcast, wireless, and wireline; management of radio spectrum and the creation of new opportunities for competitive technologies and services; and equipment authorizations.
Posted by Amy Gross
The FCC’s Technology Transitions Policy Task Force announced it will hold a second workshop on IP Transition issues on Tuesday, October 15, 2013. The workshop will focus on the consumer and competitive impacts of two key technology transitions: (1) the replacement of copper-based networks with fiber; and (2) the shift from wireline services toward greater use of wireless services. The workshop will solicit data and analysis on the potential effects on residential and business consumers as well as the competitive marketplace when providers retire or discontinue copper-based services and replace them with IP-based fiber and/or wireless service.