Texas Finalizes Rules on Loss of Competitive ETP USF SupportThe Texas PUC has adopted final rules implementing statutory changes requiring it to establish criteria to determine whether Texas Universal Service Fund (TUSF) support should be eliminated for a competitive eligible telecommunications provider (ETP) if the number of access lines in an exchange declines by at least 50% from the number of lines served in that exchange on Dec. 31, 2016. The rule requires that, by April 30 of each year, PUC staff report: the exchanges in which the number of access lines served by competitive ETPs has decreased by 50% from the number of access lines that were served by competitive ETPs on Dec. 31, 2016; and the number of access lines served by those competitive ETPs on Dec. 31 of the previous year. Once an exchange is identified as eligible for review, staff will file an application to initiate a proceeding to review the per-line TUSF support amount of that exchange. A competitive ETP serving the exchange under review will be provided an opportunity to respond and request a hearing, in which case the proceeding will be conducted as a contested case. The PUC will make a final determination as to whether support should be eliminated. The new rule will become effective October 3, 2019.
The Regulatory Mix Today: Texas Finalizes Rules on Loss of competitive ETP Support, FCC Asks About Plans for Wireless Service During California Wildfires
FCC Asks About Plans for Wireless Service During California Wildfires
The Chief of the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau has asked AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint and US Cellular about their plans to provide continued wireless service in the event that California utilities shut off power at times and in areas where the risk of wildfires is high. In particular, the FCC is asking for a description of all steps the carriers have taken, or plan to take, to mitigate the effects of these potential power shutoffs. This should include details related to the provider’s contingency plans to promote the continuity of communications for public safety officials and residents (including preparations to use back-up power), its strategy for outreach to consumers, and its plan for coordination with public safety officials, power companies, and other relevant stakeholders. The Bureau also asks for information on any additional measures taken to ensure the continued availability of communications in the event of a wildfire, such as the hardening of communications infrastructure or the construction of additional infrastructure in areas prone to wildfires, as well as any industry best practices they have incorporated. Responses are requested within ten days.
The FCC’s letters were issued only a short time after the California Public Utilities Commission issued an order adopting a disaster relief program that requires telecommunications providers (including wireless providers and VoIP providers) to implement certain specific customer protections in the event a state of emergency is declared in California.
Inteserra Briefing Service subscribers see Briefing dated 9/12/19.
The Regulatory Mix, Inteserra’s blog of telecom related 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 an Inteserra Briefing.