NARUC Lifeline Resolution
At its July 2019 Summer Policy Summit, the NARUC approved a resolution on Lifeline that urges the Federal Communications Commission to (i) work quickly and collaboratively with service providers and other stakeholders to fix the National Verifier before use of it is required in any state by (a) implementing service provider APIs, and (b) securing access to federal/state SNAP and Medicaid databases, to ensure that the National Verifier achieves its stated goals and works as intended so that eligible low-income consumers can reasonably and efficiently retain or sign up for Lifeline without undue burdens or delays; (ii) only continue to “soft launch” the National Verifier in states and to temporarily suspend “hard launch” of the National Verifier in states until either December 31, 2019 or until service provider APIs are established, and electronic access to state databases, such as SNAP or SSI, and federal/state Medicaid databases are available to confirm subscriber eligibility, whichever is later; (iii) to maintain the full $9.25 in Lifeline support for voice services at the December 1, 2018 service levels and not phase-down or eliminate support for voice services as it has proposed for 2019 to 2021; and (iv) freeze the broadband minimum service standards for Lifeline at the December 2018 levels – 2 GB per month/household at $9.25 – until the FCC concludes its 2021 Lifeline Study and determines an appropriate standard based on usage data available at that time.
The Regulatory Mix Today: NARUC Lifeline Resolution, FCC August Open Meeting Agenda
FCC August Open Meeting Agenda
The FCC announced the Agenda for its August 1, 2019, Open Meeting. The FCC will consider the following items:
- Establishing the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund: A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would propose a two-phase reverse auction framework for the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, and would propose to commit $20.4 billion in high cost universal service support to bring high-speed broadband service to millions of unserved Americans.
- Digital Opportunity Data Collection: A Report and Order that would establish the Digital Opportunity Data Collection, a new data collection that would collect granular geospatial broadband coverage data from fixed broadband providers, and that would make targeted changes to the existing Form 477 to reduce filing burdens. The FCC will also consider a Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would seek comment on enhancing the new data collection, incorporating mobile voice and broadband.
- Promoting Telehealth in Rural America: A Report and Order that would overhaul the Rural Health Care Program by streamlining and simplifying the way health care providers apply for and calculate universal service support amounts, promoting transparency and predictability in the program, and taking new steps to guard against waste, fraud, and abuse.
- Kari’s Law/RAY BAUM’S Act Report and Order: A Report and Order that would address calls to 911 from multi-line telephone systems, pursuant to Kari’s Law, the conveyance of dispatchable location with 911 calls, as directed by RAY BAUM’S Act, and the consolidation of the Commission’s 911 rules.
- Auction of Toll Free Numbers in the 833 Code: A Public Notice that would adopt the procedures for the auction of certain toll free numbers in the 833code.
- Implementation of Section 621: A Third Report and Order that would address issues raised by a remand from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit concerning how franchising authorities may regulate incumbent cable operators.
- Implementing Section 503 of RAY BAUM’S Act; Rules and Regulation Implementing the Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009: A Second Report and Order that would amend the FCC’s Truth in Caller ID rules to implement the antispoofing provisions of the RAY BAUM’S Act.
- Streamlining Licensing Procedures for Small Satellites: A Report and Order that would adopt a new, optional streamlined application process designed for a class of satellites referred to as small satellites.
- Improving Low Power FM Radio Service: A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would modernize the LPFM technical rules to provide more regulatory flexibility for licensees.
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.