FCC IP Captioned Phone Service
At its November 22, 2019 Open Meeting the FCC voted to broaden the support mechanism for Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS)and replace interim funding structures without affecting the total contributions needed to support the service. The Order:
- Amends the FCC’s rules to provide that TRS Fund contributions to support IP CTS be calculated based on the total interstate and intrastate end-user revenues of each telecommunications carrier and VoIP service provider.
- Requires intrastate-only telecommunications carriers and VoIP service providers to contribute to the TRS Fund for support of IP CTS, based on their total end-user revenues.
- Requires contributions to support IP CTS through the TRS Fund to be calculated by applying a single IP CTS contribution factor to contributors’ total end-user revenues. This contribution factor is computed by dividing the TRS Fund’s IP CTS revenue requirement by contributors’ total interstate and intrastate end-user revenues.
The Order does not affect the total contributions needed to support IP CTS. The FCC said that its action would strengthen the contribution base for IP CTS funding, equalize carriers’ funding obligations, and remedy any pricing distortion caused by its current approach.
IP CTS allows individuals who can speak but have difficulty hearing over the telephone to use a display-equipped telephone and a broadband connection to simultaneously listen to the other party and read captions of what the other party is saying. IP CTS is used today by hundreds of thousands of Americans to work and to connect with friends, family, and service
The Regulatory Mix Today: FCC IP Captioned Phone Service, FCC Proposes to Eliminate Additional UNEs, FCC z-Axis Wireless Location Accuracy Rules
FCC Proposes to Eliminate Additional UNEs
At its November 22, 2019 Open Meeting the FCC voted on a proposal to eliminate or reduce ILEC unbundling and resale requirements that today may be unnecessary for—and detrimental to—facilities-based competition. The FCC said that these network sharing obligations can reduce the incentives of incumbent and competitive carriers alike to deploy, and transition to, next-generation networks and services.
The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeks comment on proposals to:
- Eliminate DS1 and DS3 loop unbundling obligations in counties and study areas deemed competitive in the FCC’s 2017 BDS Order and 2018 Rate-of-Return BDS Order. Unbundling of DS1 loops would still be required in rural areas to enable residential broadband service in places where there may be fewer facilities-based competitive options.
- Eliminate DS0 loop unbundling obligations in urban census blocks. However, unbundling of such loops would still be required in rural areas, where there may be greater barriers to facilities-based deployment.
- Remove unbundling obligations for narrowband voice-grade loops nationwide.
- Consistent with the relief that the FCC granted earlier this year from DS1 and DS3 transport unbundling requirements, grant relief from dark fiber transport unbundling requirements where competitive fiber exists within one-half mile of a wire center.
- Grant non-price cap ILECs relief from the requirement that they resell their retail legacy telecommunications services at statutorily prescribed rates.
The Notice proposes a three-year transition period to give existing customers served via these unbundling and resale obligations time to transition to alternative arrangements without service disruption.
FCC z-Axis Wireless Location Accuracy Rules
At its November 22, 2019 Open Meeting the FCC voted to adopt rules to help first responders locate people who call 911 from wireless phones in multi-story buildings by allowing them to determine the floor level of a 911 caller. The Order adopts a vertical, or z-axis, location accuracy metric of plus or minus three meters relative to the handset for 80% of indoor wireless 911 calls. This accuracy metric—within three meters above or below the phone—will more accurately identify the floor level for most 911 calls and is achievable, keeping the deployment of vertical location information to public safety officials on schedule.
In addition, given the likelihood that vertical location technology will continue to improve, the FCC is also seeking comment on establishing a long-term timeline for even more stringent vertical location accuracy, including ultimately requiring wireless providers to deliver the caller’s specific floor level.
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.