Today's Regulatory Mix: FCC Announces Additional COVID-19 Telehealth Applications, FCC Seeks Comment on Whether One-Way VoIP Providers Should Pay Federal USF and Other Fees, West Virginia Provides Guidance Regarding New Wireless E-911 Fees
FCC Announces Additional COVID-19 Telehealth Applications
The FCC announced it approved an additional 62 funding applications for the COVID-19 Telehealth Program. Health care providers in both urban and rural areas of the country will use this $23.25 million in funding to provide telehealth services during the coronavirus pandemic. To date, the FCC’s COVID-19 Telehealth Program, which was authorized by the CARES Act, has approved 367 funding applications in 45 states plus Washington, D.C. for a total of $128.23 million in funding.
FCC Seeks Comment on Whether One-Way VoIP Providers Should Pay Federal USF and Other Fees
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has invited interested parties to update the record in its 2012 rulemaking as it pertains to whether one-way VoIP providers should be required to contribute to the federal USF and pay other fees applicable to VoIP services, such as regulatory fees. It also seeks comment on whether one-way VoIP services should be required to pay other fees applicable to interconnected VoIP services, such as regulatory fees. The FCC said it incorporated by reference comments previously filed on this issue in response to the 2012 rulemaking and encourages commenters to provide specific data to support their analysis. Comments are due July 13, 2020; reply comments are due July 27, 2020. Inteserra Briefing Service subscribers see Briefing dated 6/16/20.
West Virginia Provides Guidance Regarding New Wireless E-911 Fees
The Public Service Commission of West Virginia (PSC) has issued guidance regarding the interpretation of new legislation revising the fee provisions of the state’s wireless E-911 fund. The PSC intends to initiate a rulemaking proceeding to revise its Emergency Telephone Service Rules in accordance with the new law. This Order, however, will serve to provide guidance until the rulemaking is completed. The PSC’s clarification split the statutorily mandated public safety fee in two parts, thereby creating four distinct charges instead of three. The PSC encourages CMRS providers to notify their subscribers of the impending change to billing statements and assure customers that the total amount of fees being charged remain the same as previously paid, expect for the fact that each fee is now listed separately. Inteserra Briefing Service subscribers see Briefing dated 6/17/20
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.