The Regulatory Mix, TMI’s daily 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 a TMI Briefing.
FCC Technology Transitions Session
The FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau announced it will host a Technology Transitions Info Session on September 26, 2016. The purpose of this Info Session is to provide consumers with information about “technology transitions” in the telecommunications marketplace. At the session, FCC subject matter experts will share information about how the progress of technology transitions are impacting the consumer experience, including but not limited to, service implications, backup power issues, and accessibility concerns. The FCC encourages attendees to send an email to Techtransitionsinfo@fcc.gov by September 23. The session can also be viewed on the FCC’s webpage a https://www.fcc.gov/general/live. Online participants can submit questions during the questions and answers session by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michigan Connected Community Certification
The PSC announced that Genesee and Mason counties are the latest two communities to earn "connected" community certification from Connect Michigan and the Connected Community Engagement ProgramSM. Michigan now has 18 communities that are “connected certified.” That distinction only goes to communities that have developed a broadband and technology plan to expand broadband access, adoption, and use. The Genesee County broadband initiative team’s plan addresses the pursuit of business and community development opportunities through the promotion of the area’s significant broadband infrastructure; expanding community literacy programs to include digital literacy training; and establishing an entrepreneurial and technology hub to support the community. The Mason County broadband team’s plan addresses developing public-private partnerships to deploy broadband service, identifying broadband training programs for small and medium businesses, and creating local jobs via teleworking.
Utah USF Distributions
The PSC is proposing to amend rule R746-360-6 regarding eligibility of certain lines for distributions from the state universal service fund. The PSC is proposing to repeal the $26.00 base rate that affected providers have been required to charge their business customers. The proposal resulted from a technical conference the PSC recently held to determine whether business customers of rural telecommunications providers should be required to pay more for a landline than are residential customers. Because it saw no data to support a price difference, the PSC decided to repeal the business base rate. The affordable base rate for residential lines ($18.00 as of July 1, 2016, and $20.00 as of July 1, 2017) is not affected by the proposed rule. The earliest the rule change may become effective is October 24, 2016.
Vermont Electronic Filing System
The Public Service Board proposes to implement an electronic filing and case management system for proceedings conducted before it. Board staff will conduct a workshop on September 15, 2016, to discuss the draft procedures designed to implement the new electronic filing and case management system (known as ePSB). Following the workshop, a deadline will be established for the filing of written comments on the draft procedures. The proposed procedures, among other things, explain how to register to use ePSB, how to initiate and participate in Board proceedings using ePSB, how members of the public can use ePSB to access information filed with or issued electronically by the Board, and the exceptions to the requirements for electronic filings.
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